Industrial Metal Purists Will Appreciate Pig’s New EP

Courtesy: Metropolis Records

Late last month, Raymond Watts, the mastermind behind pioneering industrial act <Pig> returned with his latest opus in the form of the 6-song EP Prey & Obey.  The record came roughly a month after the release of Pig’s latest re-mix record Swine & Punishment.  Needless to say going such a short time between records is a big gamble since it doesn’t give audiences much time to digest one record before the next.  That aside, Watts’ latest effort under the <Pig> proves over the course of its six songs to be a work that any industrial metal purist will appreciate.  That is due in part to the record’s songs (including their arrangements), which will be discussed shortly.  The songs’ lyrical content plays another pivotal part in the record’s presentation, too.  It will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  When it is joined with the previously noted elements, the whole of those items makes Prey & Obey a record that any industrial metal fan will be glad to own.

Raymond Watts’ latest <Pig> offering Prey & Obey is a record that any industrial metal purist will be glad to own.  Released June 16 via Metropolis Records, the 6-song EP’s foundation is formed through those songs in question.  Technically speaking, only three of those songs – its first three – are original.  The last three songs are re-mixes of the record’s title track and its follow-up, ‘Revelation.’  While the second half of the record is composed of re-worked versions of the originals, those re-mixes could easily be argued to be original in their own right, showing the importance of the songs’ arrangements.

The arrangements presented in each of Prey & Obey’s six tracks are critical to the record’s presentation because not one of the arrangements directly mirrors the others.  That is clearly evident, for instance, when comparing the title track’s original arrangement to those of its re-mixes.  The song’s original arrangement (or rather the final arrangement presented here vs. the demos), bears an easy comparison to works from Rammstein, which is one of so many bands worldwide that has gained its popularity by aping ’s sound.  At the same time, the song’s Leether Strip re-mix comes across more as something one might expect to hear from Juno Reactor (yet another act that rose to fame using ’s sound as an influence) with its EDM-centered arrangement.  Going even deeper, the song’s En Esh re-mix stands out just as much, establishing its own identity separate from the original mix and the Leether Strip re-mix.  That is because the arrangement presented here conjures thoughts (at least in this critic’s mind) of works that made Marilyn Manson a household name in the late 90s and early 2000s.  Simply put, the arrangement presented in this re-mix is completely different from that of the arrangement in the Leether Strip re-mix and that of the song’s original mix.  Keeping that in mind, it should be clear why the arrangements presented in this EP are so important to the record’s presentation.

As an additional explanation, the arrangements presented in ‘The Revelation’s’ original mix and its Z.Marr Electronic Mix are completely separate from one another.  Yet at the same time, one can easily make a comparison to works from Ministry in each arrangement.  This is even as the arrangements sound completely apart from one another.  One could even take the second arrangement and compare it to works from KMFDM, with whom Watts’ also worked early in his career, so it is only natural to hear that comparison.

If this is not enough of a comparison, one could easily compare the arrangement presented in ‘The Cult of Chaos’ to works presented in Nine Inch Nails’ landmark 1994 album The Downward Spiral, again showing the influence that Watts has had on the industrial realm throughout his career.  Keeping all of this in mind, it should be crystal clear why the songs presented in Prey & Obey are so critical to its overall presentation.  While only three of the record’s six songs may be technically originals, the re-mixes deserve their own attention, as they completely re-imagine their counterparts.  Even ‘the Cult of Chaos,’ the one song that did not receive a re-mix here, boasts its own original sound separate from those presented in each of the record’s other songs.  Keeping this in mind, the importance of the songs in this record and their arrangements is undeniable.  The songs and their arrangements are, collectively, not the record’s only important element.  The songs’ lyrical content is just as important to note as the songs and their arrangements.

The lyrical content presented in Prey & Obey is so critical to the record’s presentation because it comes across as being rather blatant.  The album’s very title track is solid proof of that with its clear commentary on organized religion.  Watts starts the song with a chorus yelling “Prey/Obey” as would a church’s congregation, before writing, “Look at the size of that monkey/Up on your back/Like a Jesus jerkin junky/I am the fly s*** will attract…wars/w****s/Apocalypse/Scores to settle/Fights to face.”  He continues on in the song’s second verse in similar fashion, expressing what come across as his own thoughts on the institution.

‘The Revelation’ is just as powerful as the record’s title track in its lyrical content with Watts writing, “We’ve got a social suicide/It’s comin’ tonight/With the germ of genocide…I had a vision of an afterlife/But I’ve seen it before/With the gift from the magic man/before he took it all/Now rise up for the revelation/Rise.”  He goes on to write in the song’s second verse, “A new apocalypse, a revelation/Bet youre doing it right…Jumpin’ Jesus is ***********.”  One need not go on from here.  It is clear that Watts has some very interesting commentary to share needless to say.  Of course, what he writes should be taken with a grain of salt, much like the songs crafted by Marilyn Manson for his 1996 album Antichrist Superstar.  Lyrically speaking, this shock rock record comes across in very similar fashion.  Keeping that in mind, the record’s lyrical content is certain to cause some stir, needless to say.  That attention that it is certain to bring plenty of discussion.  That certain discussion proves why the record’s lyrical content is so critical to the record’s whole.  It should be noted here that this critic does not endorse this record’s lyrical content by any means.  Its musical arrangements yes, but its lyrical content no.  Keeping that in mind, it would be wise to move on to the last of the record’s most important elements, its sequencing.

The sequencing of the songs featured in Prey & Obey is critical to the record’s whole because it keeps the record’s energy flowing from start to finish.  From the guitar-driven opening of the record’s title song and its ensuing solid time keeping to the thrash sound of ‘The Revelation’ to the much more brooding, guitar-driven arrangement of ‘the Cult of Chaos,’ the first half of this record easily ensures listeners’ engagement.  While the last of that trio is brooding in nature, it still is a forward-driving arrangement that keeps the record’s energy flowing in its own right.  The re-mixes that make up the record’s second half keep that energy flowing just as much with their arrangements.  That is the case even as the arrangements stand on their own merits separate from those presented in their counterparts.  Considering this, it is clear that much thought and time was put into the record’s sequencing.  That thought and time paid off, as it ensures just as much audiences’ continued engagement.  When joined with the thought put into the record’s chosen songs and their arrangements, the whole of the record’s presentation ensures it to be a work overall that, once again industrial metal purists will appreciate.

<Pig>’s latest studio effort Prey & Obey is a work that any industrial metal purist will appreciate.  That is due in part to its six-song body and their arrangements, each of which stand separate from one another, ensuring listeners’ enjoyment.  While three of the songs featured are re-mixes, the fact that the re-mixes give the originals their own new identity makes arguing them as their own original that much easier.  The songs’ lyrical content definitely is certain to create quite a bit of discussion among listeners.  Whether one agrees or disagrees with that content, the discussions that are certain to be generated from that content proves its importance just as much as the songs and their arrangements. The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the record’s elements.  The energy exuded in each song shows that much time and thought was put into the record’s sequencing, ensuring even more that previously noted maintained engagement. When all three elements are joined, they make the record in whole, once again, a whole that any industrial metal purist will appreciate.  It is available now online and in stores.  More information on Prey & Obey is available online now along with all of <Pig>’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pigindustries.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pigindustries

Twitter: http://twitter.com/raymondwatts

 

 

 

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Fear Factory adds one more to the list of 2012’s best metal albums

Static-X, Rammstein, and Spineshank are all some of the bigger names in today’s world of industrial metal.  But if not for Fear Factory, none of those bands–or any other for that matter–likely would have become as famous as they are.  Fear Factory broke industrial metal through as an acceptable standard with the release of its 1992 debut album, “Soul of a New Machine.”  The band built a worldwide fan base from there on, with albums centered on stories of man versus machine.  Now two decades later, Fear Factory continues to pave the way as a leader in both the industrial metal community and the metal community as a whole despite both changes in labels and band members.  Fans will hear that loud and clear on June 5th with the release of the band’s eighth album, “The Industrialist.”

“The Industrialist” is one of Fear Factory’s best album’s to date.  Just as the band’s previous release, “Mechanize” has been compared to “Soul of a New Machine”, “The Industrialist” is easily compared to another of the band’s mega hit albums, “Demanufacture.”  The two albums are very similar both musically and lyrically.  While it doesn’t go the exact same route of man vs. machine, “The Industrialist” does take the route of man using machine to destroy himself and wipe himself off the face of the Earth.  Fans who pick up the special expanded edition of the album will get the full story written by frontman Burton C. Bell in a companion booklet.  The band’s website, http://www.feafactory.com also offers a trailer that explains the premise behind the album’s story.  It’s all the more motivation to pick up the expanded edition and get the entire story behind the album.

Musically, the album is just as crushing not only as “Demanufacture”, but as anything that Fear Factory has written.  The album’s opener sets the tone for what’s to come with its title track.  It’s clearly old school Fear Factory.  From the guitars to the bullet sharp work of new drummer Mike Heller, this track alone will bring out fond feelings of nostalgia among all Fear Factory fans.  As precise as his drumming is here–and throughout the album–one wouldn’t even know that Raymond Herrera wasn’t the man behind the kit.  Another of those moments comes in ‘Depraved Mind Murder.’  Heller’s work on the drums is just as tight on this song.  Of course, he isn’t the only one who impresses.  Vocalist Burton C. Bell and guitarist Dino Cazares have seemingly mended their fences.  And the pair are a force to be reckoned with.  Bells vocals are as strong as ever on ‘Recharger’ and ‘Depraved Mind Murder.’ 

“The Industrialist” is a top notch album from Fear Factory.  The entire band works like…well…a well oiled machine (yes that’s a bad pun).  However, as great as the band works together, the people behind the glass played a hand in the album’s creation, too.  Back on board again is long time producer Rhys Fulber (Frontline Assembly).  Fulber has had his hand on nearly every one of Fear Factory’s records.  That familiarity with the band obviously played a major role in how impressive “The Industrialist” turned out.  Greg Reely (Paradise Lost, Machine Head) mixed the album.  The combination of two such accomplished individuals made for quite the expectations from this album.  And the album more than lived up to said expectations.  Add in the album artwork of Anthony Clarkson (Devin Townsend), and long time fans of Fear Factory will have on June 5th, what is some of Fear factory’s best work to date.

The band is currently on tour in support of its upcoming tour, alongside Shadows Fall on the “Noise in The Machine” tour.  It will be in Winston-Salem tonight at Ziggy’s.  Fans can keep up with the band’s full tour itinerary and more on the band’s website, http://www.fearfactory.com, its Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fearfactory, and on its Twitter page, http://twitter.com/fear_factory.