Barrows released a promo aptly titled Swine Race Promo which sported two tracks that are featured on this here full length. The name of the two tracks that appear are titled “Child of Matricide” and “Breaking Wheel”. The other seven songs are new of course as they were not put on the promo. The full length Swine Race was released on the 21st of August. Swine Race features nine songs that are pretty much the equivalent of a flamethrower being aimed at your head, then having said flamethrower spit its scorching flames all over you leaving you in a melting mass of bone and flesh.
Barrows plays a bone jarring style of deathgrind. And to be fair I think bone jarring may be putting it lightly. It seems as though Barrows set out to destroy your life with this music and lay waste to anything and everything else that my be in the same vicinity as you.
A lot of death metal bands try to incorporate some melodious moments into their music to create kind of a breathing space in the music and to create some variety in what the listener is hearing. Not that there isn’t any variety here because there is, but there are not any melodic moments. No moments where the songs break down into some ambient noises or clean singing or any of that. Swine Race begins like an atomic bomb and finishes that way as well.
When an album puts you through the ringer, the band should feel proud of what they have done. Barrows puts you through the ringer with Swine Race, and once you are done with one listen they haul you back into the ring for round two.
The assault and battery of your ears begins as soon as “Child of Matricide” begins and the pummeling doesn’t cease. As I said above, the music is jarring and is made to rattle your bones. Barrows plays at mach one with great precision. They hit all of your death metal nerves infecting your brain with heavy riffs and skull shattering blast beats. The riffs are eyebrow singeing giving you plenty to headbang to. Riffs as heavy and fast as these need to be paired with drums that are equally heavy and equally as fast, and that is what Barrows supplies. While the riffs get you in a frenzy the drums pummel and strike you on the side of the head like a baseball bat. The entirety of the musicianship is on point and the stop-start ability that Barrows possesses is something that I’m sure many death metal and grind fans will find appealing.
There is something that truly is sinister and filthy about Barrows. And the maelstrom way in which they play is enough to make anyone go insane. Playing at break neck speed is generally just a saying, but with Barrows I think it was taking literally. And as they applied that to their music, it certainly is neck breaking.