All Pigs Must Die are designed to evoke a visceral response, right down to its name and song and album titles.
Sure, the racket caused by their gnarly brand of hardcore, grind, and death metal can split concrete, but the band’s titles - their first record is called God Is War and contains songs titles like “Death Dealer” and “Extinction Is Ours” - can be just as confrontational.
After following up the solid God with the similarly great Nothing Violates This Nature, APMD have done it again with their first album in four years, Hostage Animal. As with their previous two outings, Hostage is just over a half hour of pure rage. Indeed, the LP opens with vocalist Kevin Baker barking, “Emerge from the womb / With savage intent”. This time around, though, they’ve moved beyond simply throwing gloriously violent temper tantrums.
The original quartet - made up of members of Converge, The Hope Conspiracy, and Bloodhorse - is joined by guitarist Brian Izzi from the recently departed hardcore psychopaths Trap Them. It appears Izzi was a worthy addition. While ‘standard’ songs like the title track and “Moral Purge” sound like they’re shaking themselves apart or simply steamrolling everything in their path, respectively, the album features some lead work that’s seemingly designed to hold your hand and lead you through the maelstrom (as on “End Without End”) or float with you above it (as on “Heathen Reign”).
There’s even some prog-like tendencies that creep into “End” and “Heathen,” suggesting that these are stepping stones to future records’ expansion of their Earth-shaking sound. But as it stands, All Pigs Must Die is for people who are just looking to have their teeth kicked in. Or as Baker succinctly puts it, “No mercy for the weak / Total chaos unfolds.”