Album: Until All Flesh Decays
With Halloween right around the corner, just about everyone around the world is hellbent on the ghastly and ghoulish. This time of year represents the relatively short period where it’s more or less socially acceptable to thrive on gore, guys and gristly imagery—which means there is absolutely no better time to introduce your ears to Pighead, a slamming, brutal death metal band that unloads an arsenal of aggression directly into the listener’s eardrums with their forthcoming album, Until All Flesh Decays. Borrowing speed and technicality from the more extreme ends of the death metal spectrum and slamming it head-on into a heap of horrendously heavy slam-and-brutal-metallic influence, Pighead live up to the grim and grotesque imagery evoked by their name, giving birth to a brutalizing display of slamming aggression that won’t stop until the listener’s flesh decays.
When one considers Pighead’s punishing instrumental components, one word comes to mind: intense. Every aspect of Until All Flesh Decays is written to be intimidating and immense, densely packed with Mach-speed drumming and murky, gritty bass work that serves as a spine-shredding scaffold for low and lurid guitars and slam, riff and shred their way through mountains of flesh and towers of bone. Songs like the more-heavily-slam influenced number “Eliminate Alien Elements” showcases the band’s percussive prowess, while tracks like “State of Absolute Misery” and “Exterminating the Unworthy” are faster and more built around extreme speed than they are belligerent brutality. With that said—if intense is the first word that comes to mind when hearing Pighead, heavy is probably the second. The band’s uncompromising musical approach utilizes insanely fast and more than furious drumming as a lure to ensnare the listener’s attention, while fleet fretwork and Ten-Ton slams spice up the release and allow it to appeal to fans of deathcore and slam as well as technical brutal death metal. In short, Until All Flesh Decays is a melting pot of murderously heavy aggression, with every song having a little something for everyone to either enjoy or get eviscerated by.
Pighead—while instrumentally terrifying–don’t let up when it comes to their vocals. With the piercing power of Satan himself and the sheer amplitude of an entire horde of banshees, Pighead’s ferocious guttural bellows and shrill squees and breesbewilder the listener from the first song. Throughout slamming anthems like “Revengeful Strife” and during incredibly aggressive aural adventures like “State of Absolute Misery,” the band’s vocals are just as unyielding as their musicianship—refusing to give in for anything. What’s just as noteworthy though are the moments where there are no vocals—where instrumental sections of “Until All Flesh Decays” or truthfully any track catch the listener’s ear. Here, Pighead exercise a bizarre sort of tactfulness; not quite giving the listener a break, but rather truly letting the intense nature of their instrumentation shine.
Where Pighead are an exemplary band, they do find themselves falling into the same traps as other contemporary slamming death metal and technical brutal death metal acts—monotony. Even as Until All Flesh Decays is a solid collection of sludgy and sinister songs, it still feels entirely too long (which, given the 34 minute long run time it isn’t) due to the relatively repetitive nature of the band’s dynamic. Songs like “Eliminate Alien Elements” mix things up, emphasizing a greater variety of influences than some others, but as an entire unit, Until All Flesh Decays is a daunting venture to endure from start to finish unless you fancy yourself to be a true slamophiliac or veteran of the veritable war that technical brutal death wages on the listener. For those who are unafraid—or addicted to raw aggression—Pighead is precisely what you need to add some sinister, skin-flaying and slamming evil to your holiday season.
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By: Connor Welsh