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Napalm Death - The Peel Sessions - 100%

Orbitball, June 21st, 2014

A 20+ minute bout of sheer NOISE. This CD is grindcore at it's finest! Low end vocals by Lee Dorrian and high end screams by Mick Harris. Heavy wrenching guitar work by Bill Steer and on bass the immortal Shane Embury who's been with the band the longest. What we have hear is almost musically unspeakable. So intense and BRUTAL! The guitars are all over the place, mostly fast tremolo picked riffs and heavy duty bar chords with blasting by the amazing drums.

Some songs are 6 seconds and I'd say a majority out of the whole CD there are no songs lasting more than 2 minutes. In fact, most songs are about 1 minute and a half tops. Just grind city and a raw production quality. This is Napalm Death at their most brutal and intense. There simply is no letting up with the deep throat vocals fluctuated with Mick Harris' screaming! His drums almost never let up in intensity and the compilation has a little reverb added to that drum set.

There aren't many songs on here that you can really make out what's being played because what you mostly hear are not only the guitar, but bass riffs that have a distorted sound to them. The band plays some covers on here. You CANNOT say that this is really music, it's really just a conglomeration of distorted guitar work and because the snare is blasting away constantly, it's hard to hear the music itself. There are only a few seconds of lead guitar work, pretty much all of this is pure grind.

This is one of the most intense 20+ minutes of sheer abomination! I have never heard a most extreme noise terror outlet by this band, it's simply amazing in intensity and total musical destruction. Yes the guitars are loud enough on here, but when you hear the drum blasting, I can't really make out and actual music. When the tempos are slower, then you can definitely make out what's being played. I think that Napalm Death did something here that is quite amazing if you want an adrenaline rush.

There are 25 songs on here most of which you can find the lyrics of, but from a musical standpoint, this is what grindcore should sound like and definitely should be at its most intense. These guys put in so much energy in each track, even if one was 6 seconds long like the song "Dead." There's only maybe 1-2 tracks that are slower. The bulk of the release is just a good caffeine boost to have in the morning to get you going. This compilation is one of N/D's most notorious ones in just 20 minutes. It's hard to believe they were able to make this really work. If you want extreme noise terror, The Peel Sessions is for you!

25/26 tracks of Dorrian-Steer era grinding fun! - 95%

morbert, August 22nd, 2008

Ohw how I remember buying this one some 18 years ago. It said 25 tracks on the front and it had some Napalm tracks I never heard about! Later I found out some of these were covers which in turn led me to discover some more great bands from those days.

Now I you have the ‘Scum’ album the versions of these songs are in most cases much better here. Scum suffered from either the production or from the fact that the B-side consisted of a new line-up which still had to get accustomed to the style. Here we can here a more experienced and focussed group of youngsters. The sound is more transparant, the guitars more furious and the vocals are much more varied and dynamic.

The first 12 tracks were recorded in 1987 and I featured some ‘new’ songs like “Lucid Fairytale”, “Obstinate Direction” “Blind To The Truth” (which were later recorded on the F.E.T.O. album), “Dead” (appearing later on The Curse EP) and “In Extremis” and “You Suffer prt.2” which were both extremely short noise eruptions. Personally I prefer the F.E.T.O. versions to the earleir mentioned threesome but the songs from Scum sounded very good here, especially the B-side tracks “Life?”, “Prison Without Walls”, “Negative Approach”, “Deceiver” and “Common Enemy”. Personally I would have liked liveversions of “Success” and “As the Machine Rolls On” as well obviously.

The next 10 tracks get even better. Again the band got slightly better in their performance and sounded a tiny bit heavier, resulting in very good, tight and aggressvice versions of oldies like “Instinct of Survival “, “Conservative Shithead”, “Control” and an enormously good brutal version of “Divine Death”. Also memorable are the great guitar noises on the intro of "Moral Crusade". Please note how this second Peel Session only features one (!) song from the F.E.T.O. album, “Worlds Apart” (great intro riff by Bill Steer!). I’m glad they did actually. Much more room for good ‘new’ live versions of Scum tracks left since F.E.T.O. was perfect as it was already!

The last four tracks are a bliss. The Siege cover “Walls” is slightly tighter, less hardcorish and more grinding than the original and vocally a more than adequate performance by Lee Dorrian with Mick Harris screaming along.
“Raging In Hell”, and "S.O.B." being S.O.B. covers. The vocal funniness and sleazy guitar details of the original Raging Hell version are well copied by the Napalm Death boys and their version kicks serious ass. Closing off with "S.O.B." which, kind of, is the Japanese "You Suffer".

Well, concerning "Conform Or Die" I'm having serious doubts about it actually being a S.O.B. cover since the song can't be found on any S.O.B. release and on the original Napalm Death Peel Sessions this song is NOT quoted as being a cover. I really think it is either from another band or really an obscure Napalm Death songs. It is not the most enervating song but Steers short lead in the middle is quite funny.


corviderrant, December 5th, 2004

You want pretty melodies? You want keyboards providing texture and ambience? You want dynamics and musical prowess? HAH!!! Look elsewhere, people, cos this whole entire album will tear your empty head off and toss it into orbit!

Put it this way; I used to listen to this cassette on mornings I had to get up at the asscrack of dawn to go to work at a job I hated, and it woke my sleepy ass up faster than caffeine ever did. Within the first few blasts of noise, I mean songs, yet. And I mean blasts of noise in the best possible way, as this is grind at its purest and most undiluted. The late, great John Peel somehow managed to capture the rawest of the raw in aural form, as this album sounds like it was recorded in a garage, with trashy drums, ultra-grungy downtuned guitar and obscenely fuzzed-out bass, and Lee Dorrian's vokills right in your ear like he's screaming and roaring right next to you. And it is a brilliant representation of what Napalm were about "back in the day".

From blasts of sound only a few seconds long to (slightly) more coherent attempts at songs, alll the great classic ND stuff is here on display; "The Kill", "Lucid Fariytale", "Instinct of Survival" (featuring Mickey's most deranged whirlwind screams ever), their choice cover of Siege's "Walls", "Deceiver" (which blatantly rips off the intro riff of Repulsion's "The Stench of Burning Flesh") , it is all here, all good, and all GRIND. Lee sounds like he's demonically possessed here on every tune (he has never done it for me in Cathedral, I have to say, after hearing all this especially), and Mickey's trademark bloodcurdling "whirlwind screams" will make you cringe in terror.

Many (if not most) of these songs sound alike, but at this insanely, impossibly high level of energy and intensity who cares? And this album WILL get your blood rushing, your heart pounding, and you ecstatically screaming your head off every second of the roughest ride you will *ever* experience. Who cares if you can't understand a word they're saying, this is the best representation of ND you will get at their noisiest and most sense-obliterating and cardiac-arrest-inducing before they toned it down a little in favor of a more metal-influenced direction musically. Get this and know what true devastation is.