Pig Destroyer – Phantom Limb

Pig Destroyer - Phantom LimbPig DestroyerPhantom Limb (Relapse)

True story: I put on Pig Destroyer’s latest album Phantom Limb and went about my business. It dawned on me that you can’t really “go about your business” with a Pig Destroyer album playing in the background. As a matter of fact, the moment that I realized I was brutally getting hit upside the head by the sounds ripping through my speakers was seven minutes into Phantom Limb (the moment the music ends, only to be replaced by an radio segment about a man who was burned alive). So while the audio onslaught was momentarily eased, I looked up at the player and stared slackjawed at my cd player.

I’m already on the seventh track.

I shouldn’t like Pig Destroyer, and there’s a very good possibility that you won’t either. At the same time, I’m familiar with the term “deathgrind” metal, I’ve perused a few Jim Goad‘s writings, and have a strange affection for any band that feels the need to rock without the aid of a bass guitarist.

Pig Destroyer carries similar traits and, therefore, I’m curiously drawn to them. And because Phantom Limb is so unrelenting in its brutality, I’m encouraging you to ignore your dental work and allow Pig Destroyer to kick you in the teeth.

There’s little in terms of melody. Hell, let’s be honest, there’s little in terms of listenability, but there’s an infinite amount of riffage, aggression, and double bass drum kick to make you feel like quitting your job and becoming a full time cast member of Heavy Metal Parking Lot or an interviewee for Slayer’s War At The Warfield dvd.

I’d quote a lyric or two from some of the songs like “Girl In The Slayer Jacket” or “Fourth Degree Burns” but I can’t understand a fucking word of what vocalist J.R. Hayes is screaming about.

And that’s exactly the way it should be.

The second time Phantom Limb lets up is at the end, immediately after a sample of “Medication time. Medication time.” From One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, the sound of crickets and a distant radio transmission playing Ray Price’s “I’ve Got A New Heartache” appears and continues for seven minutes (the longest track on the disc) before abruptly ending.

Throughout it, I kept waiting for something to jump out at me, scaring me like one of those shitty flash videos. Instead, they let the crickets continue with an occasional passing car, allowing the listeners to fully appreciate the violent skull fucking that was the first 31 minutes (!) of Phantom Limb and wallow in the unease that it created.

And what a half hour it is: 14 tracks of devastation uncommercial grindcore as heavy as anything you’ve heard this year or, perhaps, in your lifetime. If the idea of having a half hour of uncommercial grindcore in your collection isn’t appealing to you, then stay clear. But for me, I’ve found solace in having Phantom Limb close at hand, at the ready to kick the shit out of anything that’s in your set.


Pig Destroyer – “Thought Crime Spree”

Pig Destroyer – “Loathsome”

5 thoughts on “Pig Destroyer – Phantom Limb”

  1. Excellent article. It really makes me curious about hearing music that I normally wouldn’t consider listening to. Downloading now. Thanks, TeeTee.

  2. if you want grindcore with more of a sense of humor but still brutal in sound try this -chris dodge/dave witte – east west blast test (basically this is one for those who though naked city had too much jazz)

  3. I saw them in Philadelphia, and I’ll have to say they put on one of the best shows that I’ve ever been to. Personally, compared to their other discography, Phantom Limb could be considered a bit tame for my tastes. But unlike most bands, they still kept the ball rolling with a completely original new record, which in my eyes, is the hardest thing for a band to do. Good article aswell, :).

  4. Good review! You should definitely read J.R.’s lyrics though. He is an unsung antihero in the metal world. Genius.

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