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Ask any knowledgeable metalhead to describe Pig Destroyer in one word. What would come to mind? Violent. Aggressive. Destructive. All these adjectives would apply gloriously and describe all that is D.C.'s pride and joy Pig Destroyer in a simple and sweet form. Since their formation 15 years ago, Pig Destroyer have made music that topples the meek and timid, while simultaneously causing a 10.0 on the Richter scale worldwide. Of course, when a band plays such an aggressive and psychopathic style of music, it may seem as if direction is lacking. While this was the case for their first few albums, an older and more polished Pig Destroyer have returned, triumphantly at that, and have released an album which in and of itself is an enigma wrapped in an enigma wrapped in yet another enigma. On this album, you get the various different sounds of PD. Is this a bad thing? Not at all.
When I pick up a metal album, I want no frills metal to assault my eardrums as soon as I hit that play button. No nonsense. Just give us the goods, and we'll be happy as a pig in mud. Pig Destroyer live and die by this mantra. As soon as the opening to "Sis" comes in, you know what you're in for. No acoustically gorgeous nonsense here, just straight forward grind-your-face-into-the-groundcore. While most metal bands seem to be trading in brutality and fervor for skinny jeans and neck tattoos, Pig Destroyer stand firm in their almighty position. For lack of a better term, Pig Destroyer came to rip shit up, and rip shit up they shall. Never once does the album wane into something boring and tiring. Rather, it's 100 on the speedometer all the way through. This formula works perfectly with the short songs, the longest being 4 minutes and the shortest being just 35 seconds. Obviously, no one listens to a grindcore album expecting something of progressively long nature. If anything, Pig Destroyer are just too damn exciting to play longer songs. If they did, the excitement would wane, and the ferocity would go with it.
The thing that makes grindcore, and good music in general, feel real and authentic is imperfection. If something is too polished, too clean, or even too produced, it feels fake. It feels phony. Pig Destroyer have a certain authenticity to them. By no means are these guys master musicians. The riffs are heavy duty and feel like they could shred an entire stack of phonebooks with one mean chord. But the real imperfection on the album is the vocals by J.R. Hayes. His vocals fit the sound perfectly, and what I mean by that is he sounds like crap most of the time. If the vocals were actually melodic, actually had a glimmer to them, this album would fail miserably. It would sound like Judas Priest's hideous love child with Rotten Sound. Hayes' vocals are just disgusting. The venom his tone spits is as poisonous as a black widow's bite. You feel the anger just ooze off the lyrics like some sort of oil off a can. In a way, the vocals are reminiscent of old school Napalm Death. The kind where it's no longer singing, but it isn't growling. It's that middle ground, between insanity and coherency, where his vocals and all the music stands.
In whole, this album shreds all others this year to bits. While it's not perfect, it's surely going to be topping many metalhead's year end lists this coming winter. Pig Destroyer are like a careening Mack truck, but instead of it going off the road and killing countless innocent people, it stays on the road, demolishing all that's in its path in a controlled way. The fact they have no bassist makes the heaviness of these album almost inconceivable at times. From the start, nothing is pretty about this album. It's nasty. It's ugly. It reeks of hate, booze, and that horrid smell of a venue after a gig. But I know one thing for sure, I wouldn't want my grind any other way.