Skin The Pig – Article XIX [2011]

Band: Skin The Pig
Album: Article XIX
Release year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Sludge Metal/Metalcore

Skin The Pig are a Manchester-based six-piece who play a mixture of Progressive Metal and Hardcore. Formed in 2000, they have since released their latest effort “Article XIX” in March 2011 and have been hailed by fans and critics alike.

It is apparent from the very outset that the album is incredibly well produced, the sound clarity being excellent and mix being just right. This is particularly apparent in the drumming, which sounds like it’s been recorded onto water a la Metalocalypse, and is clearer than polished mountain air. The guitar work sounds just as excellent whether the task is an ambient, clean passage, a crushing, chugging riff or a swooping solo. The vocals are handled brilliantly. There’s nothing to be asked for in the production department at all.

The songwriting ability of Skin The Pig is, for the most part, excellent. The beautiful ambient passages and grooving, sludgy riffs are a joy to listen to. However, it is a frustration for your humble reviewer whenever they incorporate their “Hardcore” edge into the songs. In some cases, it works, but, for example, the use of a breakdown at the end of “I Rise, You Fall” seems completely unnecessary. I can’t help feeling that the songs would be improved by scaling back on the use of fairly unoriginal Metalcore elements in favour of their more progressive approach. I’m sure the style will appeal to many, and if you like Metalcore more than anything else in the whole world then this album will be great for giving you that bit of musical variation. That said, the use of the Metalcore sound is justified on “Yet Nameless”, as the contrast emphasises the solo work and the groove of the more sludgy parts. The songs on which a more Mastodon-like sound is incorporated are the more enjoyable, from my point of view, as they feel so much more like the band is showing off its real talent. And although I can’t help feeling reminded of Bullet for My Valentine for the first three minutes of “Room 121,” the lyrical content is resolutely great.

However, it must be said that the musicianship is Phenomenal. The band has more talent than a greedy ancient Egyptian tax collector. The soloing is incredible, particularly on tracks like “In Loving Memory” and “Factory Factory,” and the drumming on “No Man’s Land” is eargasmic.  The way that the band play as a whole makes me think that they must be a brilliant band to see live, and that is something I certainly plan on doing.

I think that Article XIX is a solid album by a great band. I hope to hear more of them in the future, and I know that there will be hundreds of fans of this style, and it really is a great example. Definitely check it out if you’ve always dreamt that one day Lamb of God would meet Mastodon, get to know them and eventually have a screaming child together.

3.9/5

Alasdair Dunn of Norderobring

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One Response to “Skin The Pig – Article XIX [2011]”

  1. Good review. Skin the Pig are awesome!!

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