Relapse Records/Riot! Entertainment
Reviewed By Simon Crawley
Another full-on auditory assault from the grindcore giants
If you are reading this and, ashamedly like me, are not very familiar with Pig Destroyer; then get ready to have your gut wrenched, your ears split and your mind twisted by the grindcore giants on their fifth studio album Book Burner.
As savage as the auditory assault unleashed by the Virginians is, there is also just as much deftness to their musical ability to comfortably place Pig Destroyer up there with the best of any heavy metal act. The band’s brutal speed and unrelenting aggression definitely caught me off guard at first but, it’s that nihilistic air and the sundry sensory shocks that set Pig Destroyer apart.
Musically and lyrically, Book Burner is a full-on sensory and mental attack. The album jabs into the flesh of religion, politics and social schematics; twisting and provoking to the point of neuroticism and obsession – banging your head against walls between belief and disbelief. Pig Destroyer’s firm grip on the extreme sounds of grindcore and death metal, coupled with the lyrical content and the terror-stricken vocals it is spat out on, preys on your conscience and spins your mind releasing a psychedelic splatter on the world immediately around you.
While Pig Destroyer has built a fine career and amassed a massive following from their savagery designs of apocalyptic grindcore, they never appear to let it get out of check or appear overindulgent. In similar fashion to previous releases, Book Burner consists of 19 tracks but spans just over 30 minutes of gruelling metal. Scott Hull (guitar), J. R. Hayes (vocals), Adam Jarvis (drums) and Blake Harrison (samples) are all nothing short of superb. Pig Destroyer packs an impressive amount of variability within 32 minutes of music. The riffs are lethally tight and rip across constant tempo changes. Hayes’ vocals are disturbingly strong and haunting and he is joined by guest appearances from Jason Netherton (Misery Index), Richard Johnson and Kat Katz (Agoraphobic Nosebleed). Adam Jarvis is also from deathgrind titans Misery Index but, it is he who leaves the heavier mark on the album with his furious display on drums. Of course, Book Burner would not be the complete Pig Destroyer album without a series of unsettling sample additions which are provided courtesy of Harrison – see ‘The Baltimore Strangler’ and ‘The Bug’.
How different Book Burner is from previous Pig Destroyer albums is harder for me to determine and is something diehard fans might call into question. Nevertheless, this album hit me like a ton of bricks and I was left dazed and mightily impressed.