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A strong unknown EP - 82%

Noktorn, February 23rd, 2009

It seems strange that this was seemingly advertised as a single for the track 'Breed To Breathe' off of 'Inside The Torn Apart' rather than for the four other tracks which are completely unique to this release. Anyway, this small release isn't mandatory but it's great for the serious Napalm Death collector who wants to hear everything the band's done; here's four tracks which appear nowhere else and are very strong tracks from the third era of Napalm Death.

The title track is of course strong and catchy, but is recycled and so the least important part of the package. The other four tracks are like more technical varieties of what's heard on the 'Inside The Torn Apart' album: death/grind/hardcore tracks laced with tense, single-string tremolo riffs blistering with a cruel and strained atonality and funk-influenced syncopated drumming. The songs move along at a good clip and don't get boring due to the highly varied and engaging drum performance, powerfully hot riffs, and, as always, the roaring vocals of Barney Greenway. The tracks never falter and are phenomenal examples of this era of Napalm Death, though perhaps lacking in the instant memorability of tracks from the LP they're most similar to.

It seems these tracks were recorded during the 'Inside The Torn Apart' sessions, being almost exactly the same in production as well as style. This isn't exactly a problem, as the music on that album is strong even now, and this related EP is no exception. In fact, the increased compositional density of the tracks on this CD might make them even better than the full-length, indicating a greater ambition and scope of artistic vision. A lot more seems to get done in these songs than usual on top of their natural catchiness and clever construction.

While this is not a mandatory release, it's encouraged for Napalm Death fans to give this a listen if at all possible. The music is as savage and intelligent as ever and shows an aspect of style not quite replicated anywhere else in the band's career. Grab it if you can find it.