This is Smelting, a series I’ll probably bail on halfway through where I do capsules on my favorite metal records of the young century.
This has been a weird decade–Xasthur and other solipsistic bedroom black metal artists got embraced by hipsters looking for a new frontier of difficult outsider music after the mainstreaming of indie. There was a thrash revival, prog somehow became cool as long as you weren’t singing about epic viking victories, and post-hardcore–the 90s biggest candidate for Metal of the Future–mostly tread water. Plus I guess a bunch of longhairs listened to Mercury Rev & My Bloody Valentine a whole lot.
Pig Destroyer – Phantom Limb
Gross cover. Incredible album. Drummer Brian Harvey works sophisticated jazzy fills into his warp speed blastbeats, guitarist Scott Hull brings in elements of doomy sludge & thrash to expand the limits of the genre, and vocalist JR Hayes brings grisly wit to the standard gory madlibs of grindcore–to cap off a catalog of a dismembered woman’s remains he howls “your legs/look so sexy out of context.” They were inhumanly relentless at Deathfest this year, and this album cements their status as the most forward-thinking grindcore band of the new millennium.