It’s a sign of the progress that Pigs x7 have made in the last couple of years that my review of the band’s previous album ‘Feed The Rats‘ has had more than twice as many hits on it this year than in the whole of last year, when it was released in January. This is a pretty much unique phenomena for this website. This development is also reflected in this new release which eschews the long improvisations of ‘Feed The Rats’ in favour of shorter and more riff-driven tracks which pack the sort of punch that the excellent exception ‘Sweet Relief’ did on the last outing.
In doing so, however, Pigs x7 have not lost the elements that make them such a great proposition. They are still full-on, with the exception of final track ‘Gloamer’, which really does come as a sweet relief after the barrage of sound of the rest of the set which, according to vocalist Matt Baty, came together almost by chance:
In terms of how the theme came together I’d relate it to throwing paint at a canvas in a really physical and subconscious way, then stepping back to analyse it and seeing it all as one piece. It wasn’t until then that I saw there was this continual thread of sin and guilt in the lyrics throughout the album. For a long time I’ve questioned how and where guilt can be used as a form of oppression… When can guilt be converted into positive action? After typing all of the lyrics up I realised I’d unwittingly referenced every one of the seven deadly sins throughout the album. That’s the fire and brimstone Catholic teachings I picked up at school coming into play there!
It’s not just the deadly sins that are in play here, there are a series of absolutely killer riffs which drive this album along with Baty’s distinctive vocals which help set Pigs x7 apart from the herd, and warrant the attention that they seem to be getting. Indeed, it is very difficult to understate just how heavy this band is… how dirty these tunes are… and how absolutely unmistakable their sound is. Here’s exhibit one:
See what I mean. This is not just heavy metal, it is like putting a dark star on your turntable and watching everything around it cave into its super massive gravitational field. And actually while the individual tracks are not as relentless as on ‘Feed the Rats’ the cumulative feeling is one of having your head stuck in a blender with a kilo of iron filings.
All in all, then, this is a real step forward for Pigs x7, and I can’t wait to catch them when they head down to Sheffield next month since they are a live band that really should not be missed. Not spoilers but you may not get out with either your sanity or your hearing intact.
‘King of Cowards’ is out now on Rocket Recordings.
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