The time has come, it’s the matchup we’ve all been waiting for. Beauty versus the beast (I’ll let you decide who’s who), lover (of one hit wonders) versus hater (of Yousician), and…uh…whatever, Talia and myself (Justin) are reviewing The Octagonal Stairway, the latest EP from long-running grindcore band Pig Destroyer.
Despite how br00tal I’ve always claimed to be, Pig Destroyer is one of those bands that has always been on my radar but has never made it into regular listening rotation. Maybe it was the goofy band name. Maybe it was song titles like “Cheerleader Corpses.” Whatever my past reluctance(s) may have been, The Octagonal Stairway may be enough to change my mind.
Between the sporadic guitar work, the shrieking vocals, and the industrial dabbling that all crop in the opening tune, The Octagonal Stairway immediately grabbed my attention. The band’s intensity carries over throughout the entire EP, namely on tunes like “The Cavalry” and “Cameraman.” All in all, the opening half of The Octagonal Stairway lives up to what I, and other Pig Destroyer casuals, may imagine when they think of the group.
While the brutality is certainly there, The Octagonal Stairway is far from a standard grindcore release. The tail end of this thing shows off the band’s affection for experimentation. “Head Cage” is a brief, harsh industrial outing from the band that leads into the closing tune “Sound Walker.” Featuring Igor Cavalera, this eleven-minute closer starts out feeling like something I’d have heard on the newest Daughters release, with intense, moody modulation and electronic warbling that deserves to be played really fucking loud.
Now, before I jibber-jabber for too much longer, let’s hear what Talia thinks about this sucker.
Fucking Pig Destroyer. These guys always make me happy. The previous jibber-jabber is quite accurately dished out. This is definitely the album that makes me love this band even more.
There’s a certain unavoidable satisfaction when it comes to grindcore for me, especially if you throw in some noise music instances, which this album really revels in. As previously mentioned, the record starts off with the familiar destruction of what the grind really is about. Still coming off as rather clean, the overall sound is still incredibly feisty, and never overwhelming. There’s an obvious harmony in all the chaos. It seems as if Pig Destroyer have found the perfect middle ground between the almighty grind and strange psychedelia. Sure we can say that this release strays a bit from the classic grindcore template, but I’m all here for it.
The industrial soundscape created here reminds me of Animals by Pink Floyd, where I feel like I’m in a factory just tripping balls and wondering why the creepy vibes are comforting to me. The entire album from start to finish sounds like the most intense visit to Lucy in that sky full of diamonds. And if you thought that was the end of it, right at the peak of the record, we’re thrown into total confusion (in the best way) with “News Channel 6” followed by “Head Cage,” that literally imagined, has your head in a fucking cage. The final explosion of mind-bending happens with the last track, “Sound Walker,” which oddly enough, feels like the end of every single intense psychedelic experience I’ve ever had.
Well, there you have it folks; the bipolar beauty and beast nearly agree. You can’t go wrong with this kind of work. It’s brutal, it’s trippy, it’s everything your twisted little heart could desire. Given you’re as messed up as we are here at Bucketlist.
Written by Justin Bruce and Talia Plante
*Edited by Dominic Abate