With their new album Armagammon, the South African band Boargazm have reached the end of their Aporkalypse trilogy. A twisted sci-fi narrative accompanied by comic books, it tells the story of a rebel band of time-travelling freedom fighters known as “The Pig Whisperers”, who warn the world of the impending Aporkalypse, through the Baconing, all the way to Armagammon.
And if that sounds like some weird fun, wait ’til you hear this new album. As the band’s founder Heine van der Walt has explained: “We wanted to shift our focus on doing something highly experimental and weird, yet true to our sound. So, lots of freneticism, while still retaining groove, and to see if we can balance that in a coherent method. It was a fun exercise and experience, figuring out how to do all that.”
That quote gets at the heart of what makes the album so much mind-boggling fun. The absurdly compulsive grooves are hard enough to inflict neck trauma, but the music is also unabashedly and elaborately weird. Even the grooves become weird. And a significant part of the weirdness derives from the stylistic hybridization that happens along the way, as the bring together elements of Nu-metal and hardcore, death metal and industrial, spiced up with off-planet electronics and terrifyingly macabre vocals.
In the tale of the album, Heine van der Walt explains:
“It’s the final chapter in our Aporkalypse trilogy, so it leans heavily on the fiction side of things, how the Pig Whisperers have now amassed an army, traveling through space in their ship called Epsilon, and crash landing on the planet Omikron, which is the planet of execution ruled by the pig-lords, and how they escape death to infiltrate a banquet and assassinate these alien overlords.”
“Epsilon” introduces the listener to this loony new narrative with a rough bludgeoning that also connects with the band’s sci-fi interests. The drums ruthlessly batter; the riffs administer an ugly lead-weighted scourging with a brutish pulse; the vocals sound like a beast growling and snarling from a throat nearly choked with blood and bone. But in addition to that, the song includes freakish screaming eruptions, eerie insectile skittering; red-throated yells, and a wailing, swirling, and darting guitar solo that sounds exultant — but also strange.
All these sensations become head-spinning, aided by the channel separation among the song’s riotous instrumental layers. The many pulses within the music are viscerally potent, provoking reflexive movement, but Boargazm make it a freak-out too. By the end, it also sounds menacing as well as crazed.
And from there, Boargazm repeatedly prove their affection for music that both jump-starts the heart with insidiously infectious grooves and maniacally fucks with your head. Those near-industrial grooves are often as heavy as battering rams or the rhythmic detonation of megaton bombs, while the head-fuckery takes place mainly in the high end, where shrill string-mutilations occur, producing sounds of screeching, quivering, and jittery madness.
Of course, the vocals are an important part of the head-fuckery too. Sometimes they sound like a crocodile greedily guzzling a new kill; sometimes like something enraged that’s being strangled by something even angrier; sometimes like a rabid lion warning off competitors from its territory; sometimes like a crazed bird barking (if birds could bark).
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to envision mosh pits being driven into sweat-drenched tumult by these songs. On the other hand, you can also imagine moshers suddenly stumbling, wondering what to do next, when the band segue into some kind of wailing or warbling alien weirdness. “Bleed Like A Stuck Pig” is a prime example of that, where funky bass lines and off-kilter drum patterns link arms with strange guitar manifestations that seem like astral radiations (and convulsions). Something similarly wondrous happens in “Battle Fry“, which is also home to a beautifully fluid and uplifting guitar solo.
But there are many other examples of Boargazm‘s fiendish glee in keeping people off-balance. You might want to bounce like a marionette during “Bangers and Hash” and then get brought up short by the song’s odd but still infectious electronic beats, which sound both tribal and futuristic. And the way the rapidly bursting vocals go higher and higher in their savage lunacy just adds to that song’s demented appeal.
There’s really nothing sane about any of the tracks.They’re all bewildering in different ways, one might even say schizoid. Yet you’ll realize that all the oddly moving parts (including the berserk vocals) are connected in machine-precise fashion. That feeling of mechanized integration, and the regularly groove-some nature of the songs, makes the unhinged freak-outs (like the shrieking guitar solo during “Ripped In Two“) all the more dazzling. (P.S. If the inventive snare beat that surfaces in that song doesn’t hook your head like a spike, we’ll be surprised.)
Well, we’ve probably already over-done the near-track-by-track commentary. At this point maybe it’s enough to say that every song is packed with surprises, both compulsively body-moving and also downright bizarre. And although the grooves can be damned thuggish and the vocals usually scary as shit, all these songs, dare we say, are joyous! It sounds like all these miscreants had a lot of adventurous fun putting it together, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to hear.
For the recording of the album Heine van der Walt (Vocals, Writer, Founder) was joined by Chris van der Walt (Guitar, Producer), Jason Hinch (Drums), Cicero Carstens (Bass), and Dale McHardy (Guitar).
Explore the links for more info about the album and how to stream and acquire it.
As a TX guy you know the Feral swine is not amusing since some diseases can be transmitted to us other animals and possibly humans. Other risks posed by Boargazm include attacks on individuals or collisions with vehicles and aircraft.! Also !