Not to be insensitive but, this isn’t for kids who spell “brutal” with “o”’s in it. All Pigs Must Die is a Massachusetts supergroup side project whose final mission is this: brutal assault on your ears.
Comprised of The Hope Conspiracy’s Kevin Baker on vocals, Converge’s Ben Koller on drums, and Bloodhorse’s Adam Wentworth (guitar) and Matt Woods (bass), you can’t say these gentlemen don’t know what they’re doing (it’s worth mentioning that combinations of this are also Acid Tiger). For those of you wondering, All Pigs Must Die is named after the Death In June song au contraire to the popular belief of referencing something known as the police force. That’s why you should just forget it; they are the music cognoscenti.
Last year’s five-song self-titled EP caused justified commotion with songs like “Noxchi Assault” (not a bold topic at all) and “Sermon For the End.” Owing as much metal influence to early Florida sounds and Celtic Frost, All Pigs Must Die also easily fits in with the alphabet soup of early hardcore (like S.O.D., C.O.C., and D.R.I.).
But their new effort, God Is War, recorded at Kurt Ballou’s GodCity Studio, is slightly more metal and less hardcore than the EP. Is this a successful mission? Yeah, Seal Team Six style.
The eight-song record opens with “Death Dealer” and ends with the eight-minute heavy groove bass of “Sadistic Vindicator.” The middle of this record is what we should focus on however. The hardcore energy of “Sacrosanct” is amazing, with Koller’s unique kit style backed by an also not-so-easy-to-forget Swedish metal guitar sound. As Baker screams, “No sacrifice,” one is inclined to think “no shit” as it leads into the album’s title track that is a rabid hybrid of death metal and hardcore punk. Continuing to “The Blessed Void,” it is that sonic destroy-all end with a melodic guitar solo out of nowhere. Then we have “Third World Genocide” where “all will burn.” So everyone’s dying- but of what? Oh, probably how insane the music is. Insane is used in this instance of how unbelievable the sound depth is. For All Pigs Must Die, time signatures are damned, and they build layers of hardcore on top that has yet to be matched by some more household (more like house-trained) harder rock bands.
Addressing the flack they will get for a polished-sounding record: response- really? The ability of new recording technology is superior to that of the good ‘ol days. Fairly twenty years ago, it was difficult to differentiate between frantic and not tight. Though it could have been (and was) done, now we can easily expose garbage without breaking sweat on our sleeveless t-shirts. On God Is War, you can actually hear all parts, whereas if it wasn’t polished, you could kiss goodbye to the details.
Whether you’re a punk, metalhead, or anything in between, you’ll find parts of All Pigs Must Die intriguing. Now it may be more of a vinyl release and they may not tour a ton due to the side project image, but God Is War is one of the best albums of the year and don’t let it pass you by.