When I heard that PIG DESTROYER was dropping a new EP, I was stoked. Then I heard it was a wide release of material recorded during the Phantom Limb sessions that had been initially released in a limited run for charity. My mouth watered. I love the gritty, raw unfiltered racket spewed forth by the grindcore giants. This is the type of auditory assault that can easily replace the need for a morning cup of coffee. Don’t believe me? Wake up to any number of tracks from Terrifyer and tell me if you’re not bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as a result. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Now that we are in a state of agreement, let’s proceed. As I learned more, I found that this disc was comprised of two doom songs. I lost my appetite. I HATE doom metal. But I love PIG DESTROYER. Whatever am I to do? Well, I decided to give it the chance because, overall, this group has failed to let me down in the past. That said, whether you purchased it on the limited digital run in March or plan to pick it up now, Mass & Volume will be released on a wide spectrum October 14 through Relapse Records.
“Mass” starts off incredibly slow. Think snail’s pace, and then slow down from there. The track is over 19 minutes in length, and you feel every moment of it. The song opens with a creepy mix of feedback and noise, much akin to the horror film aspects of prior PxDx tracks. Guitars finally break in around the four minute mark, striking your ears with huge, droning chords. Vocals begin about seven minutes in, and do not stray from what you would expect from the group. This was a saving grace for me, because, as much as I dig these guys, I don’t think I’d be able to if J. R. Hayes began singing in the cheesy Glen Danzig style of delivery. A great deal of contrast shows in the second song, “Red Tar”, or “Volume” on the disc that I have; this song has more emphasis on actual structure versus the ominous trudge featured on its predecessor. The riff holds a groove, the vocals aren’t saturated with tremolo, and it’s not 19 minutes of dragging boulders. Despite my disdain for Doom, this sludgy piece was still palatable.
Overall, this is not what I want from PIG DESTROYER. I want the vicious, rabid, 30 second-long bashers that initially hooked me to this group in years past. However, I always hold respect for a group that is willing to take risks, and step outside of their comfort zone. This band is no stranger to this; after all, 2008’s Natasha was a huge step outside the bounds of grind. So while I don’t particularly enjoy this rendition of the group, nor the songs contained therein, I still offer a generous amount of respect for the work done on Mass & Volume. Whether you’re a fan of muddy, despondent doom metal or plan to keep the status quo of owning all releases by the group, I still make the suggestion add this to your collection.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Red Tar/Volume”
WRITTEN BY FRENCH CHEESE