Pig Destroyer - Head Cage review




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Reviewer:
8.0

57 users:
7.37
Band: Pig Destroyer
Album: Head Cage
Release date: September 2018


01. Tunnel Under The Tracks
02. Dark Train
03. Army Of Cops [feat. Richard "Grindfather" Johnson]
04. Circle River
05. The Torture Fields
06. Terminal Itch [feat. Kat Katz]
07. Concrete Beast [feat. Kat Katz]
08. The Adventures Of Jason And JR [feat. Jason Hodges]
09. Mt. Skull
10. Trap Door Man
11. The Last Song [feat. Dylan Walker]
12. House Of Snakes


Pig Destroyer is one of the most polarizing bands in grindcore, mostly because sometimes they aren't very grindcore. While Prowler In The Yard and Terrifyer are certified genre classics, their following albums have kinda split their fan base between the ones who want a return to grind roots and the ones who don't. Head Cage probably really pissed off the former.

Grindcore is a pretty big genre with not a lot of fans. A lot of its offshoots, like goregrind and noisecore, don't really find much of an audience outside of people who escaped from an asylum to hide in their mom's basement. Even grindcore proper doesn't really have many household names other than Napalm Death, despite how it's a genre that should have appeal for both metal fans and punk fans. One of those household names, probably the second most famous one, is Pig Destroyer. But Pig Destroyer has dabbled in groove metal and noise and thrash metal and most of all sludge (even coming out with sludge EPs). So now comes Head Cage.

Right off the bat, Head Cage is much more groovy than it is chaotic, with a track list and sound reminiscent of Phantom Limb, but with even longer and fewer songs and with even more bassy groove, making it pretty much the most accessible Pig Destroyer record of all. The first one to feature a bassist, even - John Jarvis, brother of drummer Adam Jarvis and also bassist of Agoraphobic Nosebleed - so there's more and more common members between the two, not counting the many guests on this album. Head Cage sounds much closer to a metalcore album than a grindcore one, especially on tracks like "Army Of Cops" or "Concrete Beast", with grindcore being pushed to one flavor in the undertone of the music. Along with the noise and the thrash sprinkles, this is still a more interesting and chaotic album than the usual metalcore or hardcore album, but more subdued and catchy than what we'd expect to hear from the band.

Head Cage feels bold and heavy despite its subdued nature. Maybe it's the lyrics and maybe it's the bass, but despite the lack of experimentation, the music is extremely engaging. The emphasis on meaty riffs and the relative amount of chaos that still remains is a bit more than just moshable music, but it's definitely moshable music. At least personally, I found it quite difficult to sit in my chair, not moving, to avoid funny looks from my roommate. All of the album's elements come together perfectly in the seven-minute closer, "House Of Snakes", the best written song on the album, which does indeed feel like it's on a slightly higher level than the rest of the album.

Head Cage might be a bit more predictable and accessible, it may feel like it could be more expansive, but it's well-written, powerful, and meaty.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 7


 



Written on 08.10.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 25   Visited by: 107 users
08.10.2018 - 23:37
VIG
Viggg
Fuck yes. I really really enjoyed this, I don't get why some are hating it. The riffs are really fun, the bass blends in pretty well, the vocals are pretty good. The biggest problem I had with this album is the production on the drums, they just sound really bad.
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08.10.2018 - 23:40
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by VIG on 08.10.2018 at 23:37

Fuck yes. I really really enjoyed this, I don't get why some are hating it. The riffs are really fun, the bass blends in pretty well, the vocals are pretty good. The biggest problem I had with this album is the production on the drums, they just sound really bad.

It's mostly just that it isn't grind or experimental enough, I can see why somebody would dislike it.

I can also see why somebody would love it, I know I did.
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Okay, this is epic!
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08.10.2018 - 23:44
VIG
Viggg
Written by RaduP on 08.10.2018 at 23:40

It's mostly just that it isn't grind or experimental enough, I can see why somebody would dislike it.

I can also see why somebody would love it, I know I did.

Yeah, I agree. I was actually at the release show for this album in NYC a few weeks ago with Despise You, Full Of Hell, and SECT, really intense show.

Btw, are you a big fan of grindcore in general? My favorite genre is sludge and post metal tied, but grindcore is my second favorite and there is a huge scene for it with tons of bands but it seems there are barely any grind fans on here.
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08.10.2018 - 23:49
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by VIG on 08.10.2018 at 23:44

Yeah, I agree. I was actually at the release show for this album in NYC a few weeks ago with Despise You, Full Of Hell, and SECT, really intense show.

Suprised Agoraphobic Nosebleed weren't there.
Written by VIG on 08.10.2018 at 23:44

Btw, are you a big fan of grindcore in general? My favorite genre is sludge and post metal tied, but grindcore is my second favorite and there is a huge scene for it with tons of bands but it seems there are barely any grind fans on here.

I'm more of a fan of mathcore or powerviolence or sludge. I love some grind, but most of the time I just associate it with brutal death or goregrind or slam which are all shit.
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Okay, this is epic!
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09.10.2018 - 00:15
VIG
Viggg
Written by RaduP on 08.10.2018 at 23:49

Suprised Agoraphobic Nosebleed weren't there.


Oh, I fucking love ANb. I really enjoy their early, more noisey really grindy stuff like Altered States Of America, although I even love Agorapocalypse, not as much as I used to, but now I realize that that album is pretty much thrashy hardcore and not grind in all honesty. They play stuff from all their albums and EPs and splits live apparently, covering a variety sounds which must be pretty great.


Written by RaduP on 08.10.2018 at 23:49

I'm more of a fan of mathcore or powerviolence or sludge. I love some grind, but most of the time I just associate it with brutal death or goregrind or slam which are all shit.


I can see why one would do that, but I feel like pure grindcore is way better in terms of both originality and music in general than brutal death/goregrind/slam.

Mathcore, powerviolence, sludge, as well as post-metal, industrial, grind and even death are all connected musically in some ways, which is really cool imo. Relapse Records is a great fucking label for all these things as well as some brutal death, and even some shoegaze now.

Anyway on-topic: I think that even though Head Cage isn't a very original sound in general, it is a whole new sound for PD, and I think they pulled it off really well. Plus, maybe it'd be a good entry point for grindcore for those who don't know it too well because it's more accessible and has a metalcore edge to it.
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09.10.2018 - 00:18
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by VIG on 09.10.2018 at 00:15

It's more accessible and has a metalcore edge to it.

It's metalcore.
It has a grind edge.
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Okay, this is epic!
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09.10.2018 - 00:22
VIG
Viggg
Written by RaduP on 09.10.2018 at 00:18

It's metalcore.
It has a grind edge.

Yeah, probably because the songs aren't as aggressive or short honestly. Missing quite a few grind elements. Although I really like metalcore, so PD metalcore is really enjoyable for me.
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09.10.2018 - 00:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by VIG on 09.10.2018 at 00:22

Although I really like metalcore, so PD metalcore is really enjoyable for me.

same
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Okay, this is epic!
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09.10.2018 - 08:40
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Quote:
Grindcore is a pretty big genre with not a lot of fans


Not a lot of fans? Really?

You need to reanalyze it again.
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09.10.2018 - 20:33
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 09.10.2018 at 08:40

Quote:
Grindcore is a pretty big genre with not a lot of fans


Not a lot of fans? Really?

You need to reanalyze it again.

I haven't seen a lot of grind fans either. I mean people who actually listen to grind, not just pretend to.
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Okay, this is epic!
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10.10.2018 - 02:17
iappreci8
Pig Destroyer = Cop Killer?
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10.10.2018 - 03:56
VIG
Viggg
Written by iappreci8 on 10.10.2018 at 02:17

Pig Destroyer = Cop Killer?

Yes. Thank you for your revealing and enlightening comment that really was relative to Radu's wonderful review of an album you will probably never even have any interest in
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10.10.2018 - 07:58
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Written by RaduP on 09.10.2018 at 20:33

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 09.10.2018 at 08:40

Quote:
Grindcore is a pretty big genre with not a lot of fans


Not a lot of fans? Really?

You need to reanalyze it again.

I haven't seen a lot of grind fans either. I mean people who actually listen to grind, not just pretend to.


Maybe it's you, but you missing a huge chunk of fans of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Insect Warfare, Wormrot, Full Of Hell, Nasum, Magrudergrind, Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Cephalic Carnage and more. These are right top of my head.
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10.10.2018 - 19:16
Bad English
Masterchief
Grind core, well I agree, about what you said, to me its like if you're teenager and wanna be something different, dont want have long hair and letter jackets( writing from 90's perspective) but you like agresivity, you might like this genre and later you're 25 and are part of footy hooly gang. Otherwise I dunno why people like this genre. I tried listen in eraly 20's and I didnt get it and wont listen it now. This band I tried half song , hated it and I wont listen it again, I better listen neo folk, post or some pop.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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12.10.2018 - 04:17
iappreci8
Reply to VIG: Actually, I am a fan of Grindcore but would not listen to a band that endorses killing cops any more than i would a white supremacist hate band.
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17.10.2018 - 03:35
VIG
Viggg
Written by iappreci8 on 12.10.2018 at 04:17

Reply to VIG: Actually, I am a fan of Grindcore but would not listen to a band that endorses killing cops any more than i would a white supremacist hate band.

No one really said that they endorse killing cops. The story goes that some of the guys who founded the band were in line for a roller coaster and they were trying to think of the most hardcore punk name for a band ever, and they came up with Cop Killer and Cop Destroyer, and they changed cop to pig and they choose that for fun.

When JR was asked about the band name, he just said he never really liked the cops of america basically and that was another part of why they chose the name. The song Army Of Cops is clearly about recent police brutality in america, but in no ways are they trying to tell fans to kill or hurt policemen nor would they do anything like that themselves.
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28.10.2018 - 01:25
BiffMalibu
People are hating on this? Why? I let go all that genre absolutism and elitism, I can listen to Full of Hell and Nails or Ghost and Haken and love it. These days I think that's an attitude more metalheads should have....
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28.10.2018 - 12:16
Mercurial
Written by BiffMalibu on 28.10.2018 at 01:25

People are hating on this? Why? I let go all that genre absolutism and elitism, I can listen to Full of Hell and Nails or Ghost and Haken and love it. These days I think that's an attitude more metalheads should have....

I listen to pop, hip hop and post-punk, as well as noise, black metal and grind. I still found this record to be somewhat mediocre. Nothing to do with elitism or absolutism. I wouldn't call a 7.5 average indicative of hate either.
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28.10.2018 - 13:29
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Mercurial on 28.10.2018 at 12:16

Written by BiffMalibu on 28.10.2018 at 01:25

People are hating on this? Why? I let go all that genre absolutism and elitism, I can listen to Full of Hell and Nails or Ghost and Haken and love it. These days I think that's an attitude more metalheads should have....

I listen to pop, hip hop and post-punk, as well as noise, black metal and grind. I still found this record to be somewhat mediocre. Nothing to do with elitism or absolutism. I wouldn't call a 7.5 average indicative of hate either.

Didn't you get the memo? Everything below 8 is bad. BAD I tell ya!
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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28.10.2018 - 14:05
Mercurial
Written by Mr. Doctor on 28.10.2018 at 13:29

Didn't you get the memo? Everything below 8 is bad. BAD I tell ya!

You got to love a 7 - 10 rating system.
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28.10.2018 - 14:08
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Mercurial on 28.10.2018 at 14:05
You got to love a 7 - 10 rating system.


Haha indeed. I'm kind of at fault on that though but it's mostly because I decided to only rate what I own. And if I don't like it at least a little bit... It's not in my collection anymore haha.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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28.10.2018 - 14:11
Mercurial
Written by Mr. Doctor on 28.10.2018 at 14:08


Haha indeed. I'm kind of at fault on that though but it's mostly because I decided to only rate what I own. And if I don't like it at least a little bit... It's not in my collection anymore haha.

Well that's sensible really. Don't want a bunch of terrible 6/10 records cluttering your shiny collection
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28.10.2018 - 14:16
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Mercurial on 28.10.2018 at 14:11

Written by Mr. Doctor on 28.10.2018 at 14:08


Haha indeed. I'm kind of at fault on that though but it's mostly because I decided to only rate what I own. And if I don't like it at least a little bit... It's not in my collection anymore haha.

Well that's sensible really. Don't want a bunch of terrible 6/10 records cluttering your shiny collection



I got loads of 1-5/10 albums cluttering my collection. Just gotta love recieving all those promos to review.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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28.10.2018 - 14:37
Mercurial
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.10.2018 at 14:16


I got loads of 1-5/10 albums cluttering my collection. Just gotta love recieving all those promos to review.

You just need to make some friends with really bad taste so you can offload them all
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28.10.2018 - 14:38
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Mercurial on 28.10.2018 at 14:37

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.10.2018 at 14:16


I got loads of 1-5/10 albums cluttering my collection. Just gotta love recieving all those promos to review.

You just need to make some friends with really bad taste so you can offload them all



I can't even seem to offload those albums to those friends
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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