Napalm Death Is Still Grindcore’s Apex Predator

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Napalm Death is more than a band, they’re an institution. Napalm Death was formed in 1981 and released their first studio album Scum in 1987, nearly thirty years ago. Numerous early line up changes led to the formation of several other legacy acts in extreme music. They hold the Guinness Book of World Records record for shortest song with the one-second long “You Suffer”. By some accounts, Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury can even be credited with the creation of the name grindcore. In recent years Napalm Death has collaborated on split albums with other well recognized acts like Converge and Insect Warfare. Apex Predator – Easy Meat is their fifteenth studio album. It’s also the first great heavy metal album of 2015.

Why do I say this album is great rather than just good? It exemplifies musicianship between both its individual members and the cohesion of its parts. It finds what it does well, and it does that but isn’t afraid to step outside of its comfort zone, either. It is the right length and leaves the listener craving more. It doesn’t rest on its laurels, riding on past accomplishments and churning out another cookie cutter album that has been done before. Most importantly, though, it has that that special something that transcends definition. I knew the record had that intangible quality the first time I played it through. And the second. And the third. This record has it. This record has meaning. This record matters.

Apex Predator is a forty minute onslaught. The self titled opening track is a call to arms via a robotic Godflesh shake and repeated shouts of the album’s title at the track’s close. This is the first clue that Napalm Death are completely comfortable stepping out of the grindcore structure they helped design and construct. Although, the most recent addition to this Napalm Death lineup (drummer Danny Herrera) joined back in 1991, on Apex Predator they sound like a young band hitting new heights. On the album’s second track, “Smash A Single Digit” Napalm Death play grind like the band the subgenre was coined after, never afraid to show finesse via sleight of hand, either. One of the more interesting elements of this album, though, is that melodies emerge from the grind like burned survivors crawling out from the remains of a scorched earth bombing campaign. Although it happens multiple times throughout the record, “Barney” Greenway’s hardcore shouts and death growls morph into bellows reminiscent of Swans’ Michael Gira most prominently “Dear Slum Landlord.”

For all its progressiveness, though, Apex Predator also routinely displays what makes this band such a genre staple in the first place. The aforementioned “Dear Slum Landlord” points towards Napalm Death’s politics, as do tracks like “Bloodless Coup” and “Hierarchies.” After all of this time, the band seems just as charged in their political views, and continue to churn out some of the most progressive lyrics in metal. Going blow for blow with the stalwart lyrics is the unrelenting grind element that has always been this band’s bread and butter. Track after track pummels you in a welcome and familiar way, but there are little interesting flourishes here and there. “Hierarchies” opens on riffs which lean more thrash than grind, and features a cleanly sung chorus from said hierarchies’ perspective – we spilled the blood of innocents – in between growls on destruction and a very well placed solo near the end of the song.

Overall, this album is consistently good from start to finish. Just as the title track launched the record into full-throttle with a bizarre and off-kilter martial aggression, “Adversarial – Copulating Snakes,” the album closer, finishes the fight with all the prowess and deadly violence of a decorated veteran. At over five minutes, it’s half frenetic grind and half slow-march breakdown. It is the trumpet that signals victory at the end of a conflict.

If there is anything about this album I don’t like, it’s the title. Apex Predator – Easy Meat is unwieldy as an album title, and made worse by the dash in the center of it. It’s a terrible title. That’s a minor gripe for an otherwise unflushable album.

https://soundcloud.com/centurymedia/napalm-death-how-the-years-condemn

On an advance single from this album, “How The Years Condemn,” Greenway screams we’re not invincible, which seems hard to believe. On Apex Predator, Napalm Death defy those lyrics. This band seems invincible, and ageless, and timeless. This is one of their finest works. Long live Napalm Death.

NO FLUSH


Napalm Death Tour

Napalm Death kicks off their tour with Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Reagan, and Black Crown Initiate tonight in Miami.

1/27/2015 Miami, FL Grand Central*
1/28/2015 St Petersburg, FL State Theater*
1/29/2015 Atlanta, GA Masquerade*
1/30/2015 Winston-Salem, NC Ziggy’s*
1/31/2015 Baltimore, MD Soundstage*
2/2/2015 New York, NY Gramercy Theater*
2/3/2015 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer*
2/4/2015 Toronto, ON Opera House
2/5/2015 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s
2/6/2015 Montreal, QC Club Soda
2/7/2015 Worcester, MA Palladium*
2/8/2015 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance Theater*
2/9/2015 Cleveland, OH Agora Ballroom*
2/10/2015 Chicago, IL Reggie’s*
2/11/2015 Minneapolis, MN Amsterdam*
2/12/2015 Winnipeg, MB The Zoo
2/13/2015 Regina, SK The Exchange
2/14/2015 algary, AB Republik
2/15/2015 Edmonton, AB Starlite Room
2/17/2015 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theater**
2/18/2015 Seattle, WA Studio 7 #
2/19/2015 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
2/20/2015 Oakland, CA Metro ##
2/21/2015 Fresno, CA Strummers ##
2/22/2015 Los Angeles, CA House Of Blues
2/23/2015 Tempe, AZ Club Red ##
2/24/2015 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater ##
2/25/2015 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall ##
2/26/2015 Lawrence, KS Granada Theater ##
2/27/2015 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey ##
2/28/2015 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s ##

* = RINGWORM
**=Dayglo Abortions
#= Theories
##= Phobia

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  • Why do so many of these tours insist on making a six hour drive from Shitcago to MN/St. Paul WITHOUT STOPPING AT THE MANY FUCKING VENUES IN WISCONSIN? That’s it: no more fucking cheese for anyone. We’ve had it.

    • Because Wisconsin?

      • I’m just fucking with you, that is pretty lame actually.

        • Cattle Decapitation’s tour has to stop in Milwaukee and/or Madison. We have more cattle than all other states combined.

          • do you live in Madison? i visited there for the first time last year to see Tim & Eric live. it’s such a beautiful town. 9/10 ladies walking around in yoga pants.

          • Not too far from Madison. Yeah, it’s not a huge city (which is probably why people want to live and raise families there.)

            State Street used to have a lot of record stores but now there’s only a handful in the whole city. Check out Earwax next time you’re there. All metal and punk.

          • DDubya.

            Madison would actually probably be a good place for me to settle for my career.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Four point five hours from the Twin Cities.

          • DDubya.

            One step closer to you and Guac Jim.

          • Howard Dean

            Move to Boston. Talk about endless amounts of travel patterns to analyze!

          • EsusMoose

            Come here, it’s only made up of drunk college students downtown and the slow moving shadow of people moving up from Chicago in the surrounding area.

          • EsusMoose

            Earwax is great, only really started going there recently to pick up the occasional vinyl.

          • Yeah, when that place closes all we’ll have left are the record stores for Cool Madisonians who just buy them to look at them or smoke weed and tell each other how much better it sounds than digital.

          • EsusMoose

            That sounds about right, but what isn’t fun about going “vinyl hunting” with your friends and grabbing that Bruce Springsteen LP you saw because older musicians really got it unlike modern bands.

          • Howard Dean

            I believe the top cattle producing state is Texas, followed by either Nebraska, Oklahoma, or Kansas.

            Also, California is the top producing dairy state in the union.

          • “Also, California is the top producing dairy state in the union.”

            Bullshit. Maybe one out of every four years CA outproduces WI. And even then that’s coming from the world’s eighth largest economy; a state far more populous than WI.

          • Howard Dean

            I wasn’t trying to be a dick. I work a lot with dairy producers, so I’m around a lot of fact sheets and market analysis for dairy. But it’s true. California is the largest dairy producer, and has been for a number of years now.

            http://www.dairyfarmingtoday.org/Learn-More/FactsandFigures/Pages/StateStatistics.aspx

            http://www.statista.com/statistics/194962/top-10-us-states-by-number-of-milk-cows/

            http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/california-leads-u-s-milk-production-ohio-dairy-herd-numbers-drop/177273.html

          • that’s a LOT of money involved ._.)

          • Howard Dean

            Indeed there is, Link. The dairy industry is a big deal, and farming/ag in general is a behemoth in the U.S.

          • DDubya.

            Interestingly, my college has one of the most widely acclaimed ag departments around, and our meat-judging team wins the national competition pretty regularly.

          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, I’ve heard a lot about Tech’s ag department–especially in the beef/cattle world. In the northeast, Cornell’s ag and animal science schools are king. The Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine also have very strong agricultural and farming departments.

          • DDubya.

            I think part of our prominence is due to the cotton industry. The South Plains region produces a stupid amount of cotton.

          • That’s just for milk. Milk does not account for all dairy products.

            Your lies and propaganda are really starting to make my dick itch.

          • Howard Dean

            No, those are dairy statistics–milking cows and producing “milk” the farm product resulting from dairy farming. Processing milk and making cheese =/= dairy farming.

          • WHAT ABOUT CHEESE? IS CHEESE NOT DAIRY CUZ I GOTS LINKS TOO:

            http://www.statista.com/statistics/195764/top-10-us-states-for-cheese-production-2008/

          • Howard Dean

            I addressed that in my edited comment.

          • WI produces the most cheese / CA pulls the most cow nipples.

          • Howard Dean

            Yes. Wisconsin produces the most cheese, with California in second place.

            However, California has the country’s largest dairy industry. This is indisputable. The dairy industry and the statistics involved with defining it are concerned with milk production–hundredweight of milk, a bulk measure of a bulk product that is used in the manufacturing of many different “dairy products” (think Saudi Arabia and crude oil). California is the largest dairy producer–they produce the largest bulk amount of milk (the raw material that may be pastuerized and made into drinking milk, made into cheese or yogurt, dried and made into powdered milk, etc).

            Dairy industry =/= cheese production.

          • OK. I EQUATED DAIRY PRODUCTION WITH CHEESE. I MEANT FUCKING CHEESE. MY OP WAS ABOUT CHEESE. I WAS WRONG. THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT DISCUSSION. I LOVE YOU.

          • Howard Dean

            <3

          • DDubya.

            I was actually curious, so I looked up the beef statistics. Texas is number 1, but I have no idea how dairy ranks.

            http://www.beefusa.org/beefindustrystatistics.aspx

    • Howard Dean

      I’m just stepping in here to remind every one that the state of Vermont is still producing and shipping cheese nationwide, and that in the event of a Wisconsin boycott, we are more than happy to take up the slack.

      *This message brought to you by Dean ’16 and Cabot Cheese.

      • Stockhausen

        Cabot Cheese>>>>>>

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          They make such good cheese. I can eat blocks of it without trying.

          • DDubya.

            That’s probably not good for your cholesterol.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I don’t do it that often.

          • DDubya.

            That’s good. #toiletovhealthyliving

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I haven’t done it in a while though because I have to get fit. I go to the gym for that purpose. Also, the song The Angel And The Gambler by Iron Maiden is a great workout jam. I go hard whenever it shows up on my playlist.

          • DDubya.

            Good for you, man. It’s important to take care of yourself.

          • Would you?

        • Carr Valley cheddar cheese curds at room temp are better than breathing.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I consider Flamin hot Cheetos the greatest cheese based potato chip product ever.

          • I just… I can’t… smh.

          • Howard Dean

            You realize curds are not potato chips, yes?

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            They still involve cheese.

          • They’re not even made from potatoes…they’re made from corn, you dingleberry.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I feel bad. I didn’t know they were made of corn.

          • I still love you, man. Hahaha.

          • Howard Dean

            That’s… probably stretching the definition (and chemical makeup) of cheese a bit.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            People consider Easy Cheese real cheese. Is it really?

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt/Not Sludge

            It probably falls under the aegis of “cheese product.”

          • DDubya.

            The concept of “meat products” still cracks me up.

          • more beer

            Artificial cheese food like it says on a can of Cheese Wiz. If they actually have to tell you it`s food on the label it is not.

          • Dude, Cheetos are corn, not potatoes…

          • Eddie Trunk Jr.

            Damnit. I didn’t know.

        • Howard Dean

          Cabot is ubiquitous ’round my parts. There are even entire specialty stores dedicated to their many varieties of cheeses and cheese products. I’m a bit of a cheese fanatic myself.

    • EsusMoose

      If it did hit it’d probably be Milwaukee. The only time I’ve been confused was when Allegaeon hit Eau Claire or La Crosse

  • Great review Edward! How does it feel to write about metal?

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      I have to admit JB, it is exhilarating.

      • CT-12

        I always enjoy reading your articles Ed, great work! I’m picking this album up in an hour or so when I go into town.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          Thanks – I had a lot of help of this one. W / Dubya made some strong edits. Let me know what you think of the album!

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      I definitely have ideas for some more Form and Void articles though, lol.

  • Tyree

    Danny Herrera and Pro Tools must be good friends? I still have to listened to this all but I’m not super blown away by what I heard so far. Cover me in shit for now I guess.

    • DDubya.

      Is it the more progressive bent that leaves you feeling underwhelmed?

      • Tyree

        I like my grind to have some punk and crust to it. Napalm Death are getting further and further away from their roots. That’s my opinion though. I’m sure I’ll like this much more after I listen to it all and revisit it a few times but, this is not exactly how I like my grindcore. It’s getting a bit to tech for my tastes too.

        • DDubya.

          Ah, I gotcha.

          • Tyree

            You know how I like my grind. This is why Gridlink did not make my list last year.

          • DDubya.

            Gridlink didn’t really do it for me either, weirdly.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Gridlink was very gut. But it’s a little hard to call it a grind albums per se. Like, if someone asked me what was grind, I’d hardly give them that.

          • Tyree

            I agree with this statement!

          • Tyree

            I feel people that are not familiar with oldschool grind assume that bands that play fast short songs with blastbeasts are considered grindcore. The whole Deathgrind thing has sort of brainwashed some people. Oldschool grind was punk as fuck and sometimes did not even have blastbeats!

          • DDubya.

            This is true, and I think, for better or worse, grind has largely moved on from its roots. Not everywhere, but most of the “big” grind bands don’t play anything similar to old grind.

          • Tyree

            Oh absolutely, grind today is not the same at all. I’ve talked to some people that claim newer Cattle Decapitation is grindcore. *Flush!

          • Howard Dean

            I’ve heard that, too. It’s crazy! If Monolith of Inhumanity is grindcore than Jungle Rot is power metal.

          • Jungle Rot is a TERRIBLE power metal band

          • Howard Dean

            I agree. I think their vocalist is trying to imitate Mark Shelton, but he just sounds like shit. Also: they need to ease up on the modern war themes. Where the fuck are the maces and chainmail?

          • Tyree

            Cattle Decapitation is Death Metal. Case closed! They might have been a bit grindier back in the day but not anymore.

          • Howard Dean

            Definitely. They’re earlier albums are much more grind–Human Jerky and Homovore are good examples. But by 2009’s The Harvest Floor, they were pretty much fully-fledged death metal.

          • Tyree

            I’d even call it Tech-Death. I’m being way too picky though.

          • Howard Dean

            No, I agree. The riffing is pretty tech. As is the production.

          • DDubya.

            Boo, don’t say that.

          • Tyree

            It is though isn’t it? From what I’ve heard from them recently it’s no walk in the fucking part to play that shit.

          • DDubya.

            Eh, I feel that tech death isn’t accurate because it isn’t even comparable to, say, Obscura. I got into it with jack Bauer a few months back about this, haha. I think deathgrind is an apt title.

          • Tyree

            OK, I don’t like it anyways.

          • DDubya.

            And that’s okay, hombre.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            But compared to Carnage Pit they are very techy. And CP gets throqn around as tech.

          • DDubya.

            My point is that if CD aren’t grindcore, they also certainly aren’t tech death, and it isn’t accurate to call them either.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            But… But… teh weedilis and deedilis. And teh rest.

          • DDubya.

            I like all kinds of grind, as you know.

          • Tyree

            Australia is doing the grind thing right. So many great grind releases from there last year including that Coffin Birth that you wrote about. That’s straight up oldschool grindcore!

          • DDubya.

            Coffin Birth rules, dude. I need to work on that next Bump n Grind piece.

          • Tyree

            Internal Rot is a good example of what I like in grind. This was a underrated release from last year.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2hsEw27LAI

          • Tyree

            I added a grind band to my upcoming GLAB post. It’s oldschool grind on cocaine. It’s a beat-down duder!

          • DDubya.

            I look forward to it.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Cocaine >>>>>>

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Therefore it is good to be surrounded by crusty as fuck grind bands from all sides. Finland is a good country for grind.

          • Tyree

            Indeed it is!

          • Howard Dean

            True. A lot of grindcore isn’t metal–especially those older foundational acts. It has a lot more in common with punk than metal.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            You guys are weird.

          • Tyree

            No Walter, you are just an asshole!

          • I loved it, but I can get why you wouldn’t dig it. It’s not ugly, filthy, or gritty, which is what a lot of grindcore is

    • Did you like Utilitarian?

      • Tyree

        Yeah, it was cool. They definitely started to get more experimental on that album. Not one of my favorites though.

  • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

    I have mixed feelings about this album.
    On the other hand it’s full of good songs, on the other hand it’s a bit blärh. And it’s a shame John Zorn didn’t join ND

  • Howard Dean

    Nice job and good review, Edward/NegroD! I’m not a big fan of Napalm Death, but this makes me want to check this out.

    Also, I agree. “Apex Predator – Easy Meat” really is a terrible title. They should’ve just made it “Apex Predator.” I know there are probably a few dozen other albums named “Apex Predator,” but that’s ok. Think about how many albums are named Thirteen/13 (or some such derivative of the number/word).

    • DDubya.

      Haha, the title was really my only sticking point with the album.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Thanks HD. I’m gonna stick to my guns on this and declare this the first great heavy metal record of 2015. If You, Whom I Have Always Hated somehow rivals it (it could), well I heard this one first.

      • Howard Dean

        I honestly haven’t listened to a 2015 album yet (I don’t think so, at least). Aside from a few albums, I haven’t been overly excited about and dying to listen to anything thus far.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          I am really enjoying the practice of less music, more often so far. I’m just soaking them up.

          • Howard Dean

            I’ve been listening to a lot of older music. The haul I bought from Dark Descent a few weeks ago was mostly older albums, apart from Sacred White Noise. Relatedly: I’ve only listened to it twice, but so far I’m not overly impressed with Thantifaxath. I thought it would be right up my alley, but it just hasn’t clicked. I don’t know if it will.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            No harm in that – except since you purchase all physical media you’re out the cost if you don’t like it (minus whatever enjoyment you got out of listening to it however many times) and you have to move it around with you from now until the end times.

            I’m stoked to listen to Thou / The Body tomorrow and ToH flipped me a promo for Gouge so I need to get into that for “business” matters, haha.

          • Howard Dean

            I usually don’t even think about the cost. I see buying a CD that I am “meh” towards as the same as someone who watches a movie in a theater and isn’t thrilled with it, or someone who goes out to dinner and isn’t all that excited about the meal. The added benefit one gets with CDs is that you can keep the product and try it again at some point. I don’t know how many times I’ve not liked something, only to return to it at a different time and enjoy it. It’s all part of the game.

  • The Bestest Tapir

    I dig the album and I dig this review.

  • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

    I could maybe call myself a ND fan, but apart from the first half of scum, I only really like tge post-2000 deathgrind albums.
    Merely pointing out.

    • Gurptitude

      Not even Harmony Corruption?

      • Tyree

        That’s not a bad album, I love the production on that one a lot. More Death metal but hey it fucking rips anyways.

        • Gurptitude

          That and From Enslavement to Obliteration are definitely my favorite ND records. I

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    i feel kind of let down–cuz it’s commie—but they were always that way —and i just didnt pay attention–cuz i kind of worship their guitarists rhythm tone–and they used to play around here–and were always super cool–letting good local bands–have great shows

    i just couldnt understand their vocals apparantley–if i looked up what “utilitarian” meant=i get the bad feeling it would be some kind of fucked up type tom morello type bullshit philosophy or some shit————always liked their attitude/art—also the guitar player’s solo band –has a cool message in their name (sam kinison)

    grindcore–alcohol–fist fights—godlessness–i dont think i registered the commie part–same thing happened with nirvana–

    • Utilitarianism is pretty rad!

      • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

        TBH Utilitarianism is pretty horrible.

        • only if you’re the minority!

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            It doesn’t matter. Eventually everyone gets fucked. That’s the difference between democracy and util.
            Demo=minorities get fucked systematically
            UTIL= Everyone gets fucked sooner or later, with a chainsaw.

          • I’m all for utilitarianism in small, personal groups. As soon as we start dealing with millions of people, i can’t look them in the eye and tell them why i’m making a decision.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            I’m all for locking every utilitarianist up, right next to the objectivists.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Now, Ayn’t that making ya Rand-y!

          • I actually enjoyed the Fountainhead, but that whole philosophy is absolute garbage and I hate it.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Me too! Although I couldn’t finish Atlas Shrugged. I’ve said this before, but liking a book don’t mean I agree with it.

          • Agreed! or reading a book and committing to finish a series doesn’t mean you even like it *cough George R.R. Martin I hate you *cough*

          • Gurptitude

            What makes Martin a crap author?

          • 1) It’s my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

            2) He is so vague about descriptions. I swear I have no idea where characters are half the time, they just enter/leave and are at places. I don’t want him to suddenly become Robert Jordan screenplay level descriptions, but come on, make an effort dude.

            3) He is obsessed with sex and violence. Some people want that gritty feel, and that’s okay. But good lord, no culture anywhere ever was as obsessed with sex as Westeros.

            4) The Audiobook: every character sounds like a peasant. Daenarys sounds like a peasant. Tyrion sounds like a peasant. So if the royalty sounds like peasants, what do actual peasants sound like? They sound like gargling blenders full of shit.

            5) Pacing: I’m sure you’ve heard this complaint before, but I cannot stand his pacing. “Hey big cliff hanger last chapter huh? Cool right? Anyways here’s a 30 page chapter on a worthless peasant who dies at the end anyways and nothing important actually happens because fuck you.” While I appreciate what he’s going for with exploring the lives of all classes, I think he could achieve the same goal of exploring a common man’s life with much shorter chapters.

            6) Killing off characters: Oh, everyone’s favorite part about this series. No one is safe! I call bullshit. This is George Martin saying OMG SO RANDOM LOL WHO ELSE IS RANDOM!? fuck you.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Haven’t read the books nor have I watched the show.

          • The only reason I even read them anymore is out of hate and spite

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            He wanted to make adult fantasy, but all he could think of was sex&violence

          • The Bestest Tapir
          • OOOOOOONNNNNE FLOOOOPPPY WEEINERR!

          • Sex & Violence may be a part of adult fantasy, but their inclusion does not make it adult fantasy. Although to be honest I stick to all ages fantasy so what do I know. A Robert Jordan sex scene is the most vague thing ever, and kind of hilarious

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Andrzej. Sapkowski. That is all.

          • Gurptitude

            Oh, I’ve never read any of his stuff, I just thought about reading ASoIaF after everyone got into the show. Although from the looks of it, I’m not missing anything I’d enjoy, lol.

          • Basically everyone (even I did) loved the first 2 books. Some people got throne off by book 3, but book 4 was just terrible. Book 5 is certainly better than book 4, but i’m ruined at this point and can only pick out the negative

          • Gurptitude

            >throne off
            *snort*

          • huehuehue

          • DDubya.

            I only really disagree with you on two points, although blaming him for the audiobook is pretty lazy. Regarding description, I don’t think you’re right. At all. In fact, he spends way too much time describing some things, but I never felt that i didn’t know where characters were or what the setting was. The story was easy to follow. Regarding killing off characters, I think his point is to show that war is brutal and that there are no clear winners, but I see where you’re coming from.

            That said, homeboy needs an editor. Badly.

          • There are places where he excels in his descriptions. For instance, when Tyrion is on the boat going up the river in book 5, he really did a fantastic job.

            However, whenever he goes to Jon Snow, everything is wood and snow and boiled leather and the reader is pretty much left to their own imagination.

            I’m comign from reading 7 wheel of time books in a row, where Jordan lets you know if they even have a speck of dirt under their fingernails, so I’m a bit spoiled.

            The audiobook is indeed irrelevant to Martin’s writing, but it’s the only way I’m able to get through it (don’t have enough time to read at home, though I do own the book.) Just wanted to point out that i hate it

          • DDubya.

            Well, we can probably agree that Martin knows how to describe food well.

            For the record, this definitely isn’t my favorite book series, but I have enjoyed it.

            Also, if you want to see an overabundance of sex in fantasy, read some William S. Burroughs. The Western Lands is the only book I’ve ever intentionally stopped reading.

          • Thank you for the warning. After Wheel of Time, I’m going to complete all the Lord of the Rings related books, then potentially attempt the Ender’s Game series again (put it down during Xenocide)

          • DDubya.

            Like the Silmarillion and History of Middle Earth? Awesome. I actually haven’t read the Histories myself.

            I never finished the Hitchhiker series, so I might pick that back up post-defense.

          • Some of my USPMC friends are really pushing Malazan Book of the Fallen on me too

          • DDubya.

            My bro-in-law has been reading that and encouraging me to do so as well.

          • Sometimes I want to quit the world and just read for like 3 months straight

          • Guacamole Jim

            The fourth Hitchhiker book was a gigantic swing and a miss. Just a travesty.

            If you haven’t made it to the third, though… boy are you in for a treat.

          • DDubya.

            I started them in high school, but I can’t remember how far I got.

          • I liked it. I also read it when I was like 12 so that might color my opinion a bit.

          • The Histories are really good. They have a lot of overlap with The Silmarillion but are definitely worth the read.

          • I need to read the Wheel of Time series. I’ve almost finished Xenocide for the first time and have several more books before I tie up that series. I’ll be diving into the Shannara books next.

          • MoshOff

            Dude the first two Ender’s Game books are amazing and Xenocide is alright, but I’ve “been” reading the fourth one (Children of the Mind, I think) for like half a year. UGH.

          • Yeah I couldn’t make it through the opening philosophical discussion. Great, very interesting ideas but i kept falling asleep. I really want to get through it though, the ideas were quite compelling, but not compelling enough to 19 year old me

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            See above, my thoughts.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            I have to finish it, as I began it. But man Martin is a lousy writer. Lousy plotmaker and a lousy dialogue writer. He will need to

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Refresh for full comment

          • Guacamole Jim

            This is insane

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Facism is love, Facism is life.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            America is love, America is life.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Those are the same thing
            #Iamjoking

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            Democracy is also love and life.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Eh

          • it has its flaws.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            It’s not perfect but it’s so much better than totalitarianism.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Why are you living in America then?
            #badjokesmate

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I live here because I don’t want to live elsewhere.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Oh you dirty capitalist pig.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr.

            I’m such a dirty capitalist piggy.

          • more beer

            That`s right having money is much better than not having it.

          • Howard Dean

            “Hey! If you don’t like ‘merica, then fuck you, commie!”

            https://duhmerica.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/redneck2.jpg

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Bby plz I’m just joking here

          • Howard Dean

            “You didn’t know that I totally knew you were joking?! Meta-jokes, you commie! Us ‘mericans have kvltvre, you know!”

            https://wanderingamericantravelblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/redneck-spelling-b.jpg

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Humor is not allowed to be understood in Soviet Funland.

          • Howard Dean

            “Thumbs up, comrade! When we finally win the Cold War and take down that Wall, we’re coming to liberate you–whether you want it or not!”

            https://i.imgflip.com/1bhd.jpg

          • jajajajaja, I got this! *catched*

          • Tyree
          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Ugh!

          • The Bestest Tapir

            I know that you like it, Mr Siitoin.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Oh no! They’re onto me!

    • The Bestest Tapir

      Commie is love, commie is life.

      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        i realize you live in finland—but the other day —you said that they dont have (whatever the fuck that fox news guy that yell’s name is)

        fuck those mother fuckers!!—

        there’s been other things yall have kind of said—that gives the impression that you guys live in an isolated paradise type situation—also it seems weird on a racial level–like in sort of a cool way -i’d never really thought of “honestly”—cuz race shit is spewed out by commie media–with a negative taint–on purpose–cuz of the jfk killers –getting control of the tv

        which didnt happen in finland apparantley—but there are some mass murdering govt people in america right now–who use “communism” as rationale to do fucked up shit—and actually “programmably predictable” on a “lameness” level–that is styrofoam and overly repeated—-“aggressively”==as intended psychological torture

        that is also tax payer funded—-paying for simpson’s reruns–scared/intimidated morning radio dj’s—911—-and religious genocide

        stagnation

        • The Bestest Tapir

          Finland is by no means a paradise. Not even close.

          • Lacertilian

            Still whaling?

  • FeelTheDarkness
  • Tyree

    From Enslavement To Obliteration >>>>>>>>>>>>

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljhlmi1flVE

    • That artwork looks a tad similar to what you do!

      • Tyree

        😉

        • Gurptitude

          COINCIDENTALLY.

    • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

      This is… I’m gonna go away and listen to something worthwile.

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

    This was such a good album. I’m going to see them because of this great album.

    • Gurptitude

      I would also recommend seeing them if the album sucked, because they’re legends.

  • Good review! I’ll be picking this up after work, and I’ll be catching this tour in Kansas.
    Supes stoked to see BCI live also!

    • whoa… i might skip the 1349 thing and visit Kansas for that!

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Thanks ACFP / AKFP!

      They are here in a few weeks on a Wednesday of all nights. I might just suffer (pun intended) the next day at work.

  • The Bestest Tapir

    Props to McNulty for trolling.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

      What did Jimmy do?

      • The Bestest Tapir

        See his comment on How The Years Condemn and the replies he got.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          I’m so sad. Why Jimmy? Why?

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Based Jimmy.

    • Gurptitude

      omg

  • Mother Shabubu III

    This is my favorite record thus far this year. Have they ever made a bad record?

    PS: My new headphones leak sound out. So it turns out people can hear this savagery blasting while I work out at the gym. No wonder people move away from me.

    • DDubya.

      I bet this album gets you so jacked that you’re literally eating plates.

    • Nope, they don’t seem to ever make a bad album. How many bands can put out as many records as they have and say that?

      • Mother Shabubu III

        Very few. In “heavy” music, I’d say Converge, Killing Joke, and only a couple of others, but it can be subjective.

      • Howard Dean

        Bolt Thrower.
        Slough Feg.
        Manilla Road.
        Incantation.
        Immolation.
        Taake
        …and…
        Morbid Angel (I kid, I kid; barring Illud, though, this is true)

        • Suffocation

          • Howard Dean

            Damn, there was one I knew I was omitting that was right on the tip of my tongue (fingertips?). Suffo!

        • Cynic
          Angra
          Galneryus
          The Residents

          Saxon

          Sex Pistols

        • DDubya.

          I’m still calling them sluff feg.

          • Howard Dean

            They’re always that in my mind.

      • Diatribes was pretty weak. Not horrible, but nowhere near to great.

        • I love Diatribes, they incorporated some industrial influences into that one.

  • Scrimm

    I find myself strangely unmotivated to listen to this. Haven’t hit one link about it yet, not really sure why.

  • Nice review. I agree with you, Napalm Death and this album are just on another level. No other way to explain it.

  • “It’s also the first great heavy metal album of 2015.”
    *Tied with Alpha and Omega (by Periphery)
    *dodges incoming beer bottles

  • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

    I’ve only listened to this once, so take this with a bucket of cocaine. I dig the intensity, the clean vocals (nice Swans mentio btw) and I think the album comes together nicely as a whole, but I do have a few complaints. I think ‘Hierarchies’ is a miss, the cleans don’t sound that well on here, and I get the feeling that it doesn’t really belong on this album. I thought the solo was also very awkward and misplaced.

    There is also this sense that I’ve heard it al before, sometimes it’s like: “yep, this is Napalm Death, sure sounds like Napalm Death”. Funnily enough, I think the title of the album is great. I’m going to listen to it some more soon.

    • There’s clean vox? Sheeit…I gotta listen now too.

    • Hierarchies has some odd stuff going on, which makes it one of my fav tracks.

      • Yeah, its my fav on the record

      • DDubya.

        I like that track a lot too. Probably my favorite on the album, though, is the weirdo title track.

    • MoshOff

      I have to agree dude, to me it does kinda sound like “Napalm by the Numbers”. Not that it’s a bad thing, but still.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Really Hubert, you don’t dig “Hierarchies”? That was a standout for me. Actually, most of the non-grind moments were standouts in my eyes but as mentioned (in the review) I just dig this whole thing.

      Respekt.

    • I’m still wondering why there’s a box of calamari on the cover.

  • Stockhausen

    This album RIPS. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t check it until a few days ago, and therefore wrecked it.

  • BLXKKBEXRD

    Nice writeup ed. But I can’t like this album be cuz erbody else does.
    #truhipster

    • -JJD
      -KSOFM
      -Tapir
      -Christian
      -Conan

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

        I love this album. I do not love the new Periphery.

      • The Bestest Tapir

        Hey! I like this album!

      • BLXKKBEXRD

        I don’t appreciate you giving false tacos love

        • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

          I don’t either.

      • God ov All

        RIP KSOFM

  • Stockhausen

    Also, I just looked down and my orange was gone. Who ate my friggin’ orange.

    I mean, obviously I did, but I thought I had at least half of it left. Dangit.

  • Gurptitude

    YES! THEY’RE COMING TO CLEVELAND WITH BLACK CROWN INITIATE! YES YES YES!
    Oh and Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Reagan and Ringworm should be fun too

  • Tyree
  • Guacamole Jim

    w00t w00t! An Edmonton date!!

  • The Bestest Tapir

    Basedtony Godtano also liked the album.

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      Who can hate this great album? It’s so good!

      • The Bestest Tapir

        I rate your new name 2/19 not spicy enough

        • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

          What are you smoking? I am the Eddie Trunk of this site!

          • Gurptitude

            Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Technician

            (so people recognize THE JANITOR!)

          • The Bestest Tapir

            I ain’t smoking anything dude. I don’t even know who that is.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            He’s the hose of That Metal Show. People think I’m him due to my music taste.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            The rel question is why aren’t you smoking anything

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Because I’m boring.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            🙁

          • Who? Is that the same Trunks from Dragonball Z?

          • Doh, I just remembered. Ugh, Eddie Trunk!

        • It should be: The Bestest Eddie Trunk Jr. to be #Tapirapproved

          Or: De Best-et Edi Tronc Yúnior, to be #LinkApproved

        • Nyeah!

  • Tyree

    This band needs to get their shit together and make another album.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGM7llErrbY

  • I am absolutely going to make the trek out to Winston-Salem for this show. The new album shreds ass.

  • Max

    Maybe I should journey to Melbourne in April… that’s when Napalm Death are touring, supported by Carcass and Extortion. (Why they’re not reaching Adelaide is completely beyond me.)

    • Tyree

      Extortion is pretty intense live duder. High energy stuff!

      • Max

        Yeah, this is looking more and more like a necessary pilgrimage. It’s only a two-hour plane ride and an overnight stay; I’ve done it before for Mayhem.

        • Tyree

          I’d do it! That’s an incredible line up.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Max! How are life and things?

      • Max

        Good thanks, Edward! A little busier lately, but nothin’ wrong with earning a living sometimes!

        I forgot to tell ya: I’ve been listening to The Hierophant extensively since we last spoke. I really love it – I even listen to all the remixes when I’m going through the album. Thumbs up! I find it’s great soundtrack music for reading internet articles about history, war etc. or any subject kinda portentous.

        Herukat I’ve STILL got to give a bit more of a listen to before verdict time.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          I hear that. Nothing wrong with making some money.

          Ah, that is great to hear. I really think The Heirophant is a great album. It’s kind of my thing lately, trying to separate the myriad of “great” albums from the great ones. That one is so fascinating though. Super heavy but not metal. It’s also great to play when driving.

          Since you got super into that and you’re still working on Herukrat, shoot me a recommendation. Could be anything.

          • Max

            Well, basically ANYTHING that I had put on that “all-time favourites” list would be a worthy recommendation if it’s not something you’d already heard and your interest in that artist/genre was piqued. Bear in mind, though, that some of the older extreme metal stuff on there will probably sound pretty dated to your younger ears; so I wouldn’t expect you to come away raving about it just to be diplomatic with me. 🙂

            But if I did have to narrow it down to ONE specific recommendation that I think might suit the direction your tastes have been going in lately (if the mighty Breegrodamus’s eclectic and inquiring tastes could even be said to be going in just a “single direction”), I reckon I’d stump for Peter Gabriel’s Passion. It’s the soundtrack to a Martin Scorcese film; it’s diverse yet singular of intent…I really do think you’ll warm to it if you’ve not heard it already. And it’s one of those long albums that doesn’t feel long to listen to, and which can either be listened to passively or actively, in just about any circumstance (although unlike a lot of the stuff we’ve shared, I ‘d say this one isn’t conducive to driving; it’s more on the meditation end of the spectrum). So perhaps give that a go if you’ve not already.

          • DDubya.

            Max, I know this is the wrong thread, but your story about building a house from tires was very interesting. I wish more Texans were more into sustainability, although I do think we’re getting progressive with energy production. We have huge wind farms near my city.

          • Max

            It was certainly one of the more interesting public lectures I’ve ever recorded. Here’s the Wikipedia overview I briefly mentioned to Papa Joe if you’ve not already seen it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship

            In Australia we’re total slouches on this stuff, and having a climate-change-denying government certainly doesn’t help.

            The US, by contrast, seems to be coming up with a lot of compelling sustainability ideas lately. The guy who runs an algae farm for car fuel is one – I’ll have to track down the specifics for that.

            Ironically, I remember reading that the real George W.’s ranch in Texas is designed on very pronounced eco-sustainability principles!

          • Lacertilian

            Bush must have done so on the basis of the possibility of him needing to ‘go off the grid’ after his family’s escapades in the middle east.
            Side Note: Happy to hear Max is green-minded.
            Also, Earthship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OKGqCwOD28

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Max I am going to have to roll with Peter Gabriel’s Passion. I have next to no familiarity with Peter Gabriel, and why not step outside of blood curdling blast beats or brain scrambling noise or whatever to expand my musical horizons? Don’t worry, I don’t think I would ever attempt to like something for the purpose of being diplomatic, haha.

            I’ll get back with you when I’ve listened to Passion for sure!

    • Brouroboris

      WHAT??? AND they’re coming to perth of all places.

      • Max

        I know! This is what happened last time Carcass toured Australia, too. It’s weird.

    • Lacertilian

      rAdelaide always gets punished.
      The only reason I can think of is that it used to be called the City of Churches.

      • Brouroboris

        If anything that should attract the hungry flames of the bestial horde.

  • CT-12

    Check out the new Voivod song that dropped today! My pants have never been tighter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz7l9M5V5Ds

  • CT-12

    Anybody notice how the “meat tray” is an ipad? I never noticed that until I bought the album last night. ND, masters of subtle badassery in art.

    • DDubya.

      Whoah, I didn’t. Thanks for pointing it out.