(DGR reviews the new album by Pig Destroyer, which was released on September 7th by Relapse Records.)
It’s been five years since it happened, but when it comes to Pig Destroyer, this article here is always going to elicit a small chuckle out of me. Not because of the lineup shift or anything of that magnitude, but the way the news posting plays out. It almost reads as if the addition of a bassist to the lineup was an absolutely massive thing for these noise-grind stalwarts. It may very well have been, but the idea that the addition of a low-end to the band — something we commonly take for granted as part of a traditional metal lineup — was so important that Pig Destroyer issued a press release to announce it (again, entirely inferred and not the purpose of the article) is so off-kilter that I can’t help but smile a bit.
But, if you had to pick anything to describe the chaotic-ping-ponging around the metal genre-sphere that Pig Destroyer‘s overall discography has represented, Off-Kilter may just work for what the band have made their bread and butter — flying right on the edge of grind, and pushing at its boundaries. In fact, it has often felt like every single Pig Destroyer release has been a soft re-launch of the band, as they’ve played with drone, doom, adding various electronic samples to the overall sound, all of it roughly translating to never quite knowing what you’ll get upon first picking up a new release, outside of the band’s trademark speed.
Which is why the group’s newest release Head Cage proves to be interesting, if not polarizing, in part because it represents the hardest right turn the band have made yet — like a car screeching against the outside railings of a highway off-ramp — taking on a groove-heavy sound in the midst of all that grind, resulting in an album that is overall far less chaotic than what they’ve put forth before, and also a hell of a lot of shameless “fun”.