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Modern grindcore is by and large stale, uninspired and, from my perspective at least, boring. It is very obvious when a band is simply trying to out-heavy, out-brutal and out-over-the-top every other sound in the world. This record, however, is not one of them. It is certainly one of the most ferocious things you probably hear during your lifetime, though perhaps modern grind outfits such as the Locust are "better" in terms of composition and dynamics. It's not even that this record has had the far-reaching influence as it has: had it faded into obscurity without creating a musical revolution, it would still be just as excellent as it is.
The first side of the record is an absolutely genius blend of crusty hardcore punk, thrash and industrial-leaning textures. Not a single moment is wasted here: the vicious thrash assault of "Instinct of Survival", the claustrophobic mania of "The Kill", the epic title track that has a very old-school rock'n'roll flavored riff in the beginning, the air-raid siren cacophony of "Sacrificed", etc. Then there's the feedback-drenched noise of "Siege of Power" and the crustiest, gnarliest punk song on the record: "Control".
The A-side closes with the microburst "You Suffer" and it is at this point that things begin to be slightly less than genius. The production on side B is so muddled and chaotic that a few of the songs sound exactly the same without any memorable riffs. However, "Success" delivers us from that, slamming down one of the toughest riffs in Napalm Death's discography. "Pseudo Youth" is a glorious noise feast, as is the whammy-bar dive-bomb on "Divine Death". "Moral Crusade" is the most extreme of the songs on the record. How extreme? It is extreme enough that even if you have made it this far into the record, you will cringe the first time through. Lastly, the absolutely acerbic feedback between "M.A.D." and "Dragnet" foreshadows some of the early output from Godflesh.
This is the best album Napalm Death has made, surpassed only by the excellent "From Enslavement to Obliteration". After these first two primal chunks of noise, ND slowly became a more generic-sounding death metal band, though admittedly retaining enough of their original sound to growl head-and-shoulders above their peers. This and "FETO" are the definitive Napalm Death sound.