Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs: Land of Sleeper review – doom rockers refine mind-bending sound

With repeated rhythmic blows and pulsing bass licks, the Newcastle band amplify the volume on their fourth album and keep listeners entrenched in their heady cosmos

Newcastle’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are an anomaly within the heavy metal universe. They’ve seemingly entranced just as many long-haired head-bangers as they have BBC Radio 6 Music listeners who think Machine Head is the name of the car dealership down the road. Perhaps it’s because their Black Sabbath-esque doom riffs make them accessible to anyone who has overlooked the past few decades worth of hard rock history. It may be due to the fact that their aggression frequently dissipates into softer psychedelia. Either way, it’s undeniable that the band’s fourth album Land of Sleeper will keep listeners entrenched in their heady cosmos.

The artwork for Land of Sleeper
The artwork for Land of Sleeper Photograph: PR handout

The follow-up to 2020’s aptly titled Viscerals amplifies the volume of its predecessor. Ultimate Hammer bludgeons with repeated, rhythmic blows and muddy guitars looping atop a drum fill from Ewan Mackenzie, who is returning to the fold after a five-year break. Even more direct is lead single Mr Medicine, a two-and-a-half-minute stoner/speed metal cut lifted from a parallel universe where Motörhead preferred cannabis to amphetamines.

Simultaneously, Pigs remain unafraid to venture outside their comfort zone. The Weatherman is a trip that arrives at a nightmarishly distorted destination: with its pulsing bass lick, screeching feedback and ominous chants, it sounds like it could have been a leftover from Jerry Goldsmith’s score for The Omen.

Ultimately, Land of Sleeper is neither a departure nor a disappointment. Instead, over 40 minutes, it refines the sound of Pigs x7 and highlights the band’s strengths – presenting an unsparing induction into their mind-bending sonic vortex.


Matt Mills

The GuardianTramp

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