Well, it’s taken a long time and a lot of perseverance, but 2011 has been the year that I finally got metal. Aside from a few genre classics and the odd punk or industrial crossover, metal has always been one type of music I have struggled to appreciate, but recently I have started to understand the appeal of pummeling drum blasts, angry, hateful lyrics and “cookie monster” vocals. Maybe that’s what a year of marriage does to a guy, but whatever the reasons for the sudden light-bulb moment, the past nine months have produced a number of albums – Liturgy, Yob, Tombs, Cave-In, Rwake and Wolves In The Throne Room to name but a few – that will all be ranking pretty high in my year-end list come December. My pick of the bunch so far has to be God Is War, the debut full-length from the provocatively-named All Pigs Must Die; a hardcore- orientated “supergroup” of sorts featuring past and present members of American Nightmare, Hope Conspiracy, Bloodhorse and Converge. Like Southern Lord’s other (similarly brilliant) recent foray into D-beat/ crust territory – Trap Them’s Darker Handcraft – the album was recorded and mastered by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, who gives equal breathing space to the punishing rhythmic onslaught and some subtly impressive technical thrash riffage. Sure, God Is War is dark, ugly and at times overwhelmingly aggressive; but if you’re in the mood for some seriously brutal, head-banging, fist-pumping punk-metal catharsis, you’ll struggle to find another record as satisfying as this.
Listen: “Pulverization” http://soundcloud.com/apmd/pulverization
God Is War is out now through Southern Lord