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 Napalm Death - Apex Predator-Easy Meat (2015) Album Review

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Napalm Death - Apex Predator-Easy Meat (2015)
Century Media Records
Running Time - 40:00


Flipping heck, where do I start with Napalm Death? Well back in the early days, and for me that would have been just before Lee Dorian became their vocalist, I really had no interest in their style. One of my earliest best friends Matt was always trying to introduce me to the next level of extreme Metal, he adored Napalm Death and to this day still collects absolutely everything they release, but my level had stopped with early Thrash, Death and Black Metal. Anything beyond that was too much. I listened again when 'Barney' Greenway joined on vocals in 1989 but I still found it similar to washing my ears out with acid! It took me many more years to finally 'get' what Napalm Death were all about, that and my continued exposure to thousands of different bands in a myriad of genres gave me a chance to reappraise them but that wasn't until about a decade ago. Since then I have heard every release and have come to appreciate them very much! Their live set at Bloodstock Festival a couple of years back was incredible!

'Apex Predator-Easy Meat' is Napalm Death's fifteenth studio album and I think it's the best they have put out for a long while. I don't think there is any chance of Barney and Co growing old gracefully because this is vicious grindcore and they refuse to succumb to any musical demands that might be made of them. This is unquestionably a Napalm Death album but they still seem able to experiment with their sound and the diversity presented here makes for an unsettling but ultimately satisfying listen. Longest serving member, bassist Shane Embury absolutely pummels his instrument into oblivion, Barney sounds as vibrant and mad as ever but even more demonic than on recent albums, Mitch Harris' guitar work is fantastic and drummer Danny Herrera...well if it were possible to crack the earth's crust from hitting things then Danny would be your man! All of this has been produced to perfection by one of only a handful of men that seem to have the Midas Touch when it comes to production. That man is Russ Russell and, bearing in mind the sort of music Napalm Death deal in, quite how he has got every instrument sounding so clear but so utterly heavy is beyond me!

As usual NP don't hang about, with a majority of songs coming in at two and a half to three minutes maximum but they manage to cram so much into that running time, musically and lyrically, that to flesh them out would leave you utterly breathless. Current single 'Smash A Single Digit' is only one and a half minutes but pulverises you into a jellied mess, but it has to be said I still appreciate the slightly slower (and by that I mean the ones that don't hit warp factor 10) songs more, 'Cesspits' is devastating, 'Timeless Flogging' does exactly what it says on the tin, 'Dear Slum Landlord' could almost be Napalm Death trying out Doom and my personal favourite 'Hierarchies' is about as catchy as you can get!

Over thirty years into their career, Napalm Death still manage to make you feel like your insides are being cut out with a chainsaw (look at the gorgeous cover art), but while that's happening you've got a massive maniacal grin on your face. Grindcore never sounded so damn good!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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