Monday, 27 July 2015

Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat Review

Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat [Grindcore / Death Metal]

That's an idiotic album title.

Napalm Death's last three albums have been remarkably relevant to metal, no easy feat when you consider the fact that Napalm Death is pretty much still one of the best bands of the genre it helped to create. This album continues in that route; well-crafted deathgrind from veterans who have mastered the art of songwriting.

The one unexpected thing about this album is just how much of a riff-fest it is. Napalm Death has never been that band with the best riffs, but guitarist Mitch Harris is on fire on this album. More than half the songs have memorable riffs that really stick in your head.

A track by track analysis, you may one to take a shot every time I mention how good the riff is:

  1. Apex Predator - Easy Meat - It's an interesting way to start your album, with tribal drums and some really strange, layered vocals,... Could have been a little shorter.
  2. Smash A Single Digit - The first minute's standard Napalm Death, but the riff in the last 26 seconds is so fucking good
  3. Metaphorically Screw You - You see this is what I like about these guys, they really don't waste any part of the song for some filler verse. The song stays at a steady tempo and then goes on to this really groovy syncopated part; "Triple, triple, triple triple speak, triple triple triple triple triple triple speak!". I've been singing that in my head so many times these last few months.
  4. How The Years Condemn - Again, the main riff here is really catchy, and the chorus tend to the more melodic side.
  5. Stubborn Stains - Another riff fest. Every subsequent builds on the previous riff and the song progresses so nicely. Another thing to note; the riff on the breakdown.
  6. Timeless Flogging - Lol, try getting the introductory riff out of your head for this one.
  7. Dear Slum Landlord - Things get a little weird when Napalm Death slows down because Barney isn't the most gifted singer, but thankfully the song is pretty short.
  8. Cesspits - This is another one with a fantastic riff. The song is relatively sludgy, but not as weird as the previous song. Mitch Harris' backing vocals are sparse but really complement Barney's low-pitched growls well, though this has been part of Napalm Death's sound for quite a while already. Newer bands, this is how often you should compliment your death growls with high pitched screams, not all the fucking time. Also: goddamit that riff at the breakdown!
  9. Bloodless Coup - Ok, this one is an average song.
  10. Beyond The Pale - Riffs in the middle and at the end. Yes.
  11. Stunt Your Growth - Main riff is an absolute scorcher and the song itself is really enjoyable.
  12. Hierarchies - Slower and strangely melodic at the chorus.
  13. Caste The Waste - Another strange. slow. sludgy song.
  14. One-Eyed - Wellllll, that riff in the breakdown.
  15. What Is Past Is Prologue - Fantastic riffage again.
  16. Oh So Pseudo - Song's pretty average but really good breakdown.
  17. Adversarial / Copulating Snakes - This one is a really good song. The verse are in the question and answer format which make them kinda groovy, while the chorus is just Mitch Harris screaming "ADVERSARIAL!". The second half isn't as exciting, but seems to be focusing and ominous atmosphere.
  18. Paracide - It's a cover and it's fun. Haven't heard of the original band, Gepøpel.

So it wouldn't be a surprise that I like this album a lot, though it could do with a few more tweaks.

The audio production is standard overcompressed shit at DR5, but the clarity of the instruments is still decipherable, though this might be because there's only one guitarist.

Rating: 4/5

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