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A Subversive Grind Icon - 93%

Metaphysical_Anomaly, January 12th, 2007

Napalm Death have dominantly established themselves as a household name with avid grindcore and death metal enthusiasts, using a perfect mix of the two genres in nearly every release they've put out to date. From their hardcore punk beginnings to their continual stranglehold on the world of deathgrind, they have never lost grasp of their roots and continue to utilize both dated and current methods to ultimately achieve their goals. One of the cornerstones for this near transcendence of genres would have to be the classic album "Harmony Corruption".

From blistering start to lumbering finish, "Harmony Corruption" weaves a dark tail of political dissension, the likes of which would make Michael Moore blush. Every track leads us in a different direction via impetuous droning of guitars and a subversive vocal assault by our favorite Flinstones character. The opening into to "Vision Conquest" has us adjusting our radio settings with a crackly radio frequency buzzing before jolting into the guitar leads followed by a signature bellowing wail from Barney. It's with this first song we really see their Death Metal influence take hold, utilizing an overlaying melody of a high velocity scale ascent and decent, and some nice riff patterns near the latter portion of the song. The next song "If the Truth Be Known", my personal favorite on the album, gives us more traditional Napalm Death up and down grinding as we know it. The opening intro of mid paced guitars backed against some nice varying drum lines gives us a great lead in to one of the most powerful words ever exclaimed in Death Metal history..."RUUAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGHH!!!!!!" Thus ends one of the greatest opening shouts ever leaving us with profound understand why Greenway is so beloved as a vocalist.

Throughout the album, the blistering low to mid scaled guitar droning is a dominant feature. Here and there, the guitars will slow down into more of a grinding thrash section that mosh monkey's dream about. The first part of "Unfit Earth" exemplifies this with some great crunching riffage to bang your head to before disappearing in a sea of blazing low tuned grindcore horrors. The oft covered "Suffer the Children" is by far the most groove driven grindcore track on the album. Beginning with a quick roll of the drums and melding into some of the finest guitar work seen out of Mitch Harris and the late Jesse Pintado collectively. The drumming on this particular song could not be done any better from the opening roll cycling into furious bass hits interspersed with a fast paced assault on the wrists from the snares. The quartet of instruments mesh perfectly at that critical second before that well known riff section kicks in giving us that classic thirty or so seconds of headbanging tunes.

The reason I left out poor Shane from my review was because the jolly chap was nearly completely drowned out in the muddy production which, consequentially, was the only drawback that this album contained. Besides that all too common "black hole bass" production mishap, this album almost completely annihilated all negative perceptions of deathgrind in the early 90's. While politically, I most always disagree with the rantings of Napalm Death, I commend the fact that it provides that fuel and animosity to produce albums such as "Harmony Corruption". Any avid Death Metal or Grindcore enthusiast could not consider his collection and life complete, without owning and listening to this monumental album.