"Time Waits for No Slave" (Century Media; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Pioneering grindcore unit Napalm Death continue their trademark trail of wreckage, willfully destroying everything in their way with lethal rounds of speed and a rabid sense of aggression on "Time Waits for No Slave," the British troupe’s 14th studio endeavor.

Exhibiting the ravenous thirst for domination they’ve built into every face-splitting blast beat, crossover metal interchange, and skull-caving breakdown lovingly churned out since their inception in 1981, Napalm Death is one of the few bands that have a broad enough scope to pull off balancing finite consistency with experimental growth spurts, flat out refusing to rest on a decorated extreme metal pedigree or glories of their blueprint back catalog. Instead, this incendiary foursome opts to kick up the intensity and lunge at the jugular with a vintage voracity fueled by the danger and dread they’ve carried since their salad days.

Look no further for an album that will blow your head clean off, as "Time Waits for No Slave" provides a tantalizing mix of grind, death, thrash, and punk as only Napalm Death can deliver.

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"Punishment in Capitals" (Armoury / Feto Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This live recording, originally captured in 2002, was released in Europe years ago but was available only as a pricey import in the U.S. -- until now. U.S. fans of the legendary Napalm Death will want to rush out and get this powerful CD in their collection as soon as possible (except, of course, those who's already paid too much for the original import).

With 28 tracks and a running time of over one hour and three minutes, there's a heaping helping of Napalm Death to be found on this disc, featuring songs from throughout their lengthy career as well as a cover or two thrown in for good measure. The recording is stunningly clear for a live recording of music this extreme and the band is in fine form, ripping through each song with a breakneck fury and a barely controlled aggression that is almost tangible.

As you no doubt know, of course, Napalm Death isn't for everybody but fans of this type of extreme music will find this live document of one of the best in the genre to be a necessary addition to their collections.

Napalm Death: Barney Greenway - vocals; Mitch Harris - guitar; Jesse Pintado - guitar; Shane Embry - bass; Danny Herrera - drums.

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"Order of the Leech" (Spitfire Records; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

"Order Of The Leech," the follow-up to "Enemy Of The Music Business," is faster and sharper than its predecessor. Other than that, it's not too different - and that should and will be cause for celebration. With "Enemy Of The Music Business" Napalm Death returned to greatness, if not exactly returned to form. 

"Order Of The Leech" shows Napalm Death redoubling their efforts to make relentless metal and ever so slightly up-the-ante with songs that are somewhat more memorable and 'catchy' (if such a term can be applied to Napalm Death) compared to their prior two or three efforts.

As is to be expected, the core of Napalm Death deliver solid performances. Vocalist Greenaway, while having a distinctive style, doesn't have much variety in his delivery; that isn't bad - it's just lacking in differences from track to track. Guitarists Pintado and Harris are a formidable tandem - on "Order Of The Leech" they release pent-up aggression in the form of one tightly constructed riff after another. Bassist Embury gets credit for being on of the most intense four-stringers around, but it's drummer Herrera that gets the biggest praise for his intense and crazed performance on "Order Of The Leech."

If you liked "Enemy Of The Music Business" you'll love "Order Of The Leech." I, for one, will find time in my crowded listening schedule to hear "Order Of The Leech" on a regular basis.

"Order Of The Leech" was produced by Simon Efemey.

Napalm Death is Mark "Barney" Greenaway on vocals, Jesse Pintado and Mitch Harris on guitar, Shane Embury on bass, and Danny Herrera on drums.

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"Enemy of the Music Business" (Spitfire Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

If there was ever a band that hasn't bowed to convention, even when they were moving away from their grindcore origins, it's Napalm Death. After what many critics and fans consider to be sub-par efforts in "Inside The Torn Apart" and "Words From The Exit Wound," Napalm Death move closer back to their roots with "Enemy Of The Music Business" and sounding inspired to boot.

With their blistering attack still intact, albeit in the form of longer songs with traditional structures, Napalm Death's abrasive approach to all things still works to these ears. Obviously, I use the term 'traditional' when comparing their current work to prior efforts.

Napalm Death are still pissed off about just everything and the band grinds away until all the glitz and polish has been blasted away leaving the raw truth exposed for all to see. For most of "Enemy Of The Music Business," Napalm Death sound stripped down and dirty - almost like Entombed with a anger management problem - and that's good news for the band's fans. For me, "Constitutional Hell" and "Vermin" are two of the prime highlights - these two tracks embody the intensity and passion that Napalm Death have built the entire second half of their careers on. 

With "Enemy Of The Music Business" Napalm Death have regained their focus and should make their legion of fans happy once again.

"Enemy Of The Music Business" was produced by Simon Efemy & Russ Russell.

Napalm Death is Mark "Barney" Greenaway on vocals, Jesse Pintado and Mitch Harris on guitar, Shane Embury on bass, and Danny Herrera on drums.

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"The Complete Radio One Sessions" (Fuel 2000 Records/Varese Sarabande Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Napalm Death is the band that gave rise to the grindcore phenomenon - the band's impressive legacy is captured here with an odds 'n' sods collection of material recorded for the famous British radio staple The John Peel Show between 1987 and 1996. In fact, 12 of the 16 tracks appeared on CD in 1991 as "The Peel Sessions" - what's new here are four tracks from The Friday Rock Show which was recorded and originally broadcast in March 1996.

"The Complete Radio One Sessions" serves as a decent retrospective of the band's career up until the mid-90s. As originators and prognosticators of the grindcore scene Napalm Death can revel in the fact that other bands followed in their massive wake. Such inspiration allowed Brutal Truth, Lawnmower Deth, and other grindcore bands to have their own measure of success. "The Complete Radio One Sessions" is ample proof of the band's legacy and substantial contributions to grindcore.

Many of the jagged and ragged tracks are grouped together for maximum effect. Blindingly fast renditions of the songs speed past your eardrums with all the subtly of a jackhammer. 

For a band that didn't fit mainstream's strict conventions, Napalm Death attracted a lot of mainstream attention as the four appearances on BBC radio attest to. Can you imagine this happening in America? I didn't think so.

"The Complete Radio One Sessions" was produced by Dale Griffin. 

"The Complete Radio One Sessions" features all three versions of the Napalm Death line-up. The line-up has included Barney Greenaway on vocals, Lee Dorian on vocals, Shane Embury on bass, Bill Steer on guitar, Jesse Pintado on guitars, Mitch Harris on guitars, Michael Harris on drums, and Danny Herrera on drums. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2022 14:38:31 -0500.