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Filth-Ridden Bliss - 90%

deluge71, November 14th, 2008

Only on rare occasions does a band actually make me feel dirty for enjoying their music. Pig Destroyer have left me feeling so filth-ridden that taking a shower after each listen has become a ritual of sorts. These guys have a grip on the element of shock that goes far beyond the mostly tedious imagery of today’s grind scene. Guitarist Scott Hull, vocalist J.R. Hayes, and drummer Brian Harvey fully realize that their audience is desensitized to most forms of depravity. In response, they have identified a few hidden nerves and driven an ice pick into each.

The blissful malaise begins with Pig Destroyer’s lyrics, which employ simple poetic devices to heighten the sickness. The simile-laced intro track (entitled “Jennifer”) provides the initial assault, with an emotionless synthespian describing a young girl’s hair covering her face like a “curtain around a hospital bed”. Further morbid symbolism is provided on “Snuff Film at Eleven”, where vocalist Hayes screams “it is very important that I make for a thin chalk outline”. The sheer breadth of disturbing artistry present on “Prowler In The Yard” is simply unparalleled, and this is due largely to the fact that the horror is mental. Like a diseased worm crawling around inside your skull, the frighteningly twisted lyrical images will stick around for the long haul; even after you wish they would just go away.

The other half of this 36-minute scourge is the music itself, which comes across as the menacing catharsis of three sociopaths who get their kicks by hanging out at the local burn clinic. What is so devastating about this disc is Pig Destroyer’s ability to hit the peak of their grinding blitz almost immediately (e.g. “Cheerleader Corpses”), and sustain it until the last five tracks or so. Where many bands would opt to lower the intensity with a couple of filler tracks, Pig Destroyer maintain their frenetic pace and never look back. As indicated, there is somewhat of a “mood swing” during the latter part of the album, where Hull’s lumbering, heavier riffs enter the fray. “Starbelly” is my favorite of these slower tracks, as it comfortably sinks into the mind-numbing depths of agonizing dirge-core. As for the faster tracks, all of them deliver in spades, although I’m a bit partial to “Scatology Homework”, “Evacuating Heaven”, and “Intimate Slavery” for their somewhat smoother vocal phrasing. Simply stated, “Prowler In The Yard” puts Pig Destroyer among the grindcore elite, and those who have yet to realize this are cheating themselves.