Napalm Death Smear Campaign

Grindcore granddaddies Napalm Death almost hit the gallows. Once respected for creating the most extreme of extreme genres, their output eventually provided diminishing returns over the majority of the mid-’90s until the release of Century Media debut, 2005’s The Code Is Red…Long Live The Code. Beyond heavy-hitting, the album (presumably inspired by the band’s precarious swing towards has-beens) held more vitriol, anger, passion, artistry and rebellion in one of guitarist Mitch Harris’s chords than their late Earache catalogue combined. However, with such a strong return to form, question as to whether or not this was a one-off loomed. Obliterating queries and previous effort alike, Smear Campaign proves The Code was no fluke, but merely a warm-up for the main course. Taking their "fucking vicious” genre to new heights, the album not only experiments with gothic-influenced keyboards to produce imposing domination, but tears out inspired tried-’n’-true ND blasts observed on "Sink Fast, Let Go” and groove-heavy rippers such as "When All Is Said And Done” that serve as animated, eager tempo shifts for more onslaught. Tempered (but not overwrought) with the band’s increased political slant, the 16 tracks that make up the effort are a grindcore "Flight Of The Valkyries,” signalling not only the band’s galloping return to reclaim their reign but laying waste to any and all who question their domination. (Century Media)