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A good introduction to grindcore - 70%

OutOfQuestion, June 30th, 2007

A lot of things have been said about "Scum" by Napalm Death. Some more true than others, but as it stands, this is a very fine grindcore album, though not deserving of most of the credit or praise it gets.

The music defines the early Earache sound. Exceptionally metallic grindcore (at the time) that has been copied to death, from Japan to the USA. What made the album so revolutionary and different than other music at the time wasn't the fact that it was grindcore (which was played before by punk legends like Lärm, Cyanamid and Fear Of God), but its mysterious metal crossover appeal.

The production was crap, the vocals were shouted and shrieked and the guitars sound like a muddy mess, with the most of the guitarplaying in mid-speed over the frenzied and well-executed blastbeats. The only break from the insanity are the occasional thrash metal riffs and the slow sludge of the title track's intro.

When it comes down to it, it's a very good record and definitely recommended if you want to widen your horizons in extreme music, but the formula has been done better before and after, even by blatant copy cats such as Insect Warfare or Unholy Grave. However, if this isn't what you're looking for, don't hesitate to look for other grindcore records, the genre has much more and better things to offer than this.