Southern Lord continues to go against the perceived image of them as purveyors of arty doom by letting rip with more crust-inflected hardcore, and THIS one is a real doozy.
All Pigs Must Die are comprised of four grizzled veterans of the US hardcore scene, having served time between them in – to name but a few – American Nightmare, The Red Chord, Bloodhorse, and most tellingly, The Hope Conspiracy and Converge, and it is these latter two bands that seem to have the greatest influence over the sound of God Is War, along with Canada’s late, lamented Cursed.
Following on from the other recent SL releases of a dark, crusty bent, All Pigs Must Die assault the ears with a vicious, dynamic, churning melange of the darkest of hardcore and the rawest of metal, but with much less of a D-beat-driven approach than their contemporaries, mostly due to the relentlessly inventive roving drum attack of sticksman Ben Koller – he of Converge – a man who would never stoop so low as to play a simple D-beat when an octopus-a-like paradiddle would hit harder.
Vocalist Kevin Baker, ex-Hope Conspiracy frontman, has the requisite full-throated ‘veins-a-poppin’ hardcore bark needed to rise above such a viciously churning undertow of righteous fury as that laid out by Koller, bassman Matt Woods and axe-wielder Adam Wentworth, and rise above he does with aplomb. A roiling sea of tumbling drums and scything guitars that just does not let up, from opener ‘Death Dealer’ right through to the closing eight minute brooding epic ‘Sadistic Vindicator’, these Pigs mean BUSINESS. For a rough musical comparison, take Converge’s ‘Jane Doe’, strip out the more progressive tendencies, shove in a heaping helping of Cursed’s ‘III – Architects Of Troubled Sleep’ and there you have it, All Pigs Must Die’s ‘God Is War’ in a nutshell.
The Converge connection doesn’t end there, as Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou recorded and mixed this nasty bad boy at his now legendary Godcity Studio, not so much polishing the bands sound to a high sheen as sharpening the spikes and making sure that everything is louder than everything else. THIS is sound as a bludgeoning instrument.
Of course, this being a Southern Lord release, it almost goes without saying that ‘God Is War’ also LOOKS the part, with a fantastically dark and religiously-provocative cover by the ever-splendid Florian Bertmer that will look just peachy-keen on an LP sleeve.
Yes, another fine release from Southern Lord, and another band to watch out for in the future. Just don’t get too close, from the sound of ’em they may be rabid….
Scribed by: Paul Robertson