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"Scum",the first ever grindcore album, is a must have for any fan of grindcore,death metal, hardcore or even punk.
The line up is really archaic, one of the early line ups,(yes there were other members before the band recorded "scum"!)
The production is raw, giving the cd a gritty feel. Elements of punk and hardcore clubbed together to create a sound so raw and brutal, it could change the way you look at the world around you.
The songs mainly deal with socio-political issues such as governments,multi-national corporations, 3rd world nations etc. The album got napalm death noticed because of its ferocious anti-commercial stance. Each song is a furious minute long burst of agonizing guitars and vocals coupled with blast beats and fast punk style drumming.Songs on this cd may come across as short detonations of noise to the untrained ear.
The guitars on the first 13 tracks sounds more punkish. The guitar on the songs after track 13 are more buzzsaw like and "grindcore" sounding, this kind of tuning is what you may hear on most other grindcore bands.
Vocals range anywhere from gruffy shouts to savage screams ("whirlwind screams" as the cd inlay describes it).
Some of the songs are very mosh-able but most are just furious explosions of sonic violence making it very different from later napalm death albums where songs would be around 4 minutes in length and sound more refined and polished.
Its really hard to keep track of the songs without looking at the display on your cd player.Most may not even differentiate between the tracks which all are the same blasts of noise only varying in terms of riffs and drum paterns.
I guess that makes listening to it better. You have to play the entire album from start to finish and just sit back and take the pounding and enjoy all 26 tracks as one unit all together.
Scum would sound very harsh on your ears and devastate your idea of extreme music if your listening to it for the first time but then again, this is how napalm death stormed through the metal world, crushing death metal and thrash metal bands alike.
4 songs youll have to pay attention to are:
Multinational corporations : Composed of guitar noise, with cymbals crashing faintly and a pissed off voice going "multinational corporations, genocide of the starving nations". This is the greatest opening track on any cd.
Instinct of surival : A bizarre mutation of punk metal, has a great vocal pattern. And great opening riff.
Moral crusade : This is on the "second" half of the cd. Boils with angry screams and growls and insane guitarwork.
The most extreme outburst of guitars, drums and vocals ever recorded.
You suffer : Ok, this isnt exactly a song, but just a songlet less than 1 second!!! This holds the world record for shortest song ever released. Probably inspired the trend of releasing really short songs among other grindcore songs.
On an ending note, it should be observed that no ther band -save for Black Sabbath,has achieved what Napalm death have - Inspire a whole new genre of music with just their debut called Grindcore. (which would later spawn several subgenres - noise, crust, goregrind, porngrind, shitcore etc that would eventually flood the category)
Napalm death rises tall above all the bullshit . They are LIVING LEGENDS, probably the last worthy survivor in this genre. The fact that they exist to this day without leaving behind any of the brutality is a standing testament to this fact.Little wonder the name "napalm death" is synonymous with the term "grindcore".
Another interesting point is that two other big bands branched out of the line up on this album: Bill steer(bass) would quit to form carcass, and Lee dorian (vocals) would start cathedral. Both bands gained their own brand of popularity in the metal underground.
A sacred relic to every grindcore fan and a powerhouse of socio-political expression, "scum' is a must buy for any fan of extreme music. Truly, this album is a piece of modern music history.