PIG – The Gospel (2016)
Full disclosure: PIG gives me a lardon. I’ve had a hard spot for the Lord of Lard ever since I heard of his sleazy cavorting with KMFDM which began in 1986. Coincidentally, my favourite KMFDM records all feature Raymond Watts. His work as PIG is mind-blowing, an ever altering expanse of infinite sounds. You simply never know whats around the corner, and I love that.
Last year brought us news that Watts was working on new music – what yielded was the incredible Compound Eyes Sessions with Cubanate’s Marc Heal (PIG vs MC Lord of the Flies). Released on the wonderful Armalyte Industries label, the CD quickly sold out and has become a treasure for those who possess it. Shortly after that came Long in the Tooth, the collaboration with industrial conglomerate Primitive Race, which turned out to contain the best tracks released under the Primitive Race moniker. Furthermore, Armalyte Industries also released a Judda compilation album, Total Fucking War, which contained a handful of PIG remixes. So, 2015 had a fair amount of bacon to chew on.
2016 gifts us The Gospel.The first new PIG album since Pigmata in 2005.
Previewed by The Diamond Sinners single released earlier this year, The Gospel is thoroughly satisfying and does not disappoint. Its quintessentially PIG, containing that confident swagger and sexual darkness that have been trademarks since day one. This album bleeds quality from every pore and its quite clear that this is not a bog standard industrial-rock-by-numbers album. The bells chime on “The Diamond Sinners”, the crunchy slow burning beats burn and then Watts’s crooning goth-like vocals kick in. Its beautiful and special. The songwriting on this album is incredible, huge melody after huge melody, exemplified by tracks like the blistering “Found In Filth” or the goose-bumpingly great anthem “Missing The Mainline”. There’s an updated version of the awesome “Drugzilla” from the aforementioned Compound Eye Sessions release. “I’m So Wrong” has an excellent electro-rock groove and is another highlight. The album closes with two fairly restrained PIG tracks, “Mercy Murder” and “Make Yourself Deny” see Watts letting the music breathe a bit and showcasing a more accessible PIG sound.
Perhaps not as dark as say Sinsation, my favourite PIG album, The Gospel differentiates itself from prior albums by perhaps not being quite as industrial, but by having a much improved production value – this is probably the best sounding PIG album of all. Concurrently, this is also probably the most accessible PIG album. Overall, The Gospel is an excellent and essential release from a scene great. Very highly recommended.