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All Pigs Must Die are one of the most essential bands of the genre bending trend (in the best meaning of the word) which gains ground in extreme music for quite some time now. Having brazenly barged into the scene at the start of the decade with their self-titled debut ep (2010) and mainly with their masterpiece of an album “God Is War” (2011), these Massachusetts devils are on a constant rise, releasing quality albums and expanding their fan base. The band has just given birth to its new offspring titled Hostage Animal”, released on October 27th via Southern Lord.

It has been accurately stated that a band’s third album has a “make them or brake them” effect. Especially in times when so many albums come out every day and extreme music fans have become consumers who don’t pay attention to releases that don’t make them tick right away.

Τhis environment does not seem to affect APMD, who are choosing their third release as a field of implementing different influences and widening their musical palette. The addition of guitarist Brian Izzi (Trap Them) to the line-up definitely plays a role in this. The arrangement of the album has been done with special care combining the building of its overall atmosphere with the exponential presentation of the band’s new ideas. Thus, the first three tracks follow the band’s characteristic sound, pounding hard and without mercy, vomiting bile in a mile radius.“Slave Morality” and “End Without End” change attack tactics while maintaining the same intensity. The drums place the creations on the anvil and the guitars find space to unfold, giving shape to the compositions. The only real breather of the album is the “End Without End”‘s melodic outro. “Cruelty Incarnate” is one of the most interesting songs in the album, a slow, melodic, misanthropic tune that puts a curse on the world. The “stick and even more stick” tactic goes on as “Blood Wet Teeth” and “Moral Purge” rise up to their titles, making our ears bleed. The last two tracks participate in the whole following the same road.

The core feature of “Hostage Animal” is undoubtedly APMD’s unique style and their ability to express a furious and at the same time sad and pessimistic aggression. But the album would not have been at such a high level without the fantastic job on drums. In my humble opinion, Ben Koller is one of the most talented drummers of his generation. The album is in all respects a well-designed, well-executed and inspirational work, from the artwork to the songs and the amazing production of Kurt Ballou. One of the best releases in extreme music this year, get yourselves a copy asap. (9)