Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Destruction (Century Media)
The inventor-creators of Grindcore have come back. The 5 years since their last release had a number of enthusiasts concerned about their well-being, seeing as how this is the longest gap between albums since they first published Scum in 1987.
If you are unfamiliar with Napalm Death, clearly you are new to metal. But that’s okay. Everyone has to start somewhere. They have been admired and respected by all in the industry for over 30 years. The best way I can describe their unique style and delivery is: semi-melodic, quasi-demonic, febrile chaos. While sounding positively evil, the most recent release is taking furious, amphetamine-laced punches at the current social and political state of things.
As one of only 2 bands I can think of that has a song that clocks in at less than 1 second (the other one is The Electro Hippies), it is sort of refreshing to witness them doing an entire LP with reasonable-lengthed songs. 15 songs – 51 minutes. That’s downright radio-friendly! Let’s get these guys on the charts.
Song length aside, Napalm Death has kept their signature, iconic grind intact. Fast-moving guitar riffage with little to no lead work, utterly devilish vocals that would rip a lesser throat to shreds, and drums that are so relentlessly punishing that my gut hurts just thinking about it.
A strange point on the record is the surprisingly accessible and straightforward “Amoral”, a middle-of-the-album banger that displays their ability to create. It stands out because it has more in common with acts like The Melvins. It has…structure and…melody.
Whoah, it felt weird to write that. Oh, good. We’re okay. The title track follows it up with blistered corpse-fire and demonic torture.
While this might be one of their most accessible recordings lo’ these 34 years, it isn’t their best and it is far from their worst. Actually, if you ARE new to them, this is a perfect place to start. If you’re an OG Grindcore fan, first take a shower before your neighbor thinks you’re dead, then crank this up.
FFO: Terrorizer, Carcass, The Locust
-JRRead More »