Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Pig Destroyer, those fast and furious grindcore stalwarts, whose penchant for psychosexual lyricism and groove-laden riffery has launched them into the upper echelons of the underground. Pig Destroyer are going strong and have a catalog packed with must-hear rippers, but in our opinion, these classic cuts are their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.
Barely topping the 30-second mark, this blasterpiece off 2001’s Prowler in the Yard a nothing less than a shock to the system.
Sample lyrics: “The arms of boys drowning in fire/Reaching for the rungs of my rib cage.”
A propulsive and relentless rant full of sick, sexual longing and compulsive high-speed riffage.
Sample lyrics: “My stomach is knotted with hunger/For the taste of her sex obscene.”
One of Pig Destroyer’s longer song at the time — at a whopping three minutes — this crusher is headbanging heaven and hell, setting J.R. Hayes’ despondent, perverse musings to inescapable molten grooves.
Sample lyrics: “I could cut myself to pass the time/Haven’t felt anything in days.”
This powerful single off 2012’s Book Burner caught Hayes in a politically minded moment as he channels Max Cavalera to decry war-mongering politics and history’s endless cycle of violence.
Sample lyrics: “Stone guns/Primitive tanks/Stone guns/Primitive tanks.”
“Army of Cops”
Pig Destroyer transcended grindcore altogether on 2018’s Head Cage, resisting blast beats and leaning into a more consistently mid-tempo onslaught, nowhere more powerfully than on the blistering standout”Army of Cops.”
Sample lyrics: “Why would God create something so weak/Unless he wanted it to suffer?.”