Pig Destroyer – Head Cage

Spread the metal:

Pig Destroyer – Head Cage
Reviewed: January, 2019
Released: 2018, Relapse Records
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

I like this album, but I don’t love it. And that kinda sucks. Pig Destroyer are inarguably one of the biggest grindcore bands on the planet right now, and their music is already polarizing to begin with, but HEAD CAGE is the kind of album that stands to polarize even further.

The best way to describe HEAD CAGE is to equate it with Metallica’s BLACK ALBUM. It still has a Pig Destroyer logo on the album cover and it’s still ridiculously heavy compared most of what the rest of the world spinning music wise, but the streamlined nature of the tunes offer a more traditional take on what’s normally a fairly spastic sounding band. Instead of a couple dozen bursts of sonic fury blazed in the span of 30 minutes, you’ve got half of that in the same timeframe. Sure, there’s an argument that it allows the songs to become more fully realized, impactful, whatever, but in the end it doesn’t quite pack the same wallop. That’s my experience, for what it’s worth.

To be fair – songs like “Army of Cops” and “The Torture Fields” have deservedly been all over Liquid Metal and will justly kick your teeth in, as will the 7-minute closing opus “House of Snakes”, but the rest of it? Meh. And the degree that certain other metal webzines/periodicals have pushed to convince you otherwise feels like nothing short of a political campaign for a likeable candidate that doesn’t really have anything to say. It’s all definitely persuaded me to give the album some additional listens, but to paraphrase a failed Vice Presidential candidate, you can put lipstick on a mediocre Pig Destroyer album, but it won’t make it any less mediocre.

Maybe with time I’ll come around to appreciate HEAD CAGE for what it is – it’s certainly happened before. And yes, a new Pig Destroyer album that I don’t love is still better than not having a new Pig Destroyer album at all, but it still kinda sucks.



Track List:
1. Tunnel Under the Tracks
2. Dark Train
3. Army of Cops
4. Circle River
5. The Torture Fields
6. Terminal Itch
7. Concrete Beast
8. The Adventures of Jason and JR
9. Mt. Skull
10. Trap Door Man
11. The Last Song
12. House of Snakes

Scott Hull – Guitars
J.R. Hayes – Vocals
Blake Harrison – Synthesizer, Samples
Adam Jarvis – Drums
John Jarvis – Bass