"God Is War"

By Dr. Abner Mality

The venerable Southern Lord label is the chameleon of underground metal labels, always shifting gears and focus every couple of years. The label was originally synonymous with doom and stoner rock, then switched to harsh and orthodox black metal and even flirted with completely avant-garde stuff like Oren Ambarchi for a while. To be sure, they always mixed things up and never completely dedicated themselves to one sound. But this year, it seems like Southern Lord has become the home to the raw sludgy hardcore fist in the face. We've had stuff like Acephalix, Alpinist, Xibalba, Planks and now the latest kick in the teeth, All Pigs Must Die.

With a name like that, there's not a hell of a lot of mystery about what's on tap: eight songs and 32 concise but brutal minutes that feel like somebody massaging your genitals with a Garden Weasel. This band is a little different in that it contains members of Converge and The Hope Conspiracy (haven't heard that last name in quite a while). These boys have said to hell with intellectual hardcore...they wallow in the mud of savage Swedish death metal and jack-booted fury. "God Is War" blows by like a hurricane. I could have wished for a bit more catchiness in the vein of the killer "The Blessed Void"....that track is a real lesson in skank-worthy rifferama...but there's not much doubt that APMD accomplished exactly what it set out to do. This is pure catharsis for these guys and just maybe, for you.