All Pigs Must Die
Hostage Animal

In the last decade, a band hell-bent on causing total annihilation has emerged from the murky underground to deliver just that. All Pigs Must Die has become nothing less than a force of nature, destroying everything in its path with some of the most violent music in recent history. The group’s ferocious riffs and psychotic drumming (courtesy of Ben Koller of Converge fame) have allowed the band to tear through two highly acclaimed albums and a handful of EPs. 2017 brings with it a new offering of pain and torture in the form of Hostage Animal, a thirty-five minute ode to disgust and indecency. While this new album exhibits plenty of the manic, thrashy death metal of past efforts, it also branches out and picks up new pieces to add to the puzzle.

Hostage Animal starts off with an immediate showing of nuclear power; fill-laden blast-beats pound alongside murderous riffs throughout the duration of the self-titled first track. The first few tracks are classic destructive power harnessed through amps and mics. The hardcore-tinged death metal that has become the group’s cornerstone is as potent as ever and every member is obviously at the top of their game. The addition of Brian Izzi (of the now-defunct Trap Them) on guitars allows for some interesting and malevolent guitar melodies that pepper the entirety of the album. Indeed, the playing is absolutely vicious, weaving through demonic grind, chugging thrash, and murky death metal. Few bands in extreme metal come close to matching this level of insanity. The percussion is equally deadly, providing yet another level of nihilistic madness to appreciate and devour. Some tracks show a bit of restraint, but for the most part the drumming is a whirlwind of lightning fast fills and bludgeoning rhythms. Kevin Baker’s signature yells are still wholly disturbing and full of hatred, though quite reluctant to vary in pitch. Every element on display is brought together to form a savage maelstrom of ever-strengthening fury.

While the album has more than its fill of ruthless, grinding moments, it also introduces a level of experimentation previously foreign to the band. The introspective and emotionally driven movements interact with and morph the ever present aggression into something more human. Tracks like “Slave Morality” and “Heathen Reign” present new facets to All Pigs Must Die’s music that pander to more than just primal anger and disgust. Many of these passages are quite melancholy or even despairing in nature, bringing the listener to new lows while never losing intensity. Hostage Animal is more diverse and emotionally captivating than its predecessors and furthers the evolution and refinement of the band’s style. Strangely enough, this diversification actually helps to concentrate and hone the power of the album as a whole rather than dilute it. Every second sees this supergroup refreshed, recharged and ready to eradicate with every downtuned note and cavernous beat of the drums. Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studios has done a wonderful job of meticulously crafting the album’s sound so that every virulent twist and turn is easily discernible. The guitars are blistering and heavy, the drumming is clear and placed perfectly in the mix, and the vocals are like barbed wire twisting around the skin.

Experimentation without over-indulgence. Innovation without useless meandering. Pure brutality alongside rarely seen emotional catharsis. A showing of force and advancement in every way, All Pigs Must Die’s newest opus is as brilliant as it is insane. With three albums of such high caliber music, it is hard to see this group of heavyweight monsters stopping for breath anytime soon. Creative, visceral, and all-consuming, Hostage Animal is an ingenious display of hostility and deep disappointment in the human race.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin Cedotal
October 26th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Gibblets

    This is a great grind band.not death metal though.

  2. Commented by: Gibblets

    Also trap them is not defunct they are very much active.

  3. Commented by: Gibblets

    And Brian izzi is still in trap them

  4. Commented by: Daunte S Peak

    The final Trap Them show is next week. They’re no longer recording nor touring after that. I’d say that qualifies as defunct.

  5. Commented by: Jay

    Great band. These guys haven’t put out anything less than top-notch stuff from day one. Thanks to Izzi’s work here this record has some really nasty texture going on.

    And that last Trap Them album was killer. Alongside Ryan, Izzi is very much at the core of their sound and I couldn’t see him being out of the band. There’s no weak link in their discography and they are unstoppable live. I saw them on every tour up to and including Darker Handcraft. I’d love to see some of the Blissfucker/Crown Feral stuff live.

  6. Commented by: Jay

    Damn, that sucks Trap Them is coming to an end.

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