Wisconsin’s Pig’s Blood must have been tempted to use a sample of a booming explosion or someone racking an assault rifle to kick things off on this, their debut record.
Fifteen seconds in, and it blatantly screams militaristic death metal.
Thankfully though, we’re just as quickly shown a strong appreciation for dynamics and hooks that ensures this record’s 36 minutes seem to flow by.
In fact, this can be a decidedly mid-paced affair at times, and enjoyably so.
Even though it roughly falls into the war metal / death metal realm, Pig’s Blood don’t deliver the suffocating landslide that bands like Revenge go for.
All the instruments, particularly the bass, bristle alongside each other very distinctly in the mix.
‘Misanthrope Absolute’ gets the blood pumping nicely with a dose of spiked aggression, drawing audibly from the usual suspects like Angelcorpse, but without ever really getting insanely fast.
When the guitar breaks out on it’s own for a few seconds on this opener, it sounds like gravel pouring over hot steel. Total abrasion.
The group seem to alternate between slower sections of pounding repetition and shorter, speedier snapshots. ‘Iron Justice’ showcases the vocal weapons that they have at their disposal, a rasping snarl backed up by withering guitar that echoes the vocal exhaltations.
The band seem to have a special affinity for holding out one element, a pounding bassline, or a rapid guitar riff, and than diving in with the rest of their elements. There are plenty of riffs, but combined with touches of Doom and the kind of twisted introspection that Autopsy would certainly nod along to.
Ultimately though, the band are blending a witch’s cauldron of extreme metal, and doing a solid job of it.
That said , there are noticeable moments that betray the band’s relative newness.
‘The Age of Endless War’ features a memorable guitar motif that’s used just a touch too much. The pitch-shifted vocals that abound across the record can also be utterly interchangeable. These are the kind of songwriting quibbles that should hopefully be ironed out down the road.
You also get the impression they’re not taking themselves deathly serious. With band member names like “C.H.U.D. Overlord” and “Horrible Person”, there’s a streak of black humour at work that you can either take or leave.
Pig’s Blood do a good job of working within the dynamics of their sub-genre and it’s a pacy listen that keeps your attention. There’s lots here to bang your head to, and the production is genuinely faultless.
Expanding beyond their influences and mobilizing to the next level will be the next real campaign goal for them.
3.3 / 5 – Lorcan Archer ::: 29/10/17