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Album Reviews : Napalm Death – Apex Predator/Easy Meat

By on February 23, 2015

47537415 albums and Napalm Death are still pissed off and mad about it. Their recent surge of activity in the past few years has given metal and hardcore listeners some intense grind albums, and Apex Predator – Easy Meat is no different. This is another blistering album from the pioneers of grindcore, proving that the years have not condemned their approach to musicality.

The guitar is what people have come to expect from Napalm Death; Mitch Harris shifts from aggressive riffs, furious tremolo sections and dissonant chord changes. The simplicity is a refreshing change from the incessant need of other bands to create confusing riffs that, while impressive, are not as satisfying as the blatant fury depicted in these riffs. Not to detract credit from Harris at all; there is still a great sense of musicianship on display here, and the songs progress smoothly without being too jarring.

Mark Greenway hasn’t lost any power from his beastly growls, charging forth from the chaotic frenzy of the music with livid snarls intensified by his socio-politically inclined lyrics. Greenway attempted to add in some clean vocals to the album on several occasions, and while some may argue otherwise, in my opinion they sound comical at best. Sometimes it’s best to stick to what you know, which Greenway thankfully does for the majority of the album.

The sheer speed at which Danny Herrera churns out precise, artillery-style drumming is insane. His drumming remains both technical and incredibly fast. It cannot be over stated how much Herrera’s ferocious drumming contributes a sentiment of the high-speed hatred fans love Napalm Death for.

The only song which really jarred was unfortunately the introductory title track, which flirts with industrial and tribal drumming. It really doesn’t set the album up, as this track is nothing like anything else on the album, and not in a good way. It was difficult for me to take it seriously because the vocals began with a chant that reminded me of the Gregorian monks in “Monty Python & the Holy Grail,” and then switched to high pitched shrieks worthy of a Dalek. Thankfully, the rest of the album is sheer pleasure. It’s difficult to pick out any highlights from “Apex Predator,” but the songs that connected the most would be the juggernaut of a song “Metaphorically Screw You,” the malicious “One-Eyed,” and the consistent catchiness of songs like “How the Years Condemn” and “Timeless Flogging.”

While some of the experimentation on this album is a little shaky, it’s safe to say that Napalm Death still have plenty of atrocity to fuel them, and Apex Predator – Easy Meat is a fantastic addition to metal collections, creating a focused, belligerent assault on the senses that will leave you banging your head long after the music has stopped.

Genre: Grind
Label: Century Media Records
Origin: UK

Track listing:
1. Apex Predator – Easy Meat
2. Smash a Single Digit
3. Metaphorically Screw You
4. How the Years Condemn
5. Stubborn Stains
6. Timeless Flogging
7. Dear Slum Landlord…
8. Cesspits
9. Bloodless Coup
10. Beyond the Pale
11. Stunt Your Groth
12. Hierarchies
13. One-Eyed
14. Adversarial/Copulating Snakes

About

Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode