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New songs are astonishing; first EP is just... meh - 75%

MutantClannfear, June 21st, 2013

This is a downright frustrating release, possibly one of the most frustrating I've ever listened to. Not because it's outright bad in any way, but because it's got two absolutely amazing songs with five mediocre ones lined up right after it. It's like if I bought a single DVD copy of Hot Busty Babes and nothing else, and then as a free gift, the distro sent me volumes 1-35 of Hairy Bear Salami Lairs. It's... frustrating.

Gushing Orgasms 2 is marketed as an EP just about everywhere I've seen it, but it's more like a compilation as far as I can tell - it's got two entirely new songs from the band plus all of the songs from their first EP, Contamination of Whores. The first two songs are pretty brief and add up to maybe six and a half minutes mixed together, which is outright depressing as it's literally some of the best slam/deathcore to ever exist. Raped by Pigs aren't slam/deathcore in the usual sense; they don't mix regular brutal death metal with a deathcore guitar tone and impotent slams. No, this is a full-on commitment to the concept, with pretty much an equal division between slam and deathcore in the band's sound. Counting them up, there are more breakdowns than slams, and the slams that are here are usually infused with the melodies from the deep, heavy buzzes of tremolo that deathcore bands usually use for riffs. Those types of riffs are present here as well, and they're fucking great - not really as deep as most deathcore riffs tend to be, but they still have that uniquely haunting sense of melody about them. The vocals are mostly filthy inhaled slurps, sort of like Don Campan from early Waking the Cadaver but with a lot more variation, and a vaguely Angel Ochoa-like drain gurgle. Occasionally "gang squeals" of multiple vocal tracks will back up the main track, which works a lot better than it probably sounds based on that description.

What's really great about these new tracks is the sense of atmosphere they have. They use a fair share of blast beats but the tracks aren't just fast parts with slow parts to pad them out - the momentum's carried excellently throughout entire songs and even the band's goofy, absurdly drawn-out breakdowns carry a lot of pacing with them. I also love the production of the whole thing, which gives off a really distinct atmosphere - the guitars are unusually sparse in the mix, not really being as brickwalled as most deathcore bands seem to prefer, but simultaneously clean and capable of carrying weight when the band need to chug. This leaves a lot of space for the music to breathe, and the band fill it up by putting insane amounts of reverb on the drums and the backing vocals. The end result is that the music feels wet - it's very distinctly swampy and damp, and doesn't act as a disadvantage by doing so either. It's an interesting sound, possibly more unique and atmospheric than anything else I've heard from a straight-out band playing either slam or deathcore, and certainly a lot more unique of a presentation than you'd expect from a band called "Raped by Pigs". In short, "Gushing Inner Core" and "Sores of Affliction" are easily two of the best slam/deathcore songs to date, and quite possibly some of the best that either genre has had to offer so far in the 2010s.

The Contamination of Whores material is... less stellar. It's still recognizable as Raped by Pigs material, but it's much less refined and isn't really indicative in any way of the sort of quality that's present on the first two songs of this release. Hearing this, I wouldn't have ever believed these guys were going to put out something so brilliant just two years later. The songs here sound a lot more directly influenced by Waking the Cadaver, especially in the vocals (the inhaled slurps here are a lot more absurdly wet and croaky, and not in a good way) and the slams, which manage to capture the New Jersey type of "wiggery" beatdown hardcore influence pretty well. There's also a bit of goregrind-type groove mixed into the melodies and rhythms, which sounds odd on paper but it seems like a fair number of bands accidentally stumble into it while trying to do the slam/deathcore thing.

These five songs suffer from a number of issues, sadly. For one, they all threaten to breach - or actually do breach - the four-minute mark, which is really just way too long for something generally as aimless as slam death metal or deathcore. The songwriting isn't nearly as memorable as the first two songs, and often just feels kind of arbitrarily stapled together to reach a certain track length. There are these stupid growls that just sort of sound like bored moans of exasperation, which were thankfully apparently purged from the band's repertoire later on. The guitar tone isn't as remarkable, nor are the riffs or breakdowns being played by the guitarists. Aside from that, the whole thing is just really fucking goofy - the band sound absolutely confident that the pig squeals they utilize are the greatest fucking thing ever, so they're spread all over just about everything. And, I mean, come the fuck on - they cut a one-minute section out of one song, sans vocals, and added it as a new track called "Karaoke Slam". It's downright embarrassing.

So, would I recommend this? Well, if you're a fan of either slam or deathcore, the first two songs here are absolutely essential and are easily worth the price of admission, considering that they're basically the sole reason why I haven't given up on the concept of slam death metal/deathcore hybrids yet. I hear the band have a full-length in the works, and if it sounds like this then it'll easily be one of the best albums to come out in a good five years or so. The Contamination of Whores material isn't bad - really, the only reason I was so critical towards it earlier is because it's juxtaposed with a couple of absolute masterpieces - but after listening to something as badass as "Sores of Affliction" you'll ultimately feel underwhelmed by it. It's not terrible or anything, so don't let it dissuade you from buying this. Besides, believe me when I say you have to hear these first two fucking songs.