Multifaceted extremists Pig Destroyer emerged from Alexandria, Virginia in the late '90s as a relentless grindcore band, blasting through their songs at tempos so fast they threatened to turn any discernible sounds into pure noise. They would eventually take this further by integrating samples and electronic noise into their increasingly thrashy sets. Even more evidence of Pig Destroyer's versatility and refusal to settle on one direction for too long comes with Mass & Volume. The two songs that comprise the album were recorded around the same time as their punishingly fast 2007 album Phantom Limb, but instead of the riff-heavy punk and grindcore, these epic songs tend toward unthinkably slow doom metal, each stretching out into almost side-long explorations of slow-motion explosions of heaviness. The title track finds the band looming endlessly over single-chord riffs that strike in tandem with drums that sound broadcast from the deepest caverns of hell. The almost 20-minute song recalls the Melvins in their slowest, most threatening phases circa "Boris," with full minutes of space hanging heavy in the air between the band's sludgy synchronized outbursts. As the song goes on, tortured vocals and eventually ambient tones and blurry samples come in and out of the mix, creating a strange blend of sounds that are equal parts meditative and horrifying. "Red Tar," the only other song on the album, steps up the tempo and tends toward a less formless structure, but still breaks out of chugging riffs into long sections of noisy yet melodic walls of guitar squall. The song slowly fades into nothingness, each instrument dropping out until just the drums remain, pushing forward at a pace considerably slower than the rest of the band's catalog. While Mass & Volume is a different side of Pig Destroyer, they still manage to twist their songs into almost unrecognizable car wrecks of noise and mayhem. With these two tracks, the extreme speed simply switches from astonishingly fast to unbelievable slow -- and achieves the same intense results. ~ Fred Thomas
Pitchfork (Website) - "The EP's first song, 'Mass & Volume', is clearly the sound of a grind band unhinging its jaw to accommodate the proportions of doom..."