Napalm Death Enemy of the Music Business

Finally, Napalm Death are back to using their old logo again, which hasn't graced an album cover since 1992's Utopia Banished - a telltale sign of a return to greatness? Yes, it's safe to say that these UK grindcore grandpas have left their once innovative and accessible metal groove - patented on the 1995 Greed Killing EP and every single album thereafter - for the grimmer hues of jugular-slitting grind that established them as one of Earache Records' flagship outfits. Purging their systems with 1999's caustic Leaders Not Followers covers EP (licensed by Relapse in the States), Napalm reinvented themselves and proved that, just as Slayer did on their '96 Undisputed Attitude covers EP, aggression need not be dumbed down to be effective. "Taste The Poison" begins the rusty scissors slashing at hyper-speed, with drummer Danny Herrera at his blast-beat zenith, and this maelstrom plows through "Constitutional Hell," "(The Public Gets) What The Public Doesn't Want," "Can't Play, Won't Pay," "C.S. (Conservative Sh*thead) Part 2," and nearly all the tracks. "Next On The List" gets a tad slower as guitarists Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado concentrate on interweaving their unruly riffs, while "Cure For The Common Complaint" sports Herrera's odd yet catchy kick-drum timing. Napalm's Diatribes-styled, mid-paced soloing returns in "Necessary Evil," "Blunt On The Cutting Edge" and "Thanks For Nothing." The album is decidedly a return to form, though the tracks leave no real hook-laden memories like past records. Nonetheless, Napalm Death had something to prove, and they have. (Spitfire)