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Washington, D.C.'s Pig Destroyer combine hardcore with the heaviest of heavy metal, creating one of the most powerful and explosive metallic hybrids to be heard in quite some time. Rising from the ashes of an earlier band, Treblinka, Pig Destroyer were formed at the end of 1997, playing their very first show at American University in Washington, D.C. Further shows in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York City successfully spread the Pig Destroyer gospel to East Coast metalheads, soon followed by a demo and a split 7" single. The group's debut full-length, Explosions in Ward 6, was released in 1999, followed by 38 Counts of Battery and Prowler in the Yard (the latter two issued on the respected hardcore label Relapse). Pig Destroyer returned in the fall of 2004 with Terrifyer.
Pig Destroyer is an American grindcore band from Richmond, Virginia.
The band formed in 1997 with vocalist J. R. Hayes (Enemy Soil), guitarist Scott Hull (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Japanese Torture Comedy Hour, ex-Anal Cunt), and drummer John Evans. Evans was later replaced by Brian Harvey. Sampler Blake Harrison joined prior to recording Phantom Limb.
In an interview, Scott Hull claims that they picked the band name on the criteria that it was insulting, yet somewhat more creative than the name of his last band, Anal Cunt. Deciding that "Cop Killer" or "Cop Destroyer" would be tactless, they eventually settled on "Pig Destroyer" ("pig" being a pejorative American slang term for the police). Derived from a non-musical source as extreme as the band's sound, Pig Destroyer's easily identifiable logo was created using a graphic from ANSWER Me! magazine as a template. However, the band has become less political in recent times.
Relapse Records signed the band and issued a split 7" with Isis on the label's Singles Series in July 2000. 38 Counts of Battery was a complete discography of Pig Destroyer releases up to the year 2000, which included split records with Gnob and influential screamo act Orchid, as well as their debut album, Explosions In Ward 6, and the demo that secured their record deal.
Prowler in the Yard, released in 2001, was the first of the band's records to really break through to what could contextually be considered the "mainstream." Garnering rave reviews from popular press such as Kerrang! and Terrorizer, the record earned Pig Destroyer headlining slots at the 2002 New England Metal and Hardcore Festival and the 2002 Relapse Records CMJ Showcase, as well as a high placing at 2003's Relapse Contamination Fest alongside scene legends High on Fire and The Dillinger Escape Plan (documented on the Relapse Contamination Fest DVD).
2004's Terrifyer boasted a much clearer sound than Prowler in the Yard or 38 Counts of Battery, as well as lyrics and prose from Hayes. The record came with an accompanying DVD soundscape entitled "Natasha", which was intended to be listened to in surround sound (although a more recent Japanese edition of the album has "Natasha" as an ordinary CD with four bonus tracks). Session guitarist Matthew Kevin Mills, Hull's former guitar teacher, recorded the lead guitar parts in the song "Towering Flesh".
A compilation of tracks from the split EPs with Gnob and Benümb is also available, entitled Painter of Dead Girls. The album features alternative versions of older songs from the 38 Counts era (such as "Dark Satellites"), a series of new songs (such as "Rejection Fetish" and "Forgotten Child"), and covers of bands who could be considered an influence (such as The Stooges and Helmet).
Pig Destroyer have stated that they would release a series of 9 split 7" EPs in 2006. Bands on the flipside include Orthrelm and Blood Duster; however, nothing has yet been released. The 7" series has been put on hold for the release of Phantom Limb.
2007 saw the release of album Phantom Limb via Relapse Records, complete with album artwork designed by John Baizley (Baroness, Torche).
At least four official promotional videos have been made of Pig Destroyer songs: "Piss Angel", from Prowler in the Yard; "Gravedancer", from Terrifyer; "Loathsome", from Phantom Limb; and "The Diplomat", from Book Burner. The first three have aired on MTV2's Headbangers Ball, with each video seeing more airplay than the one that was released before it. The video for "Piss Angel" debuted on the show on Aug. 14, 2004, and was directed by Kenneth Thibault and Nathaniel Baruch. The video for "Gravedancer" was directed by Vladimir Lik and released in 2007. The video for "Loathsome" was directed by David Brodsky and debuted in late 2007. The video for "The Diplomat" was directed by Phil Mucci and released on October 26, 2012.
In 2011, Harvey was replaced by Misery Index drummer Adam Jarvis.
On August 8, 2012, the title and artwork for the band's fifth studio album, Book Burner, was announced. It was released on October 22, 2012. Pig Destroyer headlined the Terrorizer stage at the Damnation Festival in Leeds in November 2012, which marked their first United Kingdom show in eight years.
On March 4, 2013, Pig Destroyer released an EP titled Mass & Volume via Bandcamp. Recorded at the end of the Phantom Limb sessions, this EP was released as part of a charity effort to benefit the family of recently-deceased Relapse Records employee Pat Egen.
Scott Hull has mentioned artist Matthew Barney, author Dennis Cooper, and noise musicians Whitehouse as influencing his music. Pig Destroyer is inspired by thrash metal, such as Dark Angel and Slayer, the sludge metal of The Melvins, and American grindcore as practiced by Brutal Truth.