Ever since 2013’s Nothing Violates This Nature knocked me off my feet, kicked me in the teeth, and stamped down on my neck, I’ve been looking forward to the next instalment of brutal abuse from this impressive act.
If you don’t know the band, they’re comprised of members of bands such as Bloodhorse, Converge, Trap Them, and The Hope Conspiracy, and play a mix of hardcore, punk, crust, and metal.
Hostage Animal sees All Pigs Must Die taking their sound further than ever before. With an additional guitarist in their ranks, the band take every opportunity to expand on their aural extremity, with an increase in old-school metal components poured into the songs alongside their usual filthy crust and abrasive hardcore.
The songs are intense, brutal, and very ugly. Each track offers some different facet of filth-ridden aggression for the listener to explore. The variety of song lengths on the album is an initial indicator of the fact that All Pigs Must Die know many different ways to skin you alive. All of them are nasty and painful, but a true artist can detect the differences as the skin begins to peel.
Fast, blasting hatred is present and correct, as is caustic groove and bitter riffs. As mentioned above though, this time around the metallic content has increased a bit; dashes of serrated melody, thrash workouts, some old-school death metal ripping…all of it is embedded in the band’s crust and punk core, making for a well-rounded and multi-functional beast.
Hostage Animal isn’t lacking in dark atmosphere either, as not all of the material here is fast and ferocious. Sometimes a slower, more oppressive route is the best one to take, and thankfully All Pigs Must Die recognise this. A song like Slave Morality embodies this approach perfectly. It’s longer than a lot of the tracks here and has a monolithic, glacial intensity to it. Shot through with bleak melody, this is one of the standout tracks in an album that’s actually full of them.
It’s been four years since Nothing Violates This Nature, but the wait has been worth it. Hostage Animal is an improved version of All Pigs Must Die, full of blistering intensity, grim atmosphere, and lethal intent.
Approach with caution, as this is a dangerous beast.
Very highly recommended.