As I arrived at the Underworld I took a picture of the venue’s marquee to share it with my friend. A social media reflex I shared with another man next to me to keep proof of that special night. All Pigs Must Die‘s first trip to Europe was awaited for already two years since the band announced, and then cancelled, a show at the first edition of the Temples Festival in Bristol. Since then, many fans were waiting for the band to make the much promised trip but we all knew it wasn’t easy with Ben Koller‘s (Converge) busy schedule. However, despite releasing a new album with Mutoid Man, the drummer extraordinaire has brought his friends to give London a taste of the APMD fury.
I missed most of Quiet Man‘s set but arrived in time to experience, for a second time in a few month, the fury that is Throats. The now fully reformed quintet has not lost its passion for volume, as proven by the guitarist’s Om shirt and the singer’s SunnO))) shirt. After only four years of absence, the teenagers now all look like adults but play with the same passion. Mixing Converge‘s chaos with Napalm Death‘s speed, they go through the same set that in the Temple’s fest, and maybe also in Paris in 2010, with a complete disregard for sound clarity.
The drummer hits hard but every other musician plays with careless abandon, hitting the notes closely enough to make the song’s come to life. The crowd doesn’t seem to impress but there is much to love here. Now that every musician can learn to play perfectly via play through video, everybody can become a tech wizard which takes away from the original feeling of band’s like Converge, Coalesce or legendary band’s like Employer, Employee. For me, it’s a relief to see that some band’s still value emotion over technical skills. Now, if they could write some more material…
All Pigs Must Die
Since Krokodil cancelled, it’s now time to see if APMD’s music is worth the hype. Formed by members of Bloodhorse, Converge and The Hope Conspiracy, the « super-group » has built quite a reputation since the release of their first EP in 2010. The band’s first proper album, God is war, came out in 2011 to much critical and fan acclaim, and it seemed that things became more serious two years after when they signed to Southern Lord and released their sophomore album. Sadly, I had started to loose a bit of faith as the material was a bit too monotone for my taste. Still, I had some hope left and I am happy to say that my faith was completely renewed after this set.
After a somewhat slow, but pitch perfect start with the title track of their first album, the following songs were played with the same tightness but a sort of lack of involvement. Things were a bit different in the pit however and the crowd went madder and madder, while still remaining respectful to one another. Perhaps it is that devotion or just a need for the musicians to get into their zone, but they stopped playing after four songs and started to really perform. Not only were the songs violent but theband oozed the same aggressivity that matched the crowd’s intensity.
It is quite ironic that a band focused on denouncing the absurdity of religion would conjure the same devotion. Through their performance they reminded the faithful that religion is not about a god but the social bond, a connection that metal and hardcore fans knows well when they pick up fallen strangers from the floor or pat each other on the back after a very intense song. All Pigs Must Die inspired all of this, the violence, the punches and the smiles on people’s face. More than hour of songs later, they not only proved that they were a band to reckon with but also that their latest material was as as good, if not better suited for live shows, than the first album. Truly, the kind of shows people will talk about for a long, long time.