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Pig Destroyer - Book Burner Award winner

Pig Destroyer
Book Burner
by Tom Coles at 11 October 2012, 9:29 PM

To me, Grindcore has always been the first step along the way of the experimental side of extreme Metal – the intensity has always appealed to me, taken to the absolutes that Metal has always dreamed of – any further and we begin to tread the realm of industrial noise, which often looses the sheer fury that Grindcore holds so dear. Being for many the logical conclusion of decades of Metal becoming more and more extreme, PIG DESTROYER stand as stalwarts of the genre, and rightly so – few other modern Grind bands marry sheer intensity with musicality and the experimental aspects so deftly displayed here.

PIG DESTROYER are notable in their niche genre for their attitudes to songwriting, and “Book Burner”is a new advancement in mature Grind – it fizzles with concepts, riffs and ideas; above all, there’s a huge sense of creativity in the chaos that they’ve created. The product is intense first and foremost, but by no means is it one-dimensional. Gone are the days of the early NAPALM DEATH demos (wonderful though they are) where bands would try and out-do one another – this is an album created by musicians who are exploring their own interests for their own sakes. There are some fascinating musical flourishes, particularly the use of counterpoint from the cymbal work contrasting with the aggression and the stop-start rhythms adding a disjointed, jarring element. Notable also is the use of samples that add to the intellectualism and nihilism of the proceedings. There are also some killer riffs, a notable personal favourite being “Permanent Funeral”. It is refreshing to see a band that could so easily be a tech-orientated band break from that and concentrate on the originality of the individual songs.

Whilst the review is primarily for the music, some editions will be bundled with a short story written by the band’s own J.R Hayes, and I feel that it is important to take the presentation as a whole. The story, named “The Atheist”, concerns a dystopia near-future in which America elects a far-right extreme Christian as its’ President, and follows an atheist, Andy Deacon, who escapes their regime and begins a new life in the wilderness. As an English student I could go on at length, but its relation to the album is that it’s a story of resistance to oppression and the strength of the individual against a corrupt state. The album isn’t a concept album as such, but the impression from the book carries on throughout the album – I’d definitely recommend reading the story first. There’s a particular line where Andy narrowly escapes death; “you almost killed me, kid. Respect.” In this one line, PIG DESTROYER summarise the hardcore ethos merged with the individualism from the identity of extreme Metal. It also strikes them out immediately as dealing with heavy intellectual issues. The story is great, and truly adds a new dimension to an already multi-facetted work.

On subsequent listens, nuances of interplay between instruments become more apparent and individual riffs show themselves more and more – it feels cheap to ask PIG DESTROYER to add more digestible riffs, even if it would be more for the listener to grasp onto. Right now, the only thing I can ask of PIG DESTROYER is that they keep being PIG DESTROYER. This is a genre-defining piece of work.

5 Star Rating

1. Sis
2. The American's Head
3. The Underground Man
4. Eve
5. The Diplomat
6. All Seeing Eye
7. Valley of the Geysers
8. Book Burner
9. Machiavellian
10. Baltimore Strangler
11. White Lady
12. The Bug
13. Iron Drunk
14. Burning Palm
15. Dirty Knife
16. Totaled
17. Kamikaze Heart
18. King of Clubs
19. Permanent Funeral
J.R. Hayes- Vocals
Scott Hull- Guitars
Adam Fucking Jarvis- Drums
Blake Harrison- Pan Flute
Record Label: Relapse Records


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