Napalm Death has never been a band to stand still musically. From the progenitors of grindcore to a death metal phase in the 90s, to combining it all in the modern era and mashing it with touches of noise rock to keep the broth from spoiling.
This need to always be on the outer edges of musical and political extremity continue to urge them forward, thrashing from statement to violent statement on their latest declaration of intent. Wasting no time, Fuck the Factoid pushies in every direction possible with a power that belies their age, constructing an assault to wrench you violently about with no room to rest; Backlash Just Because surprises with a slower opening before slapping you to their harsh reality.
Not a band to forget to groove amongst their chaos, Contagion brings to mind Diatribes or Inside The Torn Apart, with a cleaner guitar tone giving way to manic blast beats. The hyperactivity of Throes… becomes sedated just a touch in the middle as Napalm Death allow their love for art and noise rock to take centre stage on the depressive industrial tone of Joie de ne pas vivre the language barrier only helping to create a claustrophobic atmosphere. The upbeat by comparison Invigorating Clutch lurches slowly through a mire of electronic fuzz before beaming into life with a very standard (for any other musical outfit) rock swagger, showing that this old dog still has new tricks.
The second half of the album kicks over whatever withstood the cyclone of the first, smashing back through a now breezy room with another fast paced show of their skills. Zero Gravitas Chamber almost has a breakdown long enough to allow a few deep breaths before being battered beyond recognition by blast beats. Fluxing of the Muscle has the catchiest riff , and one of the grooviest of the band’s storied career with a turn back towards their mid 90s period. Amoral shows yet another side of their creativity with a cleaner vocal bark courtesy of Mitch Harris with Barney getting involved on the chorus adding spice to the mix. Stomping along like an early punk track, it is once again something they have rarely committed to record before.
The album winds up as it began, in a flurry of pointed fury and righteous aggression the likes of which only this band can muster. The noise rock fury of schizophrenic closer A Belly Full of Salt and Spleen is more reminiscent of Harris and Embury’s Meathook Seed experimentation, somehow a fitting end to 35 minutes of chaos. Buy, stream, download, engulf this album however you choose. Just get an earful of a band that only keep getting better and better.
1. Fuck the Factoid
2. Backlash Just Because
3. That Curse of Being in Thrall
5. Joie de ne pas vivre
6. Invigorating Clutch
7. Zero Gravitas Chamber
8. Fluxing of the Muscle
10. Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
11. Acting in Gouged Faith
12. A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen