Even after exerting an indelible influence on the entire world of heavy music for more than 30 years, there is still no band on Earth that sounds like Napalm Death. Not just the undisputed Gods of Grind, but an enduring benchmark for invention and fearlessness in heavy and experimental music of all kinds, the Birmingham legends are still hurtling forward at full pelt.


Although the name Napalm Death has existed since 1981, as the band’s first line-up plundered the post- and anarcho-punk scenes for inspiration, it was 1987’s seminal Scum album that would ensure their place in the grand pantheon of heaviness. A visceral dismantling of conventions, it effectively kick-started the entire grindcore scene, gaining Napalm Death something approaching household name status for their insane speeds, animalistic screams and uncompromising political stance. From that moment, the band became synonymous with both proudly-held ethical principles and the relentless pursuit of new ways to terrorise people with riffs and noise.


Napalm Death below


By the early ‘90s, Napalm Death had coalesced around a steady line-up of vocalist Barney Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, drummer Danny Herrera and guitarists Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado. Renowned for both unrelenting tour schedules and a steady stream of consistently well-received albums, they have powered forward ever since, weathering transient trends, media indifference and industry skullduggery along the way. Despite the sad passing of Pintado in 2006, the 21st century has seen Napalm Death continue to refine and redefine their still epoch-wrecking sound, with instant classic albums like Smear Campaign (2006) and Utilitarian (2012) adding further flesh to the bones of this ongoing legend. While many veteran bands are content to repeat themselves or to wallow in nostalgia, these noise-hungry stalwarts seem to have gained fresh impetus and momentum in recent times, as showcased on 2015’s Apex Predator – Easy Meat: a self-evident creative high point for all involved, it received some of the most ecstatic reviews in Napalm history, while further cementing the band’s reputation for ferocious originality.


Watch ‘A Bellyful Of Salt And Spleen’ below


“One thing I’ve learned over the years is what you don’t do to Napalm Death is round the edges off,” says Greenway. “You don’t stop playing fast as fuck. You just don’t do it. But what we do better now is amalgamate all the different things, so there’s metal and punk and hardcore, but also the alternative stuff. We take from all kinds of bands that nobody would even guess! Then there’s the obvious stuff like Coil, Swans and Einstürzende Neubaten, that’s all chucked in and amalgamated too.”


Five years on from Apex Predator – Easy Meat, Napalm Death have somehow pieced together an even more brutal and mind-expanding explosion of righteous noise. Once again recorded in collaboration with esteemed studio guru Russ Russell, Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism is the band’s 16th studio album and it’s very obviously another skull-shattering high point in a vast and varied catalogue.



Shane Embury – Bass reverberations, barks and moans, noise-testing everyday objects
Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway – Bawling, shrieking, intermittent baritone
Danny Herrera – Turbulent beat throes


Official Album Artwork Above


Napalm Death


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