Pig Destroyer – Book Burner


Artist

Album

Book Burner

Label

Relapse Records

Year

2012

Genre

For Fans Of

Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Nasum - Napalm Death

Summary

The perfect soundtrack to your favourite gore film.

Rating

71 / 100

15 years is a long time to remain within the confines of a single genre, especially one so abrasive as grindcore. But, in the true spirit of the style, Pig Destroyer show no signs of relenting on their fifth studio album, ‘Book Burner‘.

Considering the traditionally narrow but nonetheless invigorating scope of the genre, ‘Book Burner‘ contains a satisfying amount of diversity. ‘The Diplomat‘, a dirge-like tune, features and interesting contrast between light-hearted punk rock and twisted hardcore. Short bursts of all out brutality and blast beats are kept to a minimum, usually reserved for shorter tracks like ‘All Seeing Eye‘ and ‘Book Burner‘.

The multiple tempo changes of ‘Valley of the Geysers‘ are episodic in nature, much like the album as a whole. There’s an eerie interplay between the music and occasional spoken-word samples in several tracks, most notably ‘The Baltimore Strangler‘.

Book Burner‘ is raw, but not in the sense that it was recorded lazily. The ride cymbal in ‘White Lady‘ cuts through and seems like a strange inconsistency in the mix, but is in fact part of a tightly wrought crudeness. The guitars can only be described as crunchy.

The performances are also dangerously loose; it seems as if the band have utterly disregarded the common and potentially clinical method of recording with a click track. ‘Book Burner‘ is anything but clinical.

Rather than approach this album with a view to pick out a few choice cuts, which would be difficult considering the tracks all sound very similar for the first few listens, take it in as a whole. The hectic 32 minutes are vaguely divided into movements spanning several tracks, giving ‘Book Burner‘ a cinematic quality that should be more than enough to hold your attention.

Conclusion

Pig Destroyer have managed to do a rare thing with ‘Book Burner’, which is to present grindcore as an art form. It’s imbued with a cinematic aesthetic, both in terms of structure and texture, and while it may initially come across as raw and unrestrained, it gradually reveals itself to be the result of a considered and deliberate approach to the genre.

Tracklisting

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

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