Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Review: Pig Destroyer - Book Burner

Pig Destroyer
Book Burner


1.   Sis   
2.   The American's Head   
3.   The Underground Man   
4.   Eve   
5.   The Diplomat   
6.   All Seeing Eye   
7.   Valley Of The Geysers   
8.   Book Burner   
9.   Machiavellian   
10.  Baltimore Strangler   
11.  White Lady   
12.  The Bug   
13.  Iron Drunk   
14.  Burning Palm   
15.  Dirty Knife   
16.  Totaled   
17.  Kamikaze Heart   
18.  King Of Clubs   
19.  Permanent Funeral

There are times when writing for this blog can be challenging.  We like to pump out reviews on a fairly regular basis, but since we have a what’s-the-point-of-ragging-on-an-album-you-don’t-care-about policy, it can sometimes be daunting to find albums that a) we enjoy, and b) that motivate to want to say something about them.  Fortunately, this summer and fall has been a boon for us, with album after album of incredible material, from Burning Love to Masked Intruder to Propagandhi, etc. etc.  It seemed to be getting too good to be true and I was somewhat worried that the last couple months of 2012 would be relatively slow in the review department.

And then Pig Destroyer put out an album.

For anyone not familiar with this Virginia-based quartet, they need to familiarize themselves with these giants of grind immediately.  Guitarist Scott Jull and company have long been known for producing some of the most inventive, genre-bending, mind-destroying grindcore this side of Napalm Death.  Everyone in metal seems to expect the world from each new Pig Destroyer release (especially after the bands last LP - 2007’s critically-acclaimed Phantom Limb), and Book Burner does not disappoint.  Shying away from the Phantom Limb’s lengthier song times, this record scarcely has a song over three minutes, with several scorchers clocking in well under one minute.  Songs like “The American’s Head” and “Book Burner” demonstrate that this band is still the force to be reckoned with that they were five years ago.  Furthermore, the ‘longer’ (re: 3 minute) tracks like “Baltimore Strangler” and “The Bug” are easily some of the best songs on the album.  In fact, I can honestly say that I haven’t heard a better metal song than “Baltimore Strangler” this year.  So there.

This album’s soul-crushing heaviness is further augmented by the drumming of newcomer Adam Jarvis (Misery Index) and guest vocals from Jason Netherton (Misery Index) and Kat of Agoraphobic Nosebleed fame (although it’s not fair to call them ‘guest vocals’...as she is the sole vocalist on “Eve”...so let’s call her a ‘Temporary Vocalist’ or something), which help add a depth and variation to Book Burner that is always welcomed.

Some reviewers have been complaining that Book Burner has strayed too far from the band’s last offering, and are lamenting the lack of opus-length tracks that the band has become known for, but I find this ridiculous, as I have no desire to hear Phantom Limb-part 2.  While some (most) grind bands are perfectly happy hashing and rehashing the same riffs/songs/everything on each album, Pig Destroyer has always proven that just because you play extreme music doesn’t mean it always has to sound the same.  

Book Burner stands on its own as an incredible piece of music, it’s that simple.  It is crushing, but not overwhelming.  It is frantic, but not rushed.  It is well-thought-out, but not overwrought.  And most importantly, it’s fucking Pig Destroyer...with the guy from Misery Index drumming!  Fuck yes!

Buy it here.

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