Well, of course, NAPALM DEATH has launched the Occupy Napalm movement. You weren't expecting Barney Greenway to announce that he's teamed up with Bill O'Reilly for a new propagandistic "news" program on Fox, did you? New album "Utilitarian" presents no downplaying of the refreshingly informed sociopolitical ideals that are always delivered with such sonic fearsomeness either, regardless of the number of stylistic curveballs thrown. Any way you slash it on their 14th studio album (of original material) NAPALM DEATH is as forward-thinking and fierce as ever.You may ponder the coloring of certain tracks, such as John Zorn's fittingly mad saxophone on "Everyday Pox", or the outright musical contrasts of others (e.g. the spacey FEAR FACTORY clean vocals on the terrific grind 'n groove of "The Wolf I Feed"), but only for the seconds it takes to realize how well it all fits within the trademarked brand of grindcore intensity. Barney still barks and roars with supreme command presence; Shane Embury still knocks shit over with his bloated buzz; Danny Herrera still keeps impeccable time though manic d-beaten blasts; and Harris still slashes and serrates, and then disorients with a wicked screech that serves a purpose well beyond a backing vocal on this album in particular. Few extreme acts are as equally adept with their playing as they are with their arranging as NAPALM DEATH, a fact no more evident than on "Utilitarian". The album also attests to the group's sense of making all the "little things" count; dissonant dabs, punk channelings, and ominous noise continue to be placed in precisely the right places. This is one band that understands how to keep grindcore more than just interesting; it's exciting. The dark tones of opening instrumental "Circumspect" set the stage for an album on which NAPALM DEATH offers bits of experimentation, at times with more prominence than others (e.g. the goth-y vocals on "Fall on their Swords", "Leper Colony", and "Blank Look about Face") amidst all that militant calamity. "Errors in the Signal", "Protection Racket", "Analysis Paralysis", "Collision Course", and "Orders of Magnitude" at various points are all representative of the quartet's keen ability to make even the purest forms of bludgeoning really quite brilliant. Sometimes it is about making a little melody go a long way ("Quarantined") and at other it has more to do with making points through pulverization, a classic case of the latter heard on the one minute and 21 seconds of "Opposite Repellant" and the even shorter "Nom De Guerre". In all cases on "Utilitarian" it is about proving once again that quality can never be questioned on a NAPALM DEATH album. Minds will be enlightened and faces will be broken.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.