A man is chanting the same 4 words over and over. “The body of Christ…the body of Christ….the body of Christ…” I can hear him over the squealing cries of an animal being brutally tortured. It carries on like a stuck record, before cutting off sharply as a small voice whispers, “mummy, they’re coming….”
No, this isn’t the beginning scene from the new Exorcist film; but the start of Pig Destroyer’s new album, “Phantom Limb.’ Those familiar with the Virginia outfit will know that their music is about as subtle as being stoned to death with big fucking rocks. “Rotten Yellow’ is a savage beast-like opener; ripping new holes in the listeners ears, like a hellspawn from the dungeon dimensions. “Jupiter’s Eye’ is a feral, sickening slab of metal-meets-grind, whilst “Thought Crime Spree’ features some monstrous riffage from guitarist Scott Hull, (that would put Slayer to shame) and deeply disturbing laughter from sample-man, Blake Harrison.
“Lesser Animal’ features some of the fastest drumming I have ever heard and hits you like a battering ram to the chest; chugging along with a furiously aggressive hardcore-punk attitude. 7th track “Loathsome’ is possibly the best grindcore track I’ve heard this year; and would scare the shit out of all the run-of-the-mill-metalcore bands you see nowadays.
However, like most grindcore, it takes a fair few spins to absorb; as songs overlap, and when you’ve heard J.R. Hayes screaming until his vocal chords burnout, you’ve heard it all really. The inclusion of Harrison’s samples and ambient musical interludes tagged on to the end and beginning of certain tracks adds brief respite between the noise, but in places he is underused; drowned out by Hull’s guitar and Brian Harvey’s (no, not the E-17 man) phenomenal drumming.
The untitled hidden track is a classic wrong footer; supposedly composed by Harrison himself, which features an old country and western song playing out a phone speaker, with crickets chirping in the background. It’s like the ambient equivalent of a SunnO))) track mixed with a nature documentary but much, much creepier. I’d go on the record to say that this track is possibly the most disturbing thing Pig Destroyer have ever done; for the sheer absurdness of it.
What is particularly impressive is the volume “Phantom Limb’ has been recorded at. Even at the low setting, much of it is a bludgeoning assault on the ears. Heck, this even gives noise-mongers Coachwhips a run for their money on turning it up to 11 and beyond! The thing is, this is exactly the kind of music that everyone should be shielded from; but thankfully it isn’t. Brutally honest, straight to the point, no bullshit grindcore that makes Hull’s other band, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, look like a pop-punk act.
“It’s like, losing a limb!” screams Hayes on “Jupiter’s Eye”; “it’s like losing my hearing, mate.” I say. Pure filth.
Click here to hear ‘Thought Crime Spree‘ from the album; it will shred your ears!