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Pig Destroyer-Phantom Limb (2007)
My first offering of Pig Destroyer was Prowler In The Yard, which I believe to be the magnum opus of grindcore and makes all other grind bands pretty much pale in comparison. I haven’t heard any of their other albums from these guys since so this will be more in relation to Prowler in the Yard than any other.
There are a few noticeable changes in the sound. One is the average length of the composition. Songs are longer and are more in the 3 minute range rather than Prowler in the Yard, which has much shorter compositions. Secondly, there is less grind in the songs are more metal and have a bit more groove-oriented sound, not groove in the sense of nu-metal and mainstream metal but a lot more “chugga-chugga’ riffs. Songs such as “Loathsome”, and “Girl In The Slayer Jacket” exemplify this the best. There are also many apparent tempo changes going from mid paced riffing to an all out blistering grindcore attack which keeps the album more interesting. Pig Destroyer still seems to have the capability to pull out some excellent riffs that will have you going ape shit, even if some are a bit recycled. The band also throws in a few breakdowns that are half-way decent, but don’t detract or add to the record.
A lot of things have maintained or improved in Pig Destroyer’s sound most especially their vocalist, JR. JR has a commanding vocal performance and his style hasn’t changed a bit. The crisp production of this album gives him more power on this record then I have ever heard before and that is definitely a good thing. Pig Destroyer is known for their poetic lyrics (Jennifer) and they still prove to be creative with the pen in the new album. This album was advertised on the album cover as the “musical manifestation of the violent experience of the human animal” and this proves to be accurate. The lyrics are still full of explicit gorey imagery and non-cliché metaphors for human existence, which I find very interesting. You know you’re in for a wild ride with the intro and the wall of feedback fading through on “Rotten Yellow”.
Overall, I’d give this an 85 out of 100. While Pig Destroyer are still a top-notch grindcore band the songs are little less inspiring because of the longer compositions and mid-pace riffage, which cause this album to lose a bit of intensity, but I still find Phantom Limb as a very positive contribution to the metal scene and recommend to a Pig Destroyer and Grindcore fan.