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Torn apart but a well-constructed album - 85%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, August 2nd, 2009

"Inside The Torn Apart" is the album that many people don't even know exist. Or they do know exist but don't acknowledge that much because it was one of the albums that show Napalm Death trying and managing to rebound after the lazy "Diatribes" and even the somewhat messy divorce of mainman Barney Greenway from the rest of the tribe. Even the band photo on the back of the album you can tell the level of being completely burnt-out and lack of enthusiasm for their own future and eachother is easily shown in their eyes. But for typical band drama, Napalm Death managed to pull through the bickering and bullshit aside and make a damn better than that knocks "Diatribes" out of the water and next "Fear, Emptiness, Despair" is easily the best representation of their progressive era where they were trying to not make the same ol' Grind-Influenced Death Metal/Death Metal-influenced Grind/whathaveyou.

For one the riffs are back and now they have a sense of direction. One of the main thing that was lacking in the previous album was riffs. Not only are they back with direction, but are more well-constructed and the tunings are much more clearer in that you know they are more focused and not fucking around with TRYING to experiment but just doing what the feel and not having it come out all forced and muck-filled. Half of the album's songs(depends on which one is your favorite) is written either by bassist Shane Embury, or the Jesse Pintado/Mitch Harris camp. It seems like we know who's stepping away from the progression and writing straight-forward traditional ND songs which is obviously Shane you have to give big boy his credit seeing how he took on a lot of the music arrangements and lyrical duties in order to try to make this a better album. And he did. Not to bad-mouth Jesse and Mitch but Embury did write lyrics for 8 out of 12 songs and jammed-out 5 of those songs kinda showing us that Jesse and Mitch are trying to catch-up with the song turn-out rate. Lyrically there is even less social-political and more personal which is the main theme. It's not whiny either. Shane makes it clear you can go through drama, conflict, stress, and other crap without being so melodramatic. I wish more bands would do the same. Danny's drums are still snappy and are more well-timed with the guitars. In fact the album seems less rythmic and more drum-melody driven. Vocally, Barney is sounding a lot better. It's almost as if there wasn't that split, he would not have gotten his second wind. His performance and low-end 'umph' is back and more clear. He doesn't sound muddy or tired, he just sounds like he's finding that extra something in the bottom of his gut. Bottom line is that almost everything on here sounds like they looked at "Diatribes" and re-wrote a lot of the riffs so that it would better match everything. I mean listen to the main melodies of both "Greed Killing" and "Breed To Breath" and tell me the tempo, pacing, and even pre-chrorus breakdown sound damn-near identical.

Aside from the above mentioned, I might go on the record and say that this is probably the only good album that came out in 1997. I mean correct me if I am wrong, but outside of the Grindcore/Death metal genre...what else was released that year that was any good? Pretty much nothing. Remember this was released the year Death Metal was considered dead for the most part. Outside of Brutal Truth and Suffocation everyone else just sucked for the most part? It goes without saying that Napalm Death managed to put put out a very energetic and better charging album admist all of the stress going on internally and externally.

Best songs on here...oh there is quite a handful; "Breed To Breath", "Reflect On Conflict" is a riff-or-rama which will be stuck in your head for days, "Down in the Zero" which has a catchy melodic chorus "Inside The Torn Apart" slows things down to a NYHC melodic crunch which has Shane angrily singing, "If Symptoms Persist"(best song title) has some of the best reversed riffs next to Metallica's "Eye of The Beholder", "Prelude" sounds like "Relfect On Conflict" prt. 2 continued only faster, and possibly the best song and my personal favorite the blast-beat ridden "Lowpoint" which resembles "Throwaway" from "Fear, Emptiness, Despair". Why the brummies don't play "Lowpoint" live is a fucking mystery, because through-out the entire album you are waiting for that devastating ramming-speed grind that only ND can bring about and then when the song kicks in with the churning opening riffs you KNOW they are about to bring it on(can't believe I used that phrase while reviwing a ND album, but I guess it's better than saying "it's da bomb!"...oh well)...but fuck they rage like only ND can rage. Pretty soon you'll be screaming out "LOWPOOOIINNNTTT!!!" right along with Barney.

If you are suffering like the band from the frustration-induced fatigueness of "Diatribes", you can easily be cured with "Inside The Torn Apart."