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5 out of 5 skulls
December 4, 2012 | ,

Pig Destroyer Book Burner

Holy shit. And I thought Murder Construct’s latest effort was the best grind album of the year. Looks like we’ve got ourselves a draw. After five long years, Pig Destroyer are back with a vengeance. Book Burner explodes from the speakers with a sound that is just about a perfect balance between Prowler in the Yard and Phantom Limb.

Taking the short, manic bursts that these guys have always excelled at and combining them with the longer, more groove oriented material found on recent albums, Pig Destroyer have achieved an excellent balance between feral animosity and controlled chaos. Scott Hull’s riff work, as usual, is stellar as he jumps and lurches from groove to frantic noise and back again smoothly. Newest addition to the band, drummer Adam Jarvis (Misery Index) absolutely kills it on the drums. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had to replace his his kit a couple of times through the recording process. And, of course, J.R. Hayes lets loose with some some of the gnarliest screams and growls that can only be sure to cause long term damage to his vocal chords — and we thank him for the sacrifice.

Book Burner gets under way with a brief sound clip provided by Blake Harris (whose use of samples and noise are timely and appropriate throughout the album) before the furious sonic attack begins with a manic burst as the guys settle into some seriously chugging groove. “Sis” is one hell of a song to start off with as it peaks with a frenzy of drumming and discordant guitar work before disintegrating into the next song, “The American’s Head”. Even before we get to the third song, you can’t help but notice the production on this album. It’s clean, but not overly so. Everything is well balanced amongst one another and it’s got a very organic sound which makes for one hell of a listening experience.

Pig Destroyer also bring in a few guest vocalists to accompany Hayes. Jason Netherton of Misery Index provides a few growls as does Agoraphobic Nosebleed members Kat Katz and Richard Johnson — Katz actually gets an entire song to herself, “eve.” The addition of the varied vocal deliveries both accentuate and compliment Hayes’ delivery, giving each track they appear on a boost of depth.

Scott Hull’s riff work throughout the album is impressive, as usual. Standout moments include “The Diplomat” and a catchy-as-fuck riff on album closer, “Permanent Funeral.” But that’s not all. Other killer songs include “Valley of Geysers,” the frenzied blast of the title track, “The Bug” and it’s crazy opening reading of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, the head snapping groove of “Iron Drunk” and finally the rabid, pummeling “Dirty Knife.” The great thing about an album like Book Burner (for grind fans at least) is the duration. You get 19 bruising tracks in just over 30 minutes run time — and that’s not just mindless blasting, but some serious groove to an album that is beyond vicious.

Pig Destroyer have proven once again that they know how the fuck to play some grind and play it, not only with conviction, but also expand it seamlessly to other genres of metal. The ebb and flow of Book Burner may be abrupt at times, but at others each song flows effortlessly from one to the other like a freshly opened wound. Even if you’re not the biggest grind fan, there is plenty on this album to offer your misguided soul something to snap your neck at.

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