Rating – 4.5/5
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (hereafter referred to as Pigsx7 simply for our mutual convenience) release Viscerals; their latest album that delivers a healthy dose of doom, punk, and metal in a dark, imposing package.
The influence of doom metal progenitors Black Sabbath is abundant, peeking through the dense and sludgy riffs, there is a real spark of melodic playing, especially on the bombastic opener ‘Reducer’. A blistering pentatonic solo builds to a death march inspired breakdown in which lead singer Matt Bray chants “Ego kills everything” whilst the world collapses around him in a cacophony of cymbals and wailing guitars.
On ‘New Body’ Matt’ channels My War-era Henry Rollins against a backdrop of low tempo discordance and detuned doom riffs. The sluggish cadence of the whole track makes you feel as though you’re marching through the mud on the way to some unforeseen grisly fate; the effect is superbly dramatic and the tension on the track is built beautifully on this seven-minute epic.
A cursory glance at the album cover or any of the band’s branding on the website will give you an idea of their grisly aesthetic. This idea is explored more in ‘Blood and Butter’ a short spoken-word track that paints a gruesome picture of the ideas and concepts we consume in society. The double meaning isn’t lost and well, let’s just say that Viscerals is an entirely appropriate description of the album’s contents.
‘World Crust’ brings some crunch back into the guitar and shows off some of the satisfying and interesting riffs contained on the album. The sound crosses the darker doom metal tones with some more jam-based desert rock ideas. These sounds are examined more on ‘Halloween Bolson’; a blend of simple punk guitar lines and groovier uptempo playing. Across the nine-minute track the blend of punk, metal, and discordant doom is explored more widely.
The whole album has a murky sound; the detuning and almost non-existent tone settings take away the brightness deliberately to fit Pigsx7 chosen aesthetic. The record is full of references to consumption in both the metaphorical and literal sense; in fact, there seems to be little or no distinction between the two. Yet despite the darkness, there are also some very nice melodic passages, especially in the guitar work; but also within the vocals themselves, no easy feat when the majority of the sound is based around a guttural, straining delivery.
The product works well, despite the blended together sound of the instruments there is enough separation that musical ideas aren’t lost in the mix. The vocals can become murky in places with perhaps too generous a helping of reverb adds an echo that detracts from the raw delivery. Overall the sound is extremely polished and very listenable; the band manages to bring a more inaccessible genre onto the radars of those who may not typically seek out the music of this type. They manage to do so without compromising on the components of the sound or on the message they deliver.
I’m sure Pigsx7 are not much for following convention and assessment or evaluation is something they look at with disdain “…because you analyze and give me three marks out of five”. Well, sorry lads I do have to give you a score, but at least your album is definitely deserving of more than three out of five if that’s any consolation.
Reviewed by Theo Wildgoose