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In their previous album The Code is Red... Long Live The Code the band took a big step towards more punkier style and they continue to do the same thing in their new album, Smear Campaign. It has that typical Napalm Deathish groove and aggression but this time with even more variety in- and between songs than their previous recording. Length of this album (little bit over 45 minutes) is in most cases too much for a grind (or deathgrind) band but it's a little bit surprising that Smear Campaign doesn't really sound boring although it has some parts that come close to the line of what is boring and what is not.
If you listen to songs like In Deference, Shattered Existence or Persona Non Grata, your legs will begin moving uncontrolled and your head will move in the rhytm of the music and these songs are amongst the catchiest songs in this album. It seems that guitarist Mitch Harris gets more and more vocal parts after every album, and Smear Campaign doesn't make an exception. Nevertheless, his high screeching that resembles something close to someone killing a cat supports Barney's growling pretty seamlessly.
It is becoming clear that Napalm Death is going back to its roots although I think that they go back to their more death metal sound sometime soon. This album is very good and hard-hitting even if it isn't better than Napalm Death's first two albums. Jesse Pintado would be proud of this album...