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Pig Destroyer At Reggies Rock Club 4/8/2016

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Band Photo: Pig Destroyer (?)

Whoever decided to book the Abbath, High On Fire and Skeletonwitch tour date on the same day as a Pig Destroyer show deserves to be shot. After seeing how many people turned up to see PD, I feel really sorry for everyone involved with the Abbath tour.

Then again, it might not have been as dire for them since metal's grown larger as it has grown more diverse. I was surprised by the amount of people over 40, women and people dressed like they just got out of work at an office job. Usually metal shows – particularly for bands as brutal as Pig Destroyer – attract a audience of mostly 18-35-year-old working class males. Then again, since anyone who isn't part of that demographic is treated as a complete pariah by TV executives and aren't allowed to be couch potatoes, it's only natural that they'd show up to see Pig Destroyer. After all, metal is ultimately a genre for the dispossessed misfits of society.
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Dethbeds had some good riffs but they had an annoying vocalist who sounded like a quacking duck mixed with Joe Pesci. I'm not saying that Joe Pesci impregnated a duck 30 years ago. It may very well not have happened. I'm just asking questions. If you like hardcore and can get over the vocals, then I'm sure that they have an audience. I'm just not into duck punk. I'll admit that I like Slapshot despite the vocals but that's more because I respect what they mean to hardcore in general. The problem is that Dethbeds try too hard to emulate the absolute worst part of Slapshot and it's grating.
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La Armada are local so I don't want to hate on them too much. The problem with local artists is that Sturgeons Law kicks in and you realize that that most bands signed to indie labels deserve to be there because they just don't have what it takes to play in the big leagues. Maybe I'm not the biggest fan of hardcore or maybe it's that I'm old enough to be a grizzled metal warrior but there was nothing that La armada did to differentiate themselves from a thousand other hardcore bands. They didn't outright suck but they just came across as generic. I'll admit that they have talent, that they can put on a good show, I liked how they told a joke at the expense of Donald Trump and I really like how they're from my hometown but there's just something that I can't put my finger on about why they didn't click with me. It's the same with most hardcore, really. There are rare exceptions but La Armada aren't one of them.

Call of the Void were a band that I never heard of and after the two openers, I had low expectations for. Holy shit was I wrong. They were never on my radar but they are certainly one kick-ass grind band. I really gave up on new grindcore back in 2008 because there were too many talentless one-man bands playing at tempos too slow for the genre with vocals sounding like a flushing toilet. Thankfully Call of the Void are actually proper grind. I strongly recommend them to fans of Misery Index. I'm absolutely kicking myself for not checking them out earlier.
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Finally Pig Destroyer had their turn to headline and they absolutely rip live. The main problem I had was that I had to take out my earplugs because Jr Hayes' voice just happens to be the same pitch as guitar feedback. Scott Hull's playing is still some of the most recognizable in metal (or any genre for that matter) and really does benefit from a live setting. For instance, the riff to “Pretty In Casts” is played at around twice the speed compared to the album version. They apologized for doing a poor job the last time they were in Chicago but I can't comment on that as I wasn't there but nothing seemed off to me other than the setlist relying more on deep cuts than the more recognizable songs. Not that it mattered considering that Blake Harrison has an amazing stage presence.
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Still, the venue was packed and it was great to see types of people that I never would have expected to show up at a Pig Destroyer show attend. Particularly some of the old guard who've been part of the metal scene since the 80s. The only way that metal can survive is to broaden its appeal and the future ultimately looks like anyone who desires to be part of it.

Dasher10's avatar

Matt is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Illinois and a metalhead since 1999.

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3 Comments on "Pig Destroyer At Reggies Rock Club"

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RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

1. RememberMetal? writes:

I remember stumbling onto these guys back in '02 and they absolutely turned my little music world upside down. Dillinger and Converge (despite their beautiful fury) had NOT prepared me for these guys.

I remember being one of the voices in favor PxDx when you were wrestling with which show to catch. Hope this one feels like the better choice.

# Apr 12, 2016 @ 8:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Dasher10's avatar

Writer/Reviewer

2. Dasher10 writes:

Ha. It wasn't that hard of a choice. I caught Immortal headlining, High on Fire opening for Megadeth and Skeletonwitch opening for Arch Enemy. I'd never seen Pig Destroyer and I've been a fan since Terrifyer.

# Apr 12, 2016 @ 11:42 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

3. RememberMetal? writes:

I thought Prowler would be hard to top... Jesus, I was wide-eyed through the whole first spin of Terrifyer. It's their crowning achievement.

The whole band have never sounded as furious as on that album, particularly Hayes. But they've never released a flop either.

Speaking of Skeletonwitch, I hope Apothic Gloom turns out to be as good as the lead track is promising, I was worried until I heard the new vocalist.

# Apr 12, 2016 @ 12:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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