Pig Destroyer. EP. Are you ready for 20 minutes of aggravated, misanthropic deathgrind anthems in the vein of Phantom Limb? Because you’d better not be.
Mass & Volume contains two tracks. It’s about 25 minutes long. Are you starting to see the issue with your anticipation? The issue is that this is not a grindcore EP. For the most part it’s not even a death metal EP. It’s two movements of feedback-laced ambiance and colossal, roaring guitars tearing metal apart and letting the pieces lie.
“Mass” begins peacefully, building a deep meadow of sound with flute- and bassoon- like sounds, deep bass drones and textural feedback. Four minutes pass before we hear from the drums, which welcome giant chord hits with subsequent feedback decay. Ages pass and after Hayes makes his bleak offering to the song a single doom/sludge riff summons itself, ushering in the seven-minute stretch of ambiance and buried samples that play out the massive movement. “Mass” is bizarre and intriguing, but somehow approachable and listenable despite its extreme length. In the realm of expectation, it misses the mark entirely.
“Volume” plays out in a more straightforward fashion, but again deviates considerably from the usual tropes of the band and their deathgrind ilk. Yet its sludge-doom crawl somehow reeks of Pig Destroyer with nary a blastbeat to its name. Maybe it’s an extended breakdown. Maybe it’s an intentional foray into a new genre. Or may it’s just a break from the performative rigor of previous Pig Destroyer material. Either way it’s worth your time.
Mass & Volume will both bewilder and please fans when it drops, and for what could have been unreleased material, it’s surprisingly high quality both in composition and recording. Even if you aren’t a fan of Pig Destroyer, don’t pass this EP over.