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I have been criticized quite a bit lately for supposedly "not liking any Grindcore," so let me tell you about a band that I truly enjoy listening to: Napalm Death.
Napalm Death is Grindcore that actually functions as music instead of mindless noise. The guitars have an incredible sound that is clear and manages to stay in some sort of order so that the listener does not get totally lost in the process. The riffs are brutal and manage to convey the harsh feeling of the music without losing all semblance of order in the process. The drums actually have different rhythms and are turned DOWN in the mixing process so they don't sound like a group of terrorists burst into the fucking recording studion and gunned down the entire band. The beat is followable and clear--you can actually THRASH and HEADBANG to this music instead of spending your time wondering what the fuck is going on. The bass is actually AUDIBLE in the production, so there is, in fact, a solid bass line underneath all this brutality, and it really enhances the sound as opposed to the "shadow" basses that completely mirror and get lost in the bass drum. Finally, the vocalist has a brutal and harsh death/grind voice that goes perfectly with the music and doen't sound like random ass gurgles (Cock & Ball Torture) or something inanely stupid like that.
Highlights. The Great Capitulator is an awesome song that starts out with a really cool guitar introduction before heading into a pure assault of drum beats and vocalized emotion on top of insane riff shredding. Lowest Common Denominator starts out with some brutal opening riffs before heading into a headbanging frenzy in the main theme courtesy of the very well-done 1-2 beat of the drums. Out of Sight, Out of Mind starts off with a blood-curdling scream that is done above some really catchy riff work from the guitars and a really interesting drum "roll" pattern that is quite unique in terms of anything I've heard from bands of a similar vein.
So, let me say this loud and clear for the benefit of all: I DO NOT HATE ALL GRINDCORE. I don't like the subgenre as a whole since it tends to produce mindless acts of stupidity in the name of "music," but there are exceptions to the rule, like Fuck...I'm Dead. Napalm Death may be an exception to the rule, but what a motherfucker of an exception it is! This is THE definitive Grindcore band and should be bought by any Grind or Death fan immediately in addition to anyone looking to get into the scene.
It's always cool to listen to a new NAPALM DEATH CD, it's a bit of warmness in your so cold heart of ice!
But I've got quite mixed feelings about this new one: this is in the same vein than their 2/3 last releases, but I find it less expressive and intense on an emotional point of view! And even if there are still a bunch of cool riffs, some guitar parts doesn't sound that good (too common for Napalm!)
The style hasn't changed much, this is still a mix of Death/ Grind/ Crust/ Hardcore/ Sludge... but there are a few new elements such as the heavier CELTIC FROST like part on the first track (Barney even growls "Procreation of the wicked" on this riff. I may also compare them to USUR¨PER on this part as this American band sounds like old Celtic Frost with a more powerful sound) or some few Black metal influences riffs.
This is a cool CD with nice parts, but there aren't so much "Hits" or incredibly killing riffs (they doesn't dig that much under the surface of the iceberg). There are still some nice parts that stands out particularly (the 2 last minutes of the 2nd track, the 5th one or some more powerful one) but these parts are ways less numerous.
Notice the comeback of a punky tempo beat Napalm didn't use since the time of the "F.E.T.O" LP or "Mentally murdered" MLP.
To conclude I'll say it's not one of the best NAPALM DEATH CDs! Their 3 previous albums were far better! What we've got here is a CD à la NAPALM DEATH played by NAPALM DEATH themselves...
I understand it can please someone who haven't listened so much to N.D, but I expect more from a band whose members release so much stuffs (Another tribute to old bands is on its way, the DEFECATION new CD, DVDs, and other projects we don't know).