The Newcastle quintet Pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs latest offering can be summarized in one word. Viscerals is exactly as the title suggests. Eight tracks of high-calibre metal leads that to the deepest caverns of hell. The band wears its influences in its sleeve, with plenty of comparisons to Black Sabbath and Motorhead along with the epic prog metal shades of King Crimson. Where other metal bands have a predilection towards darkness and the color black, Pigsx7 is soaked in blood red. Violence, rage and hatred all bubble up in its eight tracks.
Adam Iam Sykes and Sam Grant’s guitars are drenched in filthy dissonance, Christopher Morley’s drums are seemingly attacked by maces and clubs while John-Michael Hedley’s bass is coated with a sludge of concrete and gasoline. Mat Batty wraps it up with vocals that are howled to full lung capacity, tinged with the reverb of a bloody torture chamber.
“Reducer” screeches in with pummeling intensity, this track is a thesis for the rest of the album and is a good indicator of what’s in store. The next two songs “Rubbernecker” and “New Body” keep on a much slower pace. With the latter track depicting a metamorphosis from apathy and inaction into something that’s ruthlessly aggressive. The whole sound evokes a feeling of being in a bloody cathedral, with Batty presiding on your fate. “Blood and Butter” then serves as an interlude but is also an interesting spoken word performance with macabre British humor.
The band dials up the tempo for the rest of its tracks, and in here influences to the aforementioned 80s era hardcore and metal acts come to light. “World Crust” contrasts blistering speed with a doomy breakdown. “Crazy in Blood” is a catchy tune that seemingly parodies the pop love song cliche. Singing along with its infectious call-and-response chorus is a side effect that I’m still trying to shake off. “Halloween Bolson” is a nine minute epic that pays homage to the greats as well as heralding a new era in the genre with its gruesome and precise brutality.
Even though Viscerals borrows heavily from the old, its themes and unique concept is enough to prove that Pigsx7 has what it takes to go toe to toe with the best. Each track compliments the next, and there’s a consistent narrative that listeners can latch on to. Unlike its cousins, this style of prog metal has never had an issue of being over saturated, and this should be a welcome addition for any fan.
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