August 16, 2011 - Southern Lord
On All Pigs Must Die’s debut full-length, there are no moments of respite nor opportunities to reflect on the sheer violence your ears have been subjected to. There’s just wave after wave of naked, nihilistic aggression. With members hailing from the fertile Boston hardcore scene (vocalist Kevin Baker from the Hope Conspiracy, guitarist Adam Wentworth and bassist Matt Woods from Bloodhorse, and drummer Ben Koller from Converge/Cave In), flavors of their other bands inevitably resonate across God Is War. Buy by bringing in these influences together they definitively stamp out their own delightfully unpleasant musical identity.
Roaring to life in a storm of sinister feedback, “Death Dealer” makes it abundantly clear that standing in the band’s way is not an option; the song charges off in a devastating flurry of grindcore blasting and visceral anger. Equally old-school riot-starters “The Blessed Void” and “Extinction Is Ours” take no prisoners; both are frantic dashes for the finish line, as if the members have to get to the end of the songs before the bleakness surrounding them swallows them whole. The more restrained tempo of closing epic “Sadistic Vindicator” is no less hostile—it drags its potent evil out over eight torturous minutes—while the wall of guitars driving the title track are drenched with an almost inescapable apocalyptic fury. Fighting through this racket, every agonized syllable sounds torn from Baker’s long-abused throat, upping the antagonistic ante at every turn.
Obviously an album so violent and desolate is not going to be for everyone, but fans of the members’ other bands—or luminaries such as High On Fire, Mastodon, Nails, Suicide Silence, Neurosis and Will Haven—will undoubtedly find themselves dragged into All Pigs Must Die’s suffocating world. Anyone else hoping their band’s upcoming record will be crowned the most visceral of 2011 have their work seriously cut out for them.