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Great Music - 96%

KAS11n, October 5th, 2014

Pig Destroyer's "Prowler in the Yard" is a great piece of Grindcore calculated mayhem. A great grindcore release, to me, maintains a level of extremely high intensity, but also comes across as well thought out and calculated. Contrary to what many people think (especially those who aren't into grindcore), the genre isn't about simply playing as loud and fast as possible without having song structure, or songs at all for that matter. This album meets and exceeds the criteria of a great grindcore release as outlined above (I'm not a professional critic, but I have listened to a lot different music in my life and discovering new music is probably my favorite hobby, so I like to think I know what I'm talking about). While driving home from the store I popped this album in (again) and I was reminded how great it is, and felt inspired to share my opinion with whoever cares to read it.

I'm going to focus on the album as a whole as opposed to giving a track by track or anything like that. This album does a great job of conveying a mood of terror and violence, which is what it set out to do, and it achieves it seemingly without straining itself, which is apparent 2 minutes in. This band is very talented and they put it on full display on this record. It maintains a sense of urgency, intensity, chaos and fury while not abandoning the realm of melody and hinting at it fairly frequently-it isn't a bunch of noise with no direction. There are actual songs here. What makes it so great is that it keeps the gas pedal floored for it's entirety without compromising it's knack for producing actual tunes. Any self described "extreme metal head" has a soft spot deep down for catchiness and melody, and Pig Destroyer appeals to that without sounding "soft" by any stretch of the imagination.

What this album is, to me, is a band who knows how good they are and wants to prove it without coming across as pretentious in the least- like a humble athlete who just put on the performance of their life. Guitarist Scott Hull is a damn wizard and beast on this album, displaying ultimate brutality while working in clever and catchy riffs (“Thumbsucker” is a good example of this). Vocalist JR Hayes isn't my favorite grindcore vocalist, but he still does an amazing job here, maintaining a fairly high pitch the entire time. Drummer Brian Harvey absolutely destroys his drum kit here, I almost feel bad for the trees that went it to making the drums and sticks. Oak trees shudder in fear at the sound of his name. Like I mentioned before, a great grindcore release, to me, is one that brings the sonic violence and intensity without sounding sloppy or haphazard, but sounding calculated and precise, like an expert artist making an abstract work of art, and Pig Destroyer comes off like God-damned Jackson Pollock here.

If you're new to grindcore, this is a GREAT place to start. If you enjoy grindcore and haven't heard this, get out from under the rock you're living under and find a way to listen to this. My only minor complaints are that there's no bass guitar (but it's really okay. This album is so good that you won't miss it. I am a bassist so I love bass, but it's ok), and that the vocals are high pitched screams pretty much the entire time. I like when vocalists mix it up, but overall there are no serious issues here. This is a phenomenal piece of grindcore brutality, but doe sent deserved to be boxed in and limited like that. It is a phenomenal piece OF MUSIC.