tue 21/11/2017

CD: Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat

CD: Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat

Grindcore veterans take on predatory capitalism

Napalm Death - Heavy

To say that the music industry’s response to the ongoing world financial crisis has been pitiful is an understatement. There’s been no “Ghost Town”, no “Step down Margaret” and no “Holiday in Cambodia”. However, Napalm Death have come to remedy this situation with a heavy album for heavy times. Apex Predator – Easy Meat takes on the 1% in no uncertain terms and it’s safe to say that no future Tory Prime Minister will be drawing on it when he or she gets invited onto Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

For those unfamiliar with these mighty Midlanders, Napalm Death’s muscular metal is characterised by relentless rhythms, driving guitar riffs and gruff vocals that suggest extreme laryngitis. The template may not have changed much since 1987’s debut album Scum but this is utterly enthralling music that manages to marry the adrenalin rush of hardcore punk with the rock-solid power of industrial music. It is also completely devoid of the macho nonsense that often creeps into the metal worldview.

Tracks like “Cesspools”, “Bloodless Coup” and “Heirarchies” may take absolutely no prisoners with their manic riffing and relentless tempo but Apex Predator – Easy Meat is far from one dimensional. “Dear Slum Landlord…” brings almost psychedelic, swirling guitar sounds with doomy overtones to a sludgy mix that brings the tempo right down. Title track “Apex Predator – Easy Meat” meanwhile suggests Euro-subversives Laibach getting down with post-punkers Killing Joke. While industrial production, tribal beats, and brutal, size eleven riffs certainly don’t make for easy listening, Apex Predator – Easy Meat is challenging music that invites further exploration rather than just an irritating racket.

There are few bands that combine intelligent comment with such extreme music and yet remain as utterly engaging as Napalm Death and, given that they’ve been together for some thirty years, the passion that they bring to Apex Predator – Easy Meat is nothing short of breathtaking.

There are few bands that combine intelligent comment with such extreme music and yet remain as utterly engaging as Napalm Death

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4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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