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Mostly plain but a few killer tracks. - 56%

MrMetalpants, January 1st, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Relapse Records

Pig Destroyer consists of many ups and downs through their career. Still Terrifyer tops my list of their albums and there's a decent drop to second place. The only album I can say I really don't like is Phantom Limb. They were on that leaning more death metal in song writing, like this most recent album. I would imagine a grind core leaning more death metal would benefit. See: Cattle Decapitation and how they were great then became one of the best death metal outfits working. However, Pig Destroyer does not benefit wholly from writing more death metal songs. This album does feature a great song or two but does not do it for me. There's no song in particular that I outright hate but my 6th listen and writing this was a bit of a chore.

The main problem with the writing is not so much monotony, because it really isn't that monotonous, but more that it's just not interesting. The only songs that really stick out are "Mt. Skull", "The Last Song", and "House of Snakes". Consequently, my favorite three tracks. The rest just have a really similar formula. That is in addition to the fact that I don't really enjoy the way the overall sound is. That's more of a personal preference, but it just made it a little harder to appreciate what is there. They either need to go full grind core like on half their albums or fully step away from that genre because the parts that still cling to the past while partially look to the future are the worst on the album.

The guitars have a few cool lead licks, like on "Mt. Skull" and "The Last Song". More of this might have offered some more variation and break the mold a bit. The rhythm section chugs and tremolos but never offers something fresh or unique to make you come back for more. There are some progressive time signatures on "Concrete Beast" that can be fun but there is not much more of it. The bass is highly audible through pretty much the whole ride, which is funny for a band that only five years ago added a bassist! It's pretty well played, too. It rumbles in the right amount so the speed can be felt but still enough to add heft to what is being played. Though not technically impressive, the bass makes "The Last Song" really pop. Disclaimer: It's not the last song. I don't really enjoy the vocals as much this time around. They are just a pitch that i get annoyed with easily, and it is mostly that sound. "The Adventures of Jason and Jr" offers some vocal variation, even though one is my my loathed megaphone effect. Kat (ex-Agoraphobic Nosebleed) brought some unique stylings to "Terminal Itch", but her contribution to "Concrete Beast" is felt more and given more of the spotlight. The drums do some great work and this is partly due to the nature of the writing not being strictly adherent to grind core. "Mt. Skull" has some great patterns and especially during the last third... So, you know, 30 seconds. Because Pig Destroyer!

Favorite tracks:
--The Last Song
--House of Snakes
--Mt. Skull

Technical skill: 67% Originality: 52% Song writing: 56% Production: 41% Accessibility: 78%