Pig Destroyer’s latest album has been in gestation for a few years and people have been eagerly awaiting news on the Virginian grindcore luminaries’ return, and rightfully so. It’s been five years since Phantom Limb, an album not quite as universally revered but still an impressive outing.
Book Burner enters our consciousness in 2012, stares its expectations right in the eye and effortlessly obliterates them, with a vividly unconcerned feeling about others’ expectations. What do they know? This is Pig Destroyer’s fifth album and their fifth time doing things by their own book… a burning one at that.
The truth is that good things come to those who wait, and Book Burner deserves just about every bit of praise flung at it. It’s not a perfect grindcore record, and there are only a handful of those in existence, but this is Pig Destroyer at some of their finest and aggressive best and the result is an album that is one of the heavy records of 2012 without a doubt. Book Burner is ceaselessly punishing and barbaric but all the while glossed with a sleek production, one that for some records make it sterile, but the opposite is true on this record.
With a new drummer in Misery Index’s Adam Jarvis, the band’s current line-up incarnation is one that sounds like it has the bit between its teeth. Some may still pine for Brian Harvey on the drummer stool but regardless Pig Destroyer sound simply invigorated, evidenced by the unrelenting and fierce riffing stacked on top of one another like the ferocious melee of 'Machiavellian' or 'Burning Palm'. Scott Hull is revered as a master riff writer for a reason and his trademark is all over this record, with reckless abandon.
The album is also littered with some guest vocalists like Misery Index’s Jason Netherton and Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Katherine Katz, the latter in particular lending her searing vocals to ‘Eve’ and ‘The Bug’. Much like all of Pig Destroyer’s albums, JR Hayes’ lyrics are affecting verses of dark and grim poetry laid out in the album’s unnerving artwork.
Start to finish, Book Burner doesn’t let up with ideas bounding from every possible angle. Join the queue.