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There is really no other way to put it. From the ending shriek of the nearly ambient intro track to the final moments of the title track closer, Terrifyer is a work of psychotic grind genius, tortured insanity condensed into 32 minutes and 4 seconds.
It’s rare to find such strong musicians together in a collective unit. Each member’s respective strengths come through, but rarely is the spotlight focused on one person. Despite the lack of a bassist though, Pig Destroyer manage to be crushingly heavy (even heavier than most bands with a bassist) and Scott Hull and Brian Harvey are to thank for that. Scott churns out riffs after riffs, striding a delicate balance between dissonant grinding (“Dead Carnations” and neck-snapping thrash (“Crippled Horses”). There is a heavy dollop of tremolo picking as well, adding either grooves (“Towering Flesh”, “Pretty In Casts”) or unleashing breakneck rhythms (). Now, it is easy to forget the existence of leads in grindcore and even in Terrifyer. However, when they do show up in the 3 and a half-minute “epic” that is Towering Flesh, the results are simultaneously haunting and beautiful.
The backbone of the Pig Destroyer sound would no doubt be drum maniac Brian Harvey. Far from being a dull blastbeat-churning machine, Brian’s style is better compared to a hurricane, albeit one that strikes with the precision and subtlety of a tactical nuclear strike. There is no doubt that this man can whip out manic blastbeated rhythms like any other drummer worth his death metal or grindcore salt, but his real talent lies in complementing the chaotic sound with a controlled assault on the cymbals. He doesn’t bang on them with rampant abandon, but brings them in to bolster Pig Destroyer’s already disorienting assault.
And now we finally arrive at the focal point, the vocals. With some average death-growling vocalist Pig Destroyer’s sound would have lost much of its impact. Thank God (or maybe not) that we are graced with J.R. Hayes. This man is very much the voice of madness, both in his tortured screams and demented lyrics. J.R. Hayes lyrics are brilliant works in themselves and suffer from none of the cliché-ridden tripe that many death metal bands spew out. He paints vividly grotesque images with his lyrics, yet there is a morbid, unwholesome attractiveness to them, like a car crash being played out in slow motion. The presentation of these lyrics is no less up powerful. J.R. Hayes screams with shocking emotion and command, and with a shocking clarity second to none. His vocals are heavily laden with effects, but never masked. The barb-wire distortion is always present, though it’s in songs where two voices are heard (“Thumbsucker”, “Gravedancer”) where his vocals are truly terrifying.
Putting all that together, we have nothing other than Pig Destroyer’s Terrifyer. Little else in grindcore can compare to this release, and honestly, that doesn’t really matter. Indulge in this insanity, revel in it, but never ever abandon it.
I judge all of Pig Destroyer's music on a scale which is really just Prowler... at the top and everything else below somewhere, in varying degrees; and i can tell you that "Terrifyer" is defiantly a prime candidate for the bottom of that scale. Admittedly I'm not too experienced with their older stuff, and nor do i really care. I've always viewed Prowler in the Yard as their best, and defiantly one of my favorite albums. There's nothing bad with that album, and it's completely fresh and mind blowing.
While the biggest blow to Pig Destroyer is the production for Terrifyer. For a filthy band, which has awesome lyrics of the most depraved, yet gifted nature and an overall violent sound, such a clean and emotionless production really kills things. One of the most notable, and one of my biggest gripes with this album is the adulteration of the vocals. They are just awful. For the part you're subjected to his high-pitched scratchy, mechanically alerted voice which is far from interesting. Growls seem to be rare commodity, and with so much studio magic his vocals lose much of their ferocity and sound quite harmless. Just listen to "Sheet Metal Girl" off Prowler... and compare it to anything on Terrifyer, nothing compares to the sheer aggression and devastation of that song. Not to mention the drums don't pack a punch anywhere close to how they did on Prowler, the inane clicks and higher registry sound sounds more akin to some tech death metal band or worse some "mathcore" band, which is a shame because I have always commented on how much I loved the sound, as well as the performance of the drums on Prowler. How anyone okay'd this production job is mind boggling.
Songs like "Thumbsucker," "Gravedancer," "Boy Constrictor," and "Verminess" are particularly bad, while the rest, with the exception of "Scarlet Hourglass," "Towering Flesh," and "Terrifyer," are completely forgettable and boring.
Luckily Scott Hull retained the ability to write awesome riffs, something which always made Pig Destroyer a unique entity in the grindcore genre. Nearly every riff in "Scarlet Hourglass" is mind blowing and awesome, where he gets these genius riffs is beyond me, but it must be the same place he get shitty mediocre chug fest riffs like that of "Thumbsucker," which makes me all the more saddened by this release.
Gone are the meaty, devastating drums, powerful and dirty guitars and deranged and ravenous vocals of Prowler, what's left is a cleaner, more commercial and accessible sound. From the lyrical matter as well as the vibe, you can tell that Pig Destroyer is a dirty and filth-ridden beast that needs to steer clear of anything deemed as clean and sharp production. While it's a no brainer that it is hard to beat Prowler, one could only hope that a band could at least put out something that stands fit next to it. Songs like "Naked Trees," "Sheet Metal Girl," "Junkyard God," and "Cheerleader Corpses" are simply not to be found on an album like Terrifyer. The only comparison I can make is if Suffocation's Breeding the Spawn retained its somewhat lackluster production and was devoid of all the ass kicking that took place on that album and was replaced with shitty vocals (Something Frank Mullen is incapable of I assure you) and song writing that wasn't on par with what you've come to love of the band.
You're simply wrong if you believe this is the right direction for grindcore, then again if you believe that tripe you're too busy thinking Mastodon's the best thing since Opeth.
Someone’s gotta be the idiot who comes and spoils it all, and today this would be me. The 98% average after ten reviews? Well, not much longer if I can help it…
It’s not as if I don’t see the instrumental prowess or the complexity of the tracks that constitute Terrifyer. Pig Destroyer are admittedly fast and relentless as fuck. But then again so is Dillinger’s Escape Plan. I might be half-impressed for a few minutes at a time but later I just get bored with how overwrought and sterile their music is. The guitar sound on this album seems so plasticky and lifeless without the bass underpinning. The vocals are really monotonous in their hysterical frenzy. While listening to‘Gravedancer’, where for a short moment the vocalist screams pleadingly, I understood why I disliked Pig Destroyer so much. He sounds like some extreme Brian Molko and the whole album with its package (arty cover, concept album lyrical structure, the short story to boot) seems such a lovely ‘lifestyle’deal for the emo generation. The protagonist is “rotting from the inside out due to love”. Aren’t we all, eh?
Well, I, for once, am not impressed. For me grindcore has always been about really basic, primal emotions. Lovelife, however fucked-up or angsty, should not get into the mix. Also, every good grind track comprises a revolution, an earthquake, a brainstroke and an orgasm rolled into one – it can’t leave you tepid. It sucks you in and spits you out changed, if only for a while. I find the 21 numbers on Terrifyer as engaging as the different programs of my washing mashine. I set it to “cotton, colours” and it goes through its motions with reassuring agility, changing tempos a hundred times within the cycle. Am I bothered, though? Am I fuck!
As far as I am concerned this ain’t grindcore. Seeing as we’ve had emo, screamo, mathcore and all these other stupid labels, why can’t you people come up with something inventive here as well? Just leave grindcore well alone.
Pig Destroyer made a huge splash in the metal scene with their 2001 masterpiece Prowler In The Yard, a revolutionary grindcore album that took the usual emphasis away from gore, porn, and politics and placed it on realistic, truly disturbing subject matter. The new approach to lyrics coupled with Pig Destroyer's brutally raw yet technical approach to the genre left fans and critics blown away and foaming at the mouth for what this trio could come up with next. Three years later, Pig Destroyer returned and delivered a true masterpiece of a grindcore album that can safely be called the best in the genre in many years, perhaps of all time.
A number of things have changed on Terrifyer since Prowler In The Yard, and one of the most notable is the production. Whereas Prowler In The Yard was intentionally given a very raw, primal sound that fit the album well, Terrifyer's production is sharp, clear, and fucking LOUD. Drums pack a vicious punch, Scott Hull's brilliant riffs shred through your speakers like never before, and J.R. Hayes's multi-layered screams and shouts sound so angry and anguished that you will feel like putting on a nice, romantic comedy after listening to him tear himself to pieces for half an hour. Everything just sounds perfect here; musical clarity mixed with a razor-sharp edge help give Terrifyer the brutal sound that it so richly deserves.
As for musicianship, well, what do you expect? Brian Harvey is an absolute monster behind the drumkit, saying "Fuck No!" to drum triggers (that's right, absolutely nothing is triggered on this album) and delivering a performance that is about as brutal as they come. Rather than the straight blasting of many grind bands, Harvey mixes things up wonderfully, effortlessly changing tempos and keeping things exciting. Founding member Scott Hull handles all guitar duties (no bass of course), and his performance on Terrifyer solidifies his position as one of the metal scene's top guitarists. Hull's immense technical ability and love of old school grind and punk are the foundations of Pig Destroyer's sound, and the dozens of riffs throughout Terrifyer are all awesome, each memorable and catchy enough to give all twenty songs their own unique feel and identity. Vocalist J.R. Hayes' vocals have changed quite a bit since Prowler In The Yard, mostly due to the amount of layering here. While this might turn off some fans, rest assured that the vocals on Terrifyer are fucking incredible. Hayes's shrieks and screams simply explode with power and emotion, and the newly explored sung/spoken word passages (clearly influenced by Today Is The Day's Steve Austin) sound great as well.
One can't review a Pig Destroyer album without giving special attention to the lyrics. J.R. Haye's ranks right up there with Lord Worm as one of the most talented lyricists in the metal scene. Rather than grunt about whores and gore, it is obvious that Haye's puts true feeling and effort into his morbid tales of love, loss, sex, and violence, and you simply will not find better lyrics on a grindcore album. Like Prowler In The Yard, there seems to be a concept tying all the lyrics together, but this concept is more broad and vague than many "concept" albums, leaving many interpretations up to the listener.
As for the songs, Terrifyer is without compare in the contemporary grind scene. The album's length is perfect for the nature of the music, and the band managed to pack an amazing amount of excellent material into 32 minutes. Some of these songs are full of variation and detail while others are much more simple, and they are all balanced perfectly to where simpler tracks like "Lost Cause" serve very effectively as connecting pieces for the album's truly developed tracks that make this work the instant classic that it is. "Pretty In Casts" and "Boy Constrictor" start things off on a terrific note, blasting out with enough pure grinding fury to really get the blood flowing. Hull pays tribute to the hardcore and crust punk bands of yore on "Gravedancer" and "Restraining Order Blues", and "Towering Flesh" and "Terrifyer" stand as the album's "epic" cuts. The solo (???!!!) on the former is as excellent as it is unexpected, and the opening riff to the title track is one of the most evil, sinister riffs I've ever heard. Put simply, there is not a bad song on here, every track different and serving its own purpose to the greater whole.
Terrifyer is full to the brim with the stuff that legendary albums are made of. The brilliant lyrics of Hayes, the unmatched writing of Hull, and the amazing, brutal sound that permeates the whole album make this an amazing listening experiance from start to finish. If you have never been a fan of grindcore because of what you believe to be the uniform simplicity and stupidity that makes up the vast majority of its bands, I urge you to give this a shot, as it has completely changed my perspective on what can be accomplished in the genre. Terrifyer is easily the best release of 2004 and has the brilliance and staying power to be considered a metal classic.
This release is in no way for everyone.
In fact, when I first got it, I discarded it as unlistenable filth and it collected dust for a year. Upon becoming less of a fucking retard, I realize this is literally without flaw. There is NOTHING wrong with this release, hence the perfect score. In every rateable way, this albums delivers.
I hate to use the term "power trio," but this three man band puts any and all other modern grindcore to shame. First of all, the bestially frenetic atmosphere of the CD throws you into the mind of a deeply demented and twisted individual. The discordant riffs, the pained and brutal vocals, the odd snatches of dialogue between songs makes for a skin-crawling ordeal.
But boy do these guys know how to rock. Scott Hull delivers an astounding performance with virtually NOTHING to back him up, minus some over-dubbing for solos. The riffs range from "bang-your-head-against-the-fucking-wall" to slow and dissonant. Each riff is unique in its deliverance, and due to the short track times, there is little to no repitition. He masterfully weaves some of the most musically interesting 30 minutes of your life.
J.R. isn't the best vocalist I've ever heard, but his performance is based on how it fits the music. Just how pained he sounds really adds the icing to the cake in terms of psychotic atmosphere. His range is quite impressive, and throughout the course of a song (shortest being 41 seconds, longest 3:35) he can switch between death growling to high pitched screams. To be able to maintain such a feat in such a short amount of time is impressive to say the least.
There's really nothing more to say other than get this album. Drumming is spot-on in every way, packaging is perfect; the booklet comes with a deeply disturbing short story written by J.R. himself and the bonus DVD is a must see. If you're a fan of grindcore (you aren't if you don't own this) or just a fan of brutal music, but with true passion and feeling then this is for you.
I haven’t really listened to much grindcore to date, but Pig Destroyer has captured my mind and I am just amazed with this album. Pig Destroyer only has three people, no bassist but it doesn’t matter they are good and are heavy without.
Scott Hull’s riffs on the album are awesome, fast paced thrash/hardcore/death, well thought out riffs. They bring the mood and never get boring on the album. The guitar work is so good and production and style makes them heavy and so insane. Near the end of he album, at about “Dead Carnations”, the riffs, to me, start to get even better and are very well written.
The drumming is amazing as well, with plenty of blast beats and other crazy drumming. Brian Harvey is just so good and he knows how to play the drums well. He is very fast and sounds like a machine on this album, not getting boring by changing the drumming from blast beats to a more normal, but awesome drumming.
When it comes to J.R. Haynes, he pulls off a killer performance on Terrifyer. His screams are very good and the best I have heard in any band. He just puts emotion and feeling into them and makes you want to scream your head off as well. His lyrics I enjoy as well and always keep me interested. They are well done and keep me reading them while listening to him screaming his head off. Insanity, drugs and so many things even included some young crazy love. He is by far one of my favorite vocalists for his screams and lyrics.
In the end you ask yourself: will you like this album? I sure as hell did and I wasn’t really too into grindcore. There is just so much chaos and intensity on this c.d., from the lyrics, vocals, drumming and guitar riffs. It all fits, sounds good together and I wouldn’t have asked Pig destroyer to do Terrifyer any other way, except maybe more songs so I can go crazier. Great production and madness so if you are a fan of grindcore, buy this album. If you like Pig Destroyer, you will not be disappointed and if you just love chaos in your music, buy this c.d. because it sure as hell is chaotic and well written.
My favorites are “Towering Flesh”, “Torture Ballad” and “Gravedancer”, but all the songs are killer.
There are not many sheer outstanding grindcore bands out there that can totally hold the attention of people for too long without letting them think that after a while, the music is just a bunch of noise and shouting at the top of the “singer’s” lungs. As many other grindcore acts have the tendency to get stale after a few minutes (unless for the extreme DIE-HARD grind fanatic), Pig Destroyer keep things flowing and consistent with raw talent and finesse.
The musicianship showcased on “Terrifyer” is, in its own right, very creative and artistic and brings much meaning to the lyrics which, are oftentimes undecipherable until read along with the actual music to clarify the writer’s explicit frustration and angst. The vocals are a great release of aggression and capture the moods of the songs nicely.
Guitarwork, as usual, is great and reeks of tension and constant variations to keep things fresh.
Yet again, the drummer has pulled off another fine and furious showcase of imaginative and insane drumming.
Overall, this album is a step forward from their previous material, however retaining the maniacal sound for which Pig Destroyer is renowned. Pig Destroyer have released yet another outstanding grindcore album with, surprisingly to typical grind standards, excellent production (so as not to get annoying for those who utterly detest poor production). “Terrifyer” is not only recommended, but a Must for fans of extreme music, or for those looking for something refreshing to the vast categorization of metal.
I'm a Pig Destroyer fanboy, sue me.
Anyway, what do we have here? A Pig Destroyer album. Right. But not just any Pig Destroyer album, this is -the- Pig Destroyer album. Sure, Prowler In The Yard was great, but damn, this blows it completely out of the water.
The music here is ... well, it's full on grindcore, as if that wasn't obvious, but when I say '"full on," I certainly don't mean a-constant-barrage-of-blast-beats-and-minimal-riffage kind of full on, I mean it's loud, aggressive, and violent, and has a variety of brilliant riffage (Carrion Fairy and Thumbsucker come to mind) and doesn't go overboard on the blast beat. Just what we've come to expect from Pig Destroyer, and they certainly don't fail to deliver it on this album.
As well as the standard affair, this album manages to pack a harder punch than any other PD album, and there aren't so many songs that're under a minute, which is a good thing in my books, as Pig Destroyer are able to keep it interesting, even after the one minute mark.
If you're a lyric whore (like myself) and love thoughtful, brilliant lyrics that need some interpretation to fully comprehend, you will go nuts with the lyrical content on this album (or any Pig Destroyer album for that matter), as there's plenty of that to go around.
Basically, if you love your metal heavy, fast, and aggressive, get this album. If you love metal, get this album. Hell, if you're a passionate fan of brilliant music in general, get this, I can't recommend it enough.
I honestly can’t tell where the line is drawn between metal influenced grindcore and grindcore influenced metal but unless you’re a scenester who is only allowed to enjoy one or the other (and if so you should probably kill yourself) then it doesn’t matter. If I had to guess I’d say that on ‘Terrifyer’ Pig destroyer come down slightly more on the metal side of the line, but fuck it, on with review.
Pig Destroyer take their wonderfully hateful take on grindcore and mix it with loads of thrash and death metal to produce a finished product that zooms all over the three genres but remains loyal to the sound they damn near perfected on 'Prowler in the yard' while, more importantly, staying as focused as all holy hell. So for our depraved enjoyment they weave intricate whirlwinds of guitars and blast beats one minute and steamroller our ears with riffs like anvils the next. Forget any preconceived notions you may have about grind lacking variation.
Pig Destroyer is three guys. No bassist. Does this hinder them in the slightest? Not a fucking chance. The reason for this is simple: Scott Hull’s godly riffs and production. Every song on the album bar the intro (that’s right, all twenty of them) are instantly memorable and stand alone not just as frenetic bursts of manic energy, although most of them are that as well, but as proper songs with riffs that are fully developed and logically structured. Slow, fast, punky, thrashy, it makes no difference. Hull makes sure they all count and, far more often than not, hit the mark with merciless accuracy. His production is crisp and packs a hell of a punch; everything is nice and clear without being too sanitised. In fact the whole album is just overflowing with malicious, unhinged energy.
Both remaining members give to-die-for performances as well. Brian Harvey is unbelievable behind the kit; his drumming is as aggressive and fits the guitar work as well as any I’ve heard in a long time. J R Haynes’s lyrics and vocals are (as always) a major highlight. Darkly poetic streams of consciousness that tell of obsession, insanity and violence are all delivered in a tortured and often distorted shriek that strangely never gets monotonous. Also as with ‘Prowler..’ we get an extremely twisted, and characteristically well written, story included in the lyric booklet. The lyrics (and artwork as well for that matter) may not be quite as good as those off their previous album, but that’s just down to my personal preferences. I mean if you’d rather look at a topless dead chick than a guy cutting his leg off with a hacksaw then be my guest.
There’s more to say about this album (I haven’t even mentioned ‘Natasha’ the thirty seven minute, DVD audio, atmospheric monstrosity of a doom song that comes packaged with the album), but all I really need to convey to you is how much it completely owns everything in a six hundred mile radius without breaking a sweat. I could mention individual tracks but literally every one has something to recommend it, a crushing groove riff here, a pulverising breakdown there and lots and lots of parts that just hook you without warning and demand repeat listens. I mean it’s just ended and I want to finish typing this so I can put it on again.