How does one review a Pig Destroyer album? It's like trying to appraise a murder scene in someone's basement: You analyze the trajectory of blood spray, the way the bodies are positioned, the number of bullet wounds or hatchet marks--but in the case of Pig Destroyer, it's nearly impossible to describe what's happening in terms of music, so fast and brutal are the compositions and performances. While it's not scientifically proven, it's probably safe to assume that playing Pig Destroyer at full volume kills all plant life in a three-block radius. Thank goodness we live in the desert Southwest.
Anyhow, Phantom Limb isn't a title that does this CD justice; it sounds more like a charnel house than mere amputation. Tracks like "Fourth Degree Burns" and "Waist Deep in Ash" stand as textbook examples of the kind of avant-grindcore that has made Pig Destroyer the genre's defining band. Shrieker J.R. Hayes, guitarist Scott Hull and drummer Brian Harvey constitute the perfect killing machine, and with new member Blake Harrison (credited as the band's "noise"), the frenzy has gotten even more frenetic thanks to his patina of intense sound upon what is, for all intents and purposes, sonic carnage.
Indeed, while listening to something like "The Machete Twins," it helps to think of Pig Destroyer as Slayer pumped full of adrenaline and cocaine. Hayes' lyrics, unintelligible without the lyrics sheet, are epic and campy. ("Soul wreckage burns on the road to the cemetery / The only road there is.") However, like the whole of Limb, they're difficult not to be engrossed by.