Album Review: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Land Of The Sleeper

PIGSx7 hammer their own brand of stoner metal into something sharp with the most focused record of their career

“What a time to be alive,” growls Matt Batty, only half ironically. Wherever Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs find themselves at album number four, it’s very different from wherever they started. 

Gone, now, are the 17-minute riff trips of 2017’s Feed The Rats, chiselled now into some of the sharpest-edges in the band’s history. Refining their once sprawling sound ever since Viscerals, here PIGSx7 channel the last six years into eight tracks that move at a run. More pessimistic than hedonistic, the excess has gone but the speakers are still shaking.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Ultimate Hammer (Official Video)

As hard to pigeonhole as they are to say, PIGSx7 hit a niche somewhere between the sub-genres of psychedelia, stoner metal, noise rock, doom and sludge – carving out their own circle pit with room-sized riffs and experimental stomp. As ever, Land Of The Sleeper is the sound of a storm endlessly breaking – an album that builds itself up and attacks in waves – but here the swell hits harder than we’re used to.

“This is how we survive”, spits ‘Big Rig’ at Motörhead speed, taking aim at “godforsaken English towns” with the kind of noise therapy that has always given PIGSx7 their fire, more so now than ever. Lashing out at everything beating them down (with flecks of eco-horror singeing the edges of ‘Atlas Stone’), Batty’s vocals deepen into dread. 

It’s an acid-washed menace that kills from the first cut – ‘Ultimate Hammer’ opening epic, slowing to a crawl and stopping completely before belting back as Sabbath resurrected. Tight as it is, there’s still plenty of room for reinvention. Brooding comedown centrepiece ‘The Weatherman’ feels like stumbling into a cult in the middle of a forest, with Bonnacons Of Doom’s Kate Smith leading a full choir in black mass. 

And all before ‘Mr Medicine’ hits back with the shortest, most accessible track on the album (and a love song, no less). As doom laden as Land Of The Sleeper is, the record also feels… fun. There’s a lot of old-school devil-horned pleasure to be found in the intensity of Adam Ian Sykes’ frenzied 70s space riffs, with a new campness cutting through the wading-waters like a polished axe. 

Crystalising everything old and new on the closer, ‘Ball Lightning’, Batty duets with trad folk vocalist Cath Tyler, intertwining anthems into a war cry that’s drowned out by its own guitars. The old PIGSx7 would have let the chant carry on for another quarter of an hour, but victory through suffocation is swapped out now for an eight-track cavalry charge.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs might have reigned in the repetition, but they’ve never hit harder. 

Released: 17 Feb 2023
Label: Rocket Recordings
On Tour: 25 February – 6 October 2023