Napalm Death Noise for Music's Sake

Much like Godflesh’s superior In All Languages, Earache has assembled another super retrospective: a two-disc, career-spanning array of the best and rarities from UK grindcore godfathers Napalm Death. Every album is represented, from the primitive punk-metal vignettes of 1987’s Scum ("Siege of Power,” "Scum”), to the unrelenting grind of 1994’s Fear, Emptiness, Despair ("Plague Rages,” "Hung”), to the death’n’roll of the Diatribes era of the late ’90s ("Breed to Breathe,” "Greed Killing”). But the real clincher is the second disc, compiling all the bonus tracks from the re-released versions of Utopia Banished and Fear, Emptiness, Despair plus tracks from their 1997 split with hardcore heroes Coalesce, tour-only singles, and the heinously out of print Pathological Compilation. Most interesting is a live cover of Godflesh’s "Avalanche Master Song” with guest Godflesh’s Justin Broadrick, who, of course, was ND’s original guitarist. This comp is in no way a clean-out-the-vault release, and it does have a few odd omissions ("Cock Rock Alienation,” "More Than Meets the Eye”) among its 56 tracks, but throw in the band’s cover of the Dead Kennedys’ "Nazi Punks Fuck Off” and a family tree mini-poster and you’ve got a quality package for fans and newcomers alike. (Earache)