For completists

With their last album Head Cage, Pig Destroyer displayed a move away from short percussive splats of grind and toward longer, more riff-oriented songs.

Rather like their closest creative touchstone, Napalm Death, such audacity caused a split in their fanbase between those who adored this band for their sheer extremity and those more accepting of this newer direction. A collection of songs released as singles over the last few years and three soundscape experiments, The Octagonal Stairway probably won’t do much to appease those who weren’t big fans of Head Cage. The title track harkens back to 2013 and is therefore the closest thing to grindcore presented here, full of ferocious blasting and JR Hayes frantic vocal delivery. By way of contrast, the two more recent songs show how Pig Destroyer’s sonic assault has changed since then:  The Cavalry has a thrashier, hardcore punk vibe while Cameraman is almost a slow chug by this band’s standards, even if Hayes sounds as deranged as always. Of the three remaining cuts, News Channel 6 is just a series of distorted voiceovers and samples and the other two are quite literally soundscapes of bass rumbles, scattered beats and distortion, interesting enough in their own way but arguably rather pointless on their own.

For grindaholic completists and those who want a brief overview of Pig Destroyer’s various personalities, this EP is probably worth it, but the last three tracks are hardly essential.

  1. The Octagonal Stairway
  2. The Cavalry
  3. Cameraman
  4. News Channel 6
  5. Head Cage
  6. Sound Walker