All Pigs Must Die aren’t in the subtlety game. Made up of members of the Hope Conspiracy, Converge, and Bloodhorse, their sound is mixture of thrash, hardcore, and proto–black metal that wears its ugliness and outrage on its sleeve. Even their name is sincere, Death in June reference though it may be: this is the soundtrack to the rabid shattering of the police state. Hot on the heels of their explosive self-titled EP, the band has released their debut full-length, titled simply God Is War, an eight-track massacre that might be the album of the year.
Opener “Death Dealer” starts with a desperate guitar melody, then erupts into an explosion of charging blast beats and vengeful riffs. “Pulverization” and “Sacrosanct” blend into a whirlwind of fury, while the title track changes the pace to create a slow-burning tide of misanthropic bile that pounds the listener wave after wave. “The Blessed Void” is the album’s frenzied peak, with its painful opening feedback giving way to a breakneck hate anthem that Slayer only wish they could write these days. “Third World Genocide” hits like a hammer, and “Extinction Is Ours” brings melodic breakdowns and overconfident guitar leads galore. “Sadistic Vindicator” ties a bow around the whole record, its sorrowful but primal sludginess a perfect conclusion to the previous 30-something minutes of unadulterated hatred.
What makes God Is War an undeniable gem, though, is its complete lack of pretense. Other bands grasp at cred with albums that are overly technical or unlistenably raw; this record’s infectious melodies, straightforward pacing, and crisp production only make it a greater achievement for underground extremity. All Pigs Must Die have nothing to hide. Their message is simple: we are angry. You are next. Be very afraid. CHRIS KROVATIN