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When I saw the video to the titletrack on TV somewhere in ’91 two things were very notable. The music was played more aggressively than on the Harmony Corruption album and secondly Barney’s vocals sounded more vile and convincing. The return of screaming backing vocals (Mick Harris?) were nice to hear again.
Yes, it is very obvious how the 1990-1991 line-up of Napalm Death have grown accustomed to eachother and the style the played. The attitude of the composition and performance are stunning. Second song “Pride Assassin” built a bridge between the last ND days of Dorrian & Steer and the previous Harmony Corruption album.
What also makes it obvious the band rediscovered their roots is that they also re-recorded two old ’88 songs which actually don’t fall out of place next to the new songs. Now with that ‘modern day’ heavy guitar sound and Barney on vocals all songs on this EP are remarkably cohesive. Not forgetting to mention Mick Harris was still around to play these songs with his typical hyperactive crusty style.
When hearing this version of “Unchallenged Hate” it is even less possible to deny that Napalm Death already used some typical (death) metal riffs on the F.E.T.O. album. “Social Sterility” is the more brutal one and features some of the most classic lyrics from the Dorrian-era. Comparing these songs to the originals is like comparing the 1988 version of Maiden’s “Prowler” to the 1980 version with Paul Di’Anno… You get the idea.
For collectors this EP might be fun to look for but for the rest of you these recordings are also available on the compilation album “Death By Manipulation”