Sound — 8
Pg. 99 are a Virginian 8-piece screamo band, and "Document #8" (along with "Document #5" and arguably "Document #7") are some of the most revered albums in the genre today, it came out in 2001 and is produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge, who's punchy production makes it stand our in the realm of hardcore. The band takes its multiple guitars to create chaotic riffs and freakish walls of noise. The bands addition of two bassists leads to some powerful, memorable basslines, although my gripe is that if they play they're respected bassline, it becomes models into a hodge-podge of muddy low end crunch, which while that would work in a grindcore or death metal release, it clashes with the punchy, shiny guitar production a tad, but overall, the bass is refreshingly varied for a record of this nature. The polyrythmic drumming adds a thick basis to the noisey chaos on the other instruments, and are diverse enough to where they dont become predictable.
Lyrics — 9
Like most bands of the screamo and post hardcore world, the lyrics ditch the political overtones of their punk precursors and explore more poetic and darkly personal song subjects, Pg. 99 is no exception. With their two vocalists doing vocal duties, the screaming and spoken passages don't get stale, and while not as diverse vocally as a band like Circle Takes The Square, they manage to be a great blend of brutality, diversity, and a sense of anguish and pain from both men.
An extract from the song "In Love With An Apparition":
"In his nightmare,
Black rain fell,
And clogged their first kiss"
This is my personal favorite line on the entire, the line is melancholic and bittersweet in tone. The album is littered with fantastic quips and lines, another trait they share with band Circle Takes The Square (of whom they actually made a split with, you may be able to find it on Youtube somewhere). The lyrics work fantastically with the music. Although a lot of is pushed through the ringer and repeated frequently in a given song, but it is no less beautiful, even if its effect may be lost on some.
Overall Impression — 9
This is, in my opinion, the greatest album Pg. 99 has ever done, "Document #8" is just dripping in atmosphere and hatred and despair, it's an unrelenting release that rewards multiple listens, and it's initially impenetrable wall of noise and listening curve may make it difficult for those not familiar with the style. Songs i recommend listening to the most are:
1. "Your Face Is A Rape Scene": stellar track, retching vocals and a killer bass line;
2. "In Love With An Apparition": As stated before, relentless song with beautiful lyrics and great drumming;
3. "Punk Rock In The Wrong Hands": stellar guitar playing and vocals, and my first exposure to the band.
"Document #8" is an underrated gem, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested on the band, or a fan of heavy and chaotic music, and wants to try something diverse and well written.