All Pigs Must Die - Hostage Animal - (8.5/10)
Published on December 6, 2017
All Pigs Must Die, the hardcore/crust band from Massachusetts may have been away for the last four years, but they have used the time to their benefit. Never a band to play it safe, they have stayed true to their sound over the years while also adding depth and little nuances with each release. Hostage Animal is another strong entry in 2017, and gives off plenty of aggression while continuing to allow the band to evolve and show why they are an important act in the genre.
Running through ten tracks in a little over 34 minutes holds the band true to their prior output, and leaves no time for any filler. From the chaotic opening notes to the sludge like and near serene ending, this album is one that never really lets up, but manages to switch between a few genres with ease. The first three tracks are bombastic as hell, and an onslaught if aggression in the hardcore vein, with some crust influence. However with “Slave Morality”, the band starts to slow things a bit and adds more atmosphere to showcase another side of the album. While the song has a menacing doom laden intro, the pace does pick up nicely as well, and while not quite the center of the album, the fourth track does signal a shift of sorts for the record, and shows that APMD can be in your face, and punishing, while also being able to create an uplifting and cathartic experience as well.
Hostage Animal does a great job showcasing a band amazingly only seven years in into their career that has a strong sense of what they can accomplish. Each member plays their role well, as each member is no real stranger to the scene, but manages to have great chemistry with one another. The lead guitar work is very welcomed, as it allows the songs to break open slightly and distinguish themselves from one another. The drumming is another highlight, with plenty of tempo changes, but never stops being impressive and really makes this album one to go back to time and again to try and pick out each fill and pattern. The only slight downfall would be the vocals, which do come across monotone, as the pitch ever really changes. The barking can wear thin, but the performance is commendable, with the vitriol being more than palpable, and the consistency in the vocals is of course undeniable.
One of the best things about Hostage Animal is the replay aspect. While the vocals could be a slight downfall, the emotion in the performance does more than make up for any issues, and the band is smart in their structuring of the tracks to make sure there are still plenty of changes for the music to let itself build, and create any needed tension. Each track packs in so much, whether it be 53 seconds, or six and half minutes, that you can’t help but want to go back and hear it all again. The bombastic noise of the album could be grating to some, but feels hypnotic too, and makes you want to go back and experience it more and more, which is a great compliment. All Pigs Must Die have definitely used their time away for the best, and put together possibly the strongest album in their discography, and stands as yet another strong entry into a year with quite an impressive track record.