Blessing The Hogs The Twelve Gauge Solution

First off, kudos must be given to the ridiculously heavy production on this disc. Each hit on the toms is the equivalent of a torpedo volley, and the guitars are rich and full-bodied to the point of perfection. Production this consistent and appropriate for the music has been lacking in metal and hardcore for quite some time. Continuing on, this release is essentially a battering ram of one vicious groove after another, with the tension slightly diluted by a couple of strangely placed cover tunes. There is a clever sense of off-time swing present on occasion reminiscent of Coalesce’s more angular moments, and more than a few Mastodon-isms, especially in the vocals. As if to claim a seal of approval for their not-so-subtle homage, Coalesce front-man Sean Ingram appears on a couple of tracks, and despite the similarities between the two acts, is immediately distinguishable. Blessing the Hogs’ shortcoming lies in the listener’s rare complaints of monotony — the groove, not unlike sludgy acts like Crowbar or Eyehategod, can occasionally wear a bit thin due to the lack of tempo variation. On the whole, this is a consistent, and without a doubt, relentless debut. (Goodfellow)