Monday, February 28, 2011

Initial Impressions: Napalm Death 3 CD Set

As mentioned before on this blog, my fiancee gave me the recent 3 CD set from Napalm Death for Valentine's Day. Quite the romantic gesture. The CDs come from the middle period of the band's existence when they had added a lot of death metal influences to their grindcore foundation and had already been fronted by former Benediction growler Barney Greenway for a few albums. I will not spend a ton of space going over the minutiae of each album. If you have heard Napalm Death, you have a reasonable expectation for what these albums sound like.

The first album in the set is the band's 1997 album. The album featured the return of Greenway after a messy split for a very short amount of time and was a comeback album of sorts after the much-maligned Diatribes. This however, is a fucking monster of an album, featuring some great riffs, and some of the best songs Napalm Death has ever come up with, such as the title track, "Breed to Breathe", and "Lowpoint". This album is a bit slower than some of the other band's albums, grooving along at a medium pace, but that does not make it any less brutal.

Napalm Death released this the very next year and it does feel like an extension of the previous album, moreso than an individual release. The major difference between the two releases is that whereas the prior album was a mid-paced groovefest, this is blindingly fast and grinding. This is an even more potent album than the previous one and is one of their best albums during the death/hardcore/grindcore phase the band went through. The album also features three classic songs from a live performance as a bonus.

A short EP released after Inside the Torn Apart, this release has the title cut in common with the full-length album. Otherwise, it is full of outtakes from those sessions. It does feature one surprise: a cover of the ND classic "Suffer the Children" performed by underground U.S. death metal band Fatality who apparently won some contest to be featured here.

This was a very impressive and enjoyable release featuring three largely forgotten Napalm Death releases. It also serves as a great introduction to the band.

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