Hostage Animal

Oct. 23, 2017


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The Pitch: Consisting of members from Trap Them, Converge, Bloodhorse, and The Hope Conspiracy; sludge and hardcore band All Pigs Must Die bring their various talents to the table with the help of Kurt Ballou and Southern Lord.  FFO: Northless, Converge, The Lion's Daughter

What I Like: There's something about a Ballou release that is so instantly recognizable.  He brings a certain defining factor to whatever band he is working with, but given the musicians in the studio this time around it can't be too difficult of a task. As a huge fan of Converge for a good 15 years, Ben Koller's drumming instantly set off flags when I pressed play on this unfamiliar group.  His style is completely unmatched, bringing not only lightning speed and kinetic energy; but also an unquantifiable signature quality that everyone in that band seems to possess.  

Similarly, guitarist Brian Izzi of Trap Them rips the s#!t ouf of this record with his own particular brand of hardcore fury.  As such, his contributions are most apparent (and most destructive) on faster tracks like the titular opener or "Hostage Animal," but with the help of Bloodhorse's Adam Wentworth and Matt Wood's crunchy bass, he's no slouch with sludge riffs either.  Rounding out the package is Kevin Baker of The Hope Conspiracy on vocals.  This guy brings passion and power to every track, and his gruff delivery drives the sludgier moments to the absolute edge.  If you're not familiar with this band or Kevin's other projects, think Northless or The Lion's Daughter.

Critiques: Hostage Animal has plenty of power and energy, but it doesn't quite live up to more adventurous sludge outings from the likes of Cult of Luna with Julie Christmas, In The Company of Serpents, or The Moth Gatherer.  Furthermore, I personally like the more aggressive, hardcore tracks on this album overall.

The Verdict: All Pigs Must Die is a band brimming with talented musicians and with a clear mission statement.  The new album is an impressive display of crushing sludge and chaotic hardcore.  While Hostage Animal could stand to be a bit more bold in its compositions, I am more than happy to dive into the pit at one of the band's shows.  Stream it HERE.

Flight's Fav's: Hostage Animal, The Whip, Moral Purge

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