If you’ve been with <PIG> since the beginning then the natural progression of this awesome Electro/Industrial/Glam project has been the absolute best rollercoaster to ride on, especially with the recent second coming phase. However, if The Gospel and subsequent current outings haven’t been your cuppa then my best advice is that you’d best scurry back to the fold and beg for forgiveness because all you non-believers are about ready to bear witness to a more even keeled, well-rounded, and fine tuned incarnation of <PIG>.
But I digress.
“We are the pure/The Chosen Few/And all the rest are damned/There’s room enough in hell for you/We don’t want heaven crammed/WITH THE LIKES OF YOU!”
And with that opening statement of intent from Raymond Watts, the newest <PIG> is off and squealing. That sinister snarl, the sexy swagger, the chugging riffs breaking through sultry synthetic strings…yep, “The Chosen Few” definitely hearkens back to those nostalgic for the Sinsation and Wrecked sound of yore. But before you call Watts out for relying on some old tricks, know that Risen is more of an ultimate <PIG> album overall rather than a retread of past peaks.
Take “Morphine Machine” which, much like I mentioned during our review of The Gospel, is not that dissimilar from recent Marilyn Manson (Former MM bassist/collaborator Tim Skold also appears on this track) recordings with the way that Watts has grown into his role as an elder statesman within the Industrial scene (Whether he likes it or not). And like Manson in that regard, <PIG> tunes don’t all have to be cut from the same cloth as “Hot Hole” and “Contempt” and can STILL be just as potent and visceral. Another example of that musical maturity is “Loud, Lawless & Lost” which begins like “Thriller” (We ain’t talking “Serial Killer Thriller” either) then struts itself right into that aforementioned swagger as the track morphs into a “For The Love Of Money”-style ditty with Watts’ uncanny voice switching between alluring and alarming from one verse to the next.
Those familiar with the recent Prey & Obey EP should recognize “The Revelation” although on Risen we get a slightly enhanced version with the “Misinterpretation Mix”. Perfectly segueing from the evil “Truth Is Sin” refrain that ends that track comes the aptly titled “Truth Is Sin”, which also happens to be the first single from Risen. This one here is all sexy and anthemic and hypnotic with that repeated refrain of the song title and GODAMMIT it’s so refreshing that PIG is still so indescribable! Especially here. By combining that aesthetic of later recordings with a solemn bass line buzzing underneath Watts’ subdued delivery, the only way to really describe the track is as “Pure <PIG>”.
“The Vice Girls” is built around a droning guitar and becomes a hymnal with some chunky riffage throughout while Prey’s “Rise & Repent (Descent Mix)” has been retooled to resemble a railroad song of the 19th Century with a <PIG> spin on it. And to keep listeners on the edge of their seats there’s “Leather Pig” next which is Industrial incarnate with almost a KMFDM vibe mixed with Judas Priest (Or more appropriately, Rob Halford’s 2wo project).
Honestly, though? “Prey & Obey” was perfect the first time around but the “Disobey Mix” here on Risen does mesh it in well with the aesthetic of the rest of the album. Same with “The Cult of Chaos” which is, hands down, one of the most interesting <PIG> songs to happen since the project’s inception in 1988 and easily the stand out track when originally released on Prey & Obey. Within Risen it comes off even more haunting, putting a hold on listeners to enrapture them even further into the diverse sonic landscape of <PIG>.
Risen arises through Metropolis Records on June 8th. Pre-orders are up now and can be perused and purchased by clicking here or here. There is also a limited edition vinyl version of the album available by clicking here. For the latest from the Lord of the Lard, head on over to his official socials on Instagram and Facebook. But if you’re looking for live performances in 2018 then your ONLY chance to see the man in action is at the record release on June 9th in London. That’s right, kiddies! His only show of the year! Check those aforementioned socials for all the deets for that gig, including how to get tickets and who else will be performing in the band alongside the already announced En Esch, The Sisters Of Mercy’s own Ben Christo, and Vincent Velazco.