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Pig Destroyer - "Book Burner" (CD)

Pig Destroyer - "Book Burner" CD cover image

"Book Burner" track listing:

1. Sis
2. The American’s Head
3. The Underground Man
4. Eve
5. The Diplomat
6. All Seeing Eye
7. Valley of the Geysers
8. Book Burner
9. Machiavellian
10. Baltimore Strangler
11. White Lady
12. The Bug
13. Iron Drunk
14. Burning Palm
15. Dirty Knife
16. Totaled
17. Kamikaze Heart
18. King of Clubs
19. Permanent Funeral

Reviewed by on October 11, 2012

"Pig Destroyer has done well with 'Book Burner' to show that the band can throw some great licks in the mix that make for a more fun listening experience than typical grindcore."

What often turns me off from grindcore albums after the first few songs is that there is no break from the roar of the music for even a second. The tracks are so muddled that they aren’t enjoyable as music - it’s just blasting noise. However, Pig Destroyer has done well with “Book Burner” to show that the band can throw some great licks in the mix that make for a more fun listening experience than typical grindcore.

The average song length is two minutes and you can’t keep up with the supersonic drums, but they still slow it down for some groovier rock sections. Guitarist and founder Scott Hull deserves a lot of credit for the variety here; immediately as the record begins, his chugging riff and pinch notes in “Sis” sets the tone for the rest of the album. “The Diplomat” uses a cool opening of dark chugging guitars that have almost a hard rock sound and it’s only punctuated by pinch harmonics, which I love. As the drums snap a few hundred times a minute, Scott plays slowly creating this strange, yet perfect sounding mix. New drummer Adam Jarvis has some crazy skills and he does amazingly in each song, displaying his incredible talent throughout every second of the record. Or every millisecond considering how fast he is. Blake Harrison picked out some good samples, but I found them to be too few and too low in the mix to fully understand the juxtaposition they were trying to convey.

The lyrics are pretty diverse, possibly more diverse than Pig Destroyer has done previously. They are even somewhat poetic at times, showing just what J.R. Hayes can do with the words he screams wildly in his furious and desperate voice. Certainly there are political, economic, and social overtones on many songs, but songs like “Eve” are sheer imagery with phrases like “She got bitten by a two-headed snake, she laughed as she bled gold. I told her I’d build her a slaughterhouse of her very own.”

Pig Destroyer has really set itself apart and maybe even ahead of the grindcore pack with "Book Burner." This album shows just why the band has become so well-known during its span in the grindcore scene.

Highs: Lots of variety and excellent muscianship for grindcore.

Lows: I enjoyed Blake's samples and could have used more.

Bottom line: "Book Burner" is grindcore at it's finest.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)