When the name Napalm Death comes up when talking about extreme music you are talking about a band who truly deserve their legendary tag and while there are many things to be discussed that the band are renowned for, it is best to let their music do the talking. From their anarcho punk beginnings to the early noise laden grind classics Scum and From Enslavement To Obliteration to grind metal masterpieces like Harmony Corruption, Fear, Emptiness, Despair and Diatribes and beyond, all the way up to their last album Apex Predator-Easy Meat, the one thing most prevalent about the band is that they have constantly evolved whilst never losing their heaviness and intensity.
Whilst the bands earliest material got them the most publicity as the heaviest band on earth they have never stopped making thought provoking and exciting music and this continues today, their evolution as vibrant noisemakers continues unabated as they go beyond thirty five years as makers of such extreme and exhilarating music and this compilation album is fans dream as it celebrates the best of their later back catalogue with this collection of rare tracks and B-sides that would blow away most bands main albums.
Alongside tracks from their long deleted splits with Voivod, Converge, Melt Banana and Melvins there are covers of Cardiacs, Gauze and Sacrilege amongst others that are all done in the distinctive Napalm way showing just what a multifaceted band they are, with the grind pioneers putting their own spin on very different tracks and add in so many hard to find tracks that will satisfy even the most hardened Napalm Death fan.
Highlights include Phonetics For The Stupefied from the split with Voivod, the berzerk Critical Gluttnous Mass and the focused Like Piss To A Sting for prime slabs of grind as well as the lengthier but no less intense liked of Omnipresent Knife In Your Back and Atheist Runt but the whole thing is a pleasure to listen to and absorb.
Coded Smears And More Uncommon Slurs celebrates the music of Napalm Death but does so in a way that rewards their fans with this treasure trove of grind delights.
While most bands would be content to sit back and rest on their laurels when it comes to a musical legacy of this magnitude, it is testament to their longevity and live for what they do that Napalm Death refuse to do that and continue to make such vital music and long may they continue to do so.
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- Review: Napalm Death “Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism” [Century Media Records] - September 19, 2020
- Interview with Schmier of Destruction - June 2, 2020
- Review: BruceXCampbell “South To No Life” [Give Praise records] - May 7, 2020