Release Date: Oct 22, 2012
Record label: Relapse Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
A frenzied testament to guitar-based violence, Pig Destroyer once again set about the task of decimating pretty much everything that stands before them on their fifth album, Book Burner. Combining thrash technicality with grindcore brutality, the band deliver their musical salvos with razor-sharp precision, allowing each gloriously destructive riff to come through crystal clear rather than getting lost in the pummeling drums stampede (delivered courtesy of Misery Index drummer Adam Jarvis). This kind of clarity sets Pig Destroyer apart from other grind bands, giving listeners the opportunity to not just feel the bottomless wells of aggression and unfiltered anger that Pig Destroyer channel into their music, but to actually hear and appreciate how technical they are.
Book Burner is the fifth full-length from Virginia-based grindcore quartet Pig Destroyer. To say the metal fraternity is hugely anticipating the album’s release might just be the understatement of the year. Pig Destroyer’s songs, crammed with emotional and musical carnage, are executed with barbaric, pinpoint precision, and they have long been hailed as superlative examples of the ingenious artistry found in extreme metal.
The new millennium has seen indie kids finally investigating metal as if it were part of their heritage, rather than as if they were facing down a hostile army doing unspeakable things behind enemy lines. Despite their relatively high profile with false-metal media outfits, though, grindcore titans Pig Destroyer have ferociously exempted themselves from any crossover discussion, all without doing much more than being themselves. The reasons why that kind of resoluteness would keep them outliers should be obvious if you know what "grindcore" means.
Virgina’s Pig Destroyer take their time with new albums; Book Burner is just their fifth over a 15 year career. Considering the massive critical praise, the devotion from fans of grindcore and metal, and the obliterating power of their latest LP after a five-year gap, Book Burner, they should continue to take as much time as they need to. Nothing of the sub-two minute songs on the album suggest that the time was needed for a lot of sound-sculpting and orchestration.
Pig Destroyer’s Book Burner is ugly, abrasive, and entirely unpleasant. Of course, because grindcore insists on exactly those qualities as its defining characteristics, those adjectives lack any weight as criticism. Heavy metal has no desire to be beautiful, no need for acceptance. Metal wants your scorn and only accepts the solidarity of the likewise scorned and unloved.
Over its 15-year career, Pig Destroyer has earned a reputation for playing loud, fast and dirty. The Virginia band specializes in grindcore, a deceptively intricate breed of metal best known for its guttural screams, sinister down-tuned guitars and “microsongs” (tracks that cram the fury of a full-length song into 15 or 20 seconds). Listening to these guys for the first time can be a bit overwhelming.