Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 19 December, 2008
Unlearn what you have learned. School is in session.
Pig Destroyer's Phantom Limb was definitely one of the highlights of 2007. It was a healthy balance of just about everything you could have expected from this quartet (who are vocalist J.R. Hayes, guitarist Scott Hull, sampler Blake Harrison and drummer Brian Harvey). Just over a year later and Pig Destroyer are back. But this time, expect the unexpected with their latest long player dubbed Natasha.
Grind freaks will lose their mind over this and not in a good way, because this is anything but a grind fest. If I had to liken this to something, it would be something that Alex Newport (Fudge Tunnel, Nailbomb) or Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Napalm Death, Jesu) would have a heavy hand in. The single track on Natasha clocks in at just over 37 and a half minutes, so you best get comfortable. Within that are three fairly distinct songs of sludge infested down tuned guitars, slow, trudging drums and heavily sampled vocals that fluctuate from whispers to screams. In between are samples, keyboards and effects that heighten the experience of this one track wonder.
As I said, grind freaks will be disappointed but those who like the snail's pace that artists like Godflesh and Fudge Tunnel championed back in the day should really get into this. Anyone that though Pig Destroyer was a one dimensional grind act will be as surprised as I was by this release. Natasha won't be for everyone and it is a task and a half to get through in a single sitting, but those who make the effort will be rewarded. Bloody brilliant.
(Relapse Records/Riot! Entertainment)