All Pigs Must Die – ‘Nothing Violates This Nature’ (Southern Lord)
Southern Lord Records
On Nothing Violates This Nature, All Pigs Must Die distill the very essence of hatred in the form of blistering blasts of metallic hardcore. It’s violent. It’s angry. And if you’re interested in any heavy strain of music, it’s pretty much essential listening.
Yes, the band is made up of members from The Hope Conspiracy, Bloodhorse, and most notably, Converge. No, APMD should not be considered a side project by any means. Once you get your eardrums blown out by crushing anthems like “Bloodlines,” you’ll understand why. Have Trap Them, Nails and All Pigs Must Die ever been on the same bill? If so, I’ll never forgive myself for not being there. If not, can someone make that happen? Now?
Armed For Apocalypse – ‘The Road Will End’ (Ironclad)
Genre: Sludge Metal
Four years after their debut, Armed For Apocalypse return with The Road Will End. It’s a riff-fest of sludgy goodness. The songs are raw and devastatingly heavy, with enough melody to avoid total suffocation.
They are able to gallop along at breakneck speed, and slow down to a glacial pace, sometimes on the same song. “The Well” is an apt title, because the guitars on the song are tuned down so far they might as well be underground. And after all the heavy and aggressive sludge, they wrap things up with the pretty acoustic instrumental “Ends Meet.” Armed For Apocalypse are a talented crew, and hopefully won’t wait as long for album number three.
Baroness – ‘BBC Live at Maida Vale’ (Relapse)
Genre: Sludge Metal/Rock
Bittersweet in its place before the bus accident that crippled the band, the four song EP BBC Live at Maida Vale is the Baroness that shall never be again. The recording is earthy, as ochre as the EP’s album cover. “Take My Bones Away,” so familiar and more than ironic, ripples with muscular energy. Highlight, “Cocainium,” is less effect-laden, rawer than the album version.
In its midst, the smoky Genie of a great band stands confidently, arms crossed. Fragmented in half now, Baroness must find a new road, as only destiny directs all traffic.