Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Day Of Pigs

Anyone who has never checked out A Day Of Pigs that is into sludgy metal has to get their head out of the swamp and get this New Jersey band's first full length, Lecherous. This five piece outfit, comprised of Kevin LeBlanc (Vocals), Steve Silberg (Guitar), Bill Belford (Drums), the surname missing TJ (Bass) and newest member Pat Sheridan also on guitar spend their days swishing and swaggering to a steady helping of sludge.

In 2006, ADOP released a 4 song EP entitled The Oath. While a valiant effort, The Oath was a tired soldier. Containing a different lineup than currently, a second guitarist listed as RFDS is noted. While Lecherous leans towards sludge, this early EP is rooted in the a more hardcore direction with sludgy undertones. The move toward an even sludgier direction was incredibly beneficial.

Opening song "Through Time," lacks energy and a captivating opening riff. LeBlanc's vocals are buried and his excellent rasp hidden. While the song is competently composed, there is no real hook to cling to except a single riff one minute into the song providing an obfuscatous essence to a mostly hollow husk.

"My Dying Rose" is even less engaging. Though the song does have a nice insidious riffs with which to wallow with, the entirety of the rest of the song is shallow and unappetizing. Much like wading through waves of fecal debris, even the crests in this song provide little escape from the troughs.

"Black Cobra" must have been written at a later date from these two previous songs. For one thing, it recognizes the effect tension and a constant building progression can have upon a listener. The subtle play of melody and a heavy hitting core this composition has makes it the most complete and mature song on the album.

Final song, "Forever My Dead," also has a more mature essence. Roughly half-way through there is a riff that hints towards a love of Slowly We Rot, Obituary though not nearly as effortless. While the Florida masters reaped their harvest of slow and destructive with an unmistakable talent for crushing cultivation, ADOP haven't quite sowed their fields properly.

The Oath has ideas and a firm musical ground on which they were meant to be built however this EP, sadly, comes off as sounding amateurish. Luckily, Lecherous, showed a much improved and more mature band. In 2007 ADOP returned...

Released by Spare Change Records on November 13th, Lecherous, while maintaining some hardcore and doom leanings piled on the sludge thicker and heavier than its middle school predecessor. A Day of Pigs, in a single release crushed their EP hands (and mud-covered-boots) down. Kevin LaBlanc's vocals are more prevalent, Meat's guitar tone is both more nasty and tasty, and instead of a clean, badly mixed bass, Holly's (apparently TJ did not play bass on this recording) rougher, not-quite-Lemmy-but-dirtier-than-Geddy, tone was very pleasing.

From the first minutes of Lecherous, a noted change can be felt in the attention to detail: more courageous uses of melody, more complete and riveting songwriting and a seeming ease for creating compelling hooks without resorting to the trend of clean sung vocals. A Day of Pigs, while forging ahead with more adept songmanship bucked the cliches off their backs.

Also offered is an increase in the "metal." Whereas The Oath was somewhat light in having blatant metal inspired riffs, Lecherous embraces the metal so much so that some songs sound as if written by a Dio possessed ADOP. "Pikey" sounds so Cathedral like that I had to check to see if I had somehow switched my Cd player to my cassette deck and somehow left "Soul Sacrifice" inside. "Way To Go Fuckface" and "In The Crease" also lay down the metal as thick as the sludge.

Also present are two instrumental tracks entitled 665 and 667 respectively. At first I was wondering where 666 was and then I found myself wondering where these instrumentals came from. 665 is actually beautiful and stunning, a pool of clean water amongst the industrial leakage and blackened grime embraced by the rest of the songs.

Though a sevenfold better album than their previous EP, Lecherous still has a copious amount of filler and forgettable material. I found the inclusion of My Dying Rose from the EP to be a terrible choice. Inferior to even the worst of the newer songs, it was wasted time. Regardless, with such a massive improvement in every area, I am sure a new album will be even better and more precise than Lecherous.

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