While Pig Destroyer have been literally shaking the pillars of metal since they released their Relapse debut, Prowler In The Yard, in 2001, nobody would have thought that the band could grow up to the extent of becoming an adult grind band. Each new release has been highly anticipated, and unique on it’s own, and now with Book Burner it is no different. The direct competitor would be Muder Construct’s excellent Results album, which is the other side of the spectrum, longer songs and filthy sound, while Book Burner is clean sounding short spastic songs.
The cover artwork, but specially the booklet is excellent, with all the lyrics, and some illustrations that match the theme of the album; also included is a short story written by their singer J.R. Hayes and a second album (only in the limited edition) with seven extra covers of classic punk bands like Black Flag, Misfits or Minor Threat. The stunning artwork and carefully design booklet make the whole album package experience come back to life as it is refreshing to see that there are still bands that take care about the design of an album as a whole.
The sound is super professional and polished, which is very unusual in this kind of albums. While we are used to muddy and savage grind album productions, here the band has opted by a super clean production where everything breaths and moves with absolute freedom. The drums are punishing, aggressive and organic, with an impressive performance by their new drummer, Adam Jarvis, ex-Misery Index. It is true that with all the grittiness and filth gone from the production, the album can sound a bit inoffensive and weak in comparison with previous efforts but in this case the choice is more than welcome as we can enjoy all the details that the album has without having a headache.
The guitars are a little bit too low in the mix, but still, thanks to the clean production, we can perfectly hear what’s going on; as usual Scott Hull’s riffs are inventive, dynamic, relentless and perfectly executed. The songwriting is still 100% Pig Destroyer without any other influences than themselves: out of this world inhuman vocals,mid tempo almost sludge parts, non stop grinding blasts, thrash influenced riffs and rhythms, and ferocious intensity.
The vocals are venomous, unrelenting, and pissed off; there are some guest screamers in this album, like Richard “grindfather” Johnson (Drugs Of Faith, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Enemy soil…) or Jarvis itself, but the most impressive is Kat Katz (Agoraphobic Noosebleed, Ex-Salome) that shines and outshines Hayes in 2 songs: Eve and The Bug, absolutely mesmerizing and intense performances. Haye’s, know for his brutal and disturbing lyrics, has again proved himself with some funny, innovative and horrifying lyrics in this album, but this time with less influence in the American Gothic imagery and more focused in society and feelings. This is the perfect album for outsiders and nerds: songs about scoring cocaine, a drunk guy fighting in a bar, a strangler following his victim or mole people living in the sewers are some of the highlights.
This is Pig Destroyer’s maturity album, and exercise of control and style (their own) that has reached its glorious peak.
Book Burner will see a October 23rd release via Relapse Records.
02.The American’s Head
03.The Underground Man
06.All Seeing Eye
07.Valley of the Geysers
18.King of Clubs