Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
19 songs (32:44)
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Bar
Album of the month

“This, then? This is libel… Slander… Defamation of character. This is a prolonged insult. A gob of spit in the face of art. A kick in the pants to God, man, destiny, time, love, beauty – what you will.”

At its very best, Grind is a genre with such sheer visceral force that it can relate cathartic fury more effectively than arguably any other form of music. Bands with genuine lasting appeal, however, are exceptionally rare. This is because Grind is also a genre in which tiresome repetition and clumsy, messy walls of sound are easy pitfalls. How extraordinary it is, then, that after all these years Pig Destroyer have once again released an album that not only exudes high quality musicianship, but also succeeds in sounding as fresh as any of their previous efforts. As a matter of fact, there are several reasons why you might say that Book Burner sounds even fresher still.

Fans have endured 5 years of waiting between studio releases and they’ll be glad to know this time has been used very effectively. Project mastermind Scott Hull seems intent on releasing nothing less than top-shelf material, and the care he has taken is evident from the very first listen. Book Burner is packed wall-to-wall with riffs of the highest quality imaginable and in barely over one minute, the utterly frantic opener Sis lays all the cards on the table. Manic blast beats, lightspeed down-tuned riffage, mid-tempo grooves and chugging breakdowns are expertly combined into one furious Grindcore assault. Already, it seems Pig Destroyer are at the top of their game. They won’t just give you you a blast beat track, followed by followed by a mid-tempo track, followed by a punky track – that would be too easy. Hull understands these elements must all coalesce to achieve truly memorable Grind, and he is always willing to go the extra mile to forge that perfect combination for any given track.

Of course, that’s not all there is to it. That formula that would grow stale much too quickly. Instead, Pig Destroyer incorporate a myriad influences into a many layered sonic tapestry. Baltimore Strangler, for example, is a decidedly Thrash based track with regards to both riffs and structure. The Hardcore influence remains present, as always, and the result is something like the most intense Crossover Thrash you’ve ever heard. Burning Palm, meanwhile, features so many unexpected twists and unorthodox riffs that it seems Hull is intent on recreating the intricacy of an Atheist album, all in under 2 minutes. Such surprisingly complex structures are present throughout most of the album. In this way, without ever straying from their core sound, PD often transcend spectacularly the simplistic punk origins of their style. This is thanks in no small part to the monstrous newcomer behind the drum kit, Adam Jarvis. His ultra-technical, impossibly precise approach to battery gives Hull the opportunity to venture into compositional territory that might not have been previously possible.

With all of this in mind, I find myself wondering whether or not Book Burner is their finest album yet. It’s a tough call and one which might ultimately be too close to make, especially taking into consideration the monumental importance of their back catalogue, particularly Prowler in the Yard and Terrifyer. In the end, though, making that call is of no importance. All that matters is that after almost 15 years of boundary-pushing Grindcore, Pig Destroyer are still releasing music that seriously challenges their own best work, and puts most of their rivals to shame. After such a string of exceptional releases, it would be fair to argue that they have cemented their place alongside Napalm Death as the true masters of Grindcore.

Killing Songs :
Every track is great, but check out The American's Head, Eve, The Diplomat, Valley of the Geysers, Baltimore Strangler, The Bug, Burning Palm and Permanent Funeral
Bar quoted 95 / 100
Koeppe quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Pig Destroyer that we have reviewed:
Pig Destroyer - Mass & Volume reviewed by Koeppe and quoted no quote
Pig Destroyer - Prowler In The Yard reviewed by Goat and quoted 93 / 100
Pig Destroyer - Phantom Limb reviewed by Adam and quoted 90 /100
Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer reviewed by Aaron and quoted 95 / 100
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