Pig Destroyer is an American Grindcore band hailing from Alexandria, Virginia. “Head Cage” is the band’s sixth studio album following 2012’s Book Burner. The album includes a Grindcore feel along with a death and doom metal vibe. The album has 12 tracks total.
As far as Grindcore albums go, this one feels the least like a traditional Pig Destroyer album. This is not a bad thing, however, when the band weaves death and doom metal elements into the sound. With a more progressive Grindcore feeling, the band delivers a solid album. It is hard to follow up a classic Grindcore album like “Book Burner,” and Pig Destroyer comes up a little short on that regard. In terms of a great metal album, however, Pig Destroyer delivers with a blistering defiance of what Grindcore is.
The tracks all have a different feel to them. Each one approaches Grindcore in ways that few other bands have. Highlights of the album include; “Army of Cops,” “Concrete Beast,” “The Torture Fields,” and “House of Snakes” ending the album. One drop in greatness comes from the track, “The Last Song.” Amongst the beasts in the album this one just feels less of a good track and more filler. Pig Destroyer has, because of this directional change, become much more approachable in the metal genre than before. Prior to “Head Cage’s” release Pig Destroyer felt very niche and one only listened to it when they wanted to scratch the Grindcore itch.
With “Head Cage,” the popularity of the group should go up. “Army of Cops,” the third track of the album feels like a Grindcore anthem, which is something very few Grindcore fans could ever say they wanted prior to listening to the track.
“Concrete Beast” has the feel of a death metal song on some serious speed ups for the bass. The bass in the track has the element of technical death metal in it, and it surprises with how precise the bass playing is. Bass is traditionally played slower than the lead guitar in Grindcore, but that does not seem to be the case with this track. The bass is the focal point of the track and Pig Destroyer wants the listener to feel it in their bodies.
“The Torture Fields” is a slap to the face of Grindcore as it slows down the tempo of a fast album to that of a doom metal style crawl. It is one of the more approachable tracks in the album and bridges that gap between doom and Grindcore in ways that should not work; but does work in spectacular fashion.
The pinnacle of the album is the last track, “House of Snakes.” The seven-minute titan of a track combines everything amazing about Grindcore, Death, Doom and Thrash metal into a cohesive monster of metal. The slow grind in the beginning that transforms into technical death metal aesthetics, with a dash of thrash and death is by far the best track on the album.
“House of Snakes” rounds out an impressive display of musical mastery from Pig Destroyer. The combinations of sub-genres in metal has put other extreme metal bands on notice. Pig Destroyer is back, and they will melt your face and liquify your bones with intensity suited only for Grindcore legends.