Melvins / Lustmord Pigs of the Roman Empire

While the Melvins / Jello Biafra Never Breath What You Can't See collaboration faltered under the weight of Biafra’s personality and influence, relegating the Melvins to little more than sub-standard backing band status (strange considering the Melvins’ just as vital legacy and the fact that they are still relevant musically today, unlike Biafra), Pigs of the Roman Empire is more true to the collaborative spirit. Teaming up with "electronic genius” Lustmord (SPK, Throbbing Gristle), Pigs of the Roman Empire still feels like a Melvins album, because despite the ambient, atmospheric experimentation, eerie horror movie like builds and looping Middle Eastern-influenced tracks, the Melvins have been throwing in "experimental” asides into their full-lengths for years. Not to mention releasing occasionally unlistenable full-lengths. Still, there are less Melvins’ "rock songs” on Pigs, with the notable exceptions being "The Bloated Pope,” "Pink Bat” and "Safety Third”), while the epic 22-plus-minute title tracks features leviathan-like calls, dock-like clangs, numerous other pulsing atmospherics and a metal riff not far removed from the main of Soundgarden’s "Outshined,” all before the ten-minute mark. Thankfully, Buzz actually sings on some of it (if not enough of it), while Tool’s Adam Jones contributes guitar. Closer to a "normal” Melvins release than you’d expect from the vast amount of experimentation, Pigs will have to do until the proper follow-up to Hostile Ambient Takeover. (Ipecac)