Pigs X 7 have reined in some of their more digressive tendencies of late, and this follow-up to 2018’s King Of Cowards does away with the superfluous fat to deliver a trimmer, more focused set of songs that, if anything, punch a little harder.
The Newcastle five-piece are imposing at full tilt. On Reducer, over crashing chords and Christopher Morley’s battering drums, frontman Matt Baty yells: ‘I’m not here for my health’, suggesting there’s more to the band’s mission than mere noise.
Indeed there’s a healthy sense of experimentation, peaking with wondrous prog-metal epic Halloween Bolson.
There are hooks too, at their most potent on Crazy In Blood, which feels like a heavily accelerated cousin of Sunn O))).
Guitarists Adam Ian Sykes and Sam Grant keep the riffs flowing throughout, bassist John-Michael Hedley adds a sludge-metal undertow, and Baty pounds along over the top, his highly physical vocals a stirring union of Lemmy and Jaz Coleman.
In fact Killing Joke are as much a reference point as Black Sabbath on Viscerals, especially on the brutal World Crust. Utterly enthralling.