Published Apr 02, 2020There are seven pigs in this band's name, but they might as well be called "Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow," because Viscerals feels like a punch in the gut. A sludgy mixture brewed in the bowels of London, UK's fleapit venues, Viscerals is a great update on a doom formula in need of a couple kicks up its arse.
Comparisons to Black Sabbath are never far off from any doom band worth their bud, but Pigsx7 don't sound like a '70s throwback. There's a grittiness to their heavy rock, a disregard for the rules of melody and harmony that sounds more like Daughters' terrifying You Won't Get What You Want more than Masters of Reality. On "New Body," Viscerals' most strung-out track, Pigsx7 even start to resemble IDLES, their countrymen from Bristol. There's a rangy quality to everything that drives out the last of the psychedelic aspects and replaces them with grungy sweat. And, as creepy spoken interlude "Blood and Butter" shows, these Pigs are out to unsettle us. They succeed.
One shame is that the album's centrepiece, nine-minute "Halloween Bolson," is also one of the least interesting things on offer. It's a pretty standard piece of naval-gazing doom rock, but when you compare it to the wild-eyed creativity of "Reducer," it's clear which Pigsx7 we'd prefer.
This is the third record by the Pigs, and they're improving with time. On 2018's King of Cowards they proved they were a truly forward-thinking doom act, and on Viscerals they've proved it wasn't a fluke. They just need to shed a few more layers before they are ready to assume their final form. (Rocket Recordings)