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Could have used a better selection - 65%

Noktorn, March 7th, 2009

This EP of covers is best when Napalm Death is playing to their strengths: oldschool punk and grind tracks that are clearly near and dear to them. The other stuff, though, is rather middling and seems to be more an example of Napalm Death trying to show off other elements of their style rather than what they're best at. About half of the material on 'Leaders Not Followers' is nearly essential for the Napalm Death fan, while the other half is better viewed as bonus tracks.

The good: the opening Raw Power cover is just the sort of thing this disc should have been full of. The blitzing oldschool hardcore of 'Politicians' is a perfect match for Napalm Death's extreme and grinding style, and the band definitely does a lot to kick the original up a notch while staying true to the style. 'Maggots In Your Coffin' retains all the nastiness and brutality of the original, not appearing overly clean even with modern production and note-perfect playing. And of course there's the one every Napalm Death fan knows: the band's rousing cover of 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off' is a staple of live shows for a reason with its ferocious vocal and drum performances.

Not so good: everything else. The Slaughter and Death covers are of too fundamentally different a style from Napalm Death's origins to really be executed well. While they're true to the originals and played well enough, the band doesn't add any of their trademark fire to the compositions, so they're just sort of empty recreations. The Pentagram cover is really just a matter of being a mediocre song, and while Napalm Death do their best to liven it up with added brutality, it doesn't end up going anywhere.

The three solid tracks are really worth the price of admission, so I do recommend the Napalm Death fan pick this up, but I am a little disappointed in the rest of the tracks, which really would have been substantially better were they more similar in tone to the best three. Anyway, look at them as bonus tracks and be happy to chant 'YOU'RE! ROTTING! MAGGOTS! INYOURCOFFIN!"