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Death/grind masterpiece from the masters! - 88%

asklater, May 5th, 2005

Now, you won't find a lot of death metal or grindcore in my music collection, but I do know its history. And while Napalm Death didn't invent the genre, (as someone here on Metal Archieves pointed out) they're the band responsible for making it the (somewhat) well-known genre it is today. And while they did stray from their traditional sound in 90's, they are back making the music that made them (somewhat) famous.

What's really cool about this album is that it came out on Century Media, so it was available in the major chain stores that stocked metal music. It also came with a free CD that featured tracks from CM's death metal and metalcore bands. The compilation is kinda meh, but hey, free CD!

Anyways, getting into the music... What can I say? This is what death/grind is supposed to sound like! The blast beats, (a Napalm Death invention, BTW), the fast, distorted guitars, Barney Greenway's harsh growled vocals... The Code is Red, Long Live the Code is sure to appeal to all fans of the genre.

Now, there aren't any rediculously short songs on this record, which is good, cuz really short songs kinda turn me off when it comes to grindcore. Only the second track, Right You Are, is less than a minute long, and, following on the heel of the explosive opener Silence Is Deafening, it's well-placed. Additionally, there are only three other songs, of the 15 on the album, that don't make it to the 2:45 mark, and one of them is the instrumental closer.

Another thing that's cool about this album are the backing vocals, which accentuate the chorus on Silence is Deafening and really add to the epic four minute long(!) tracks on the album, The Great And The Good and All Hail The Grey Dawn. While they are longer than most grindcore, they maintain a fast pace throughout, and the four minutes goes by faster than expected.

In fact, all of the songs on this record are played with blistering speed, until you get to the end. Morale, the fourteenth of fifteen tracks, (clocking in at a total time of just over 45 minutes) is more of a mid-paced song, with Barney trying to sound like a death metal singer and long instrumental breaks. And are those keyboards coming in near the end? Well, whatever instrument they are, they continue on throughout the final track, an instrumental entitled Our Pain is Their Power.

Now, while it's not terrible, Morale does stand out as being weaker than the rest. However, it also seems that Century Media has pegged it as the single off this record, seeing how the music video for it is also included. If you end up seeing it on MTV, (don't ask me why you'd be watching MTV in the first place) and thinking that's what the new Napalm Death album sounds like, don't be fooled. Morale notwithstanding, this is an outstanding release.