NAPALM DEATH - RESENTMENT IS ALWAYS SEISMIC: A FINAL THROW OF THROES
FRENZIED NOISE - FRENZIED SONG TITLES
Now a multi-decade institution Napalm Death can still, despite their vintage, leave modern-day competition with dust in their eyes. Though they helped invent it, they are no longer strictly a grindcore band with much of their latter-day output incorporating or dabbling with slower Swans-esque industrial, noisecore, experimental and even groove. Resentment is Always Seismic is a long EP / mini-album written during the making of Throws of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (2020) and presents as a feral succinct offshoot.
A lot of this is exactly as you would anticipate. Narcissus and By Proxy are snappy, ferocious and possessed blasts of punky hardcore mixed with rabid, blastbeat strewn death grind. Equally, Man Bites Dogged is the sort of sandblasting frenzy where the band’s modern era reputation rests.
Long-term mainstay vocalist, Barney Greenway, has always been an affable, down-to-earth characterisation of Napalm’s humble, anti-stardom – check out his radio interview with Ed Milliband when he attempted to coach the failed UK Prime Minister candidate and catastrophic bacon sandwich eater how to do death metal vocals. On the mic duties, though, he is just maniacal. Deploying everything from bear-like roars, hardcore barks, pan-fried screams, he spits dementedly a wrathful stream of consciousness. Increasingly, though, he tends to use bursts of droned spoken word or mock ecclesiastical choir-like chanting like on Slaver Through a Repeat Performance. It is like an industrial Godflesh-esque psalm and buys into a drone element that has crept into their latter-day records.
Napalm are also fond of covers but can hardly be accused of choosing profile-boosting bot-boilers and their selections are usually unobvious or plucked strictly from the underground and so it is here. Nestled in the noise is a bizarre cover of English early industrial oddballs SLAB!’s People Pie that is like a mechanized, narcotic funk played in a cyborg factory but the snarling iteration of Bad Brains’ Don’t Need It is less experimental and hinges on the original’s violence.
At the end of the day though the record is idiosyncratic of the band with frenetic zig-zagged riffs, Shane Embury’s unmistakable bass sound like decayed urban concrete, and explosive drumming. Not much time is wasted as it is quick excoriating dose of high-octane, decent Napalm that will keep the Ed Millibands bellowing along for a while.
Release via Century Media records