Unquestionably the most influential band in extreme music’s ferocious history.”
Albert Mudrian, the author of Choosing Death: The Improbable History Of Death Metal & Grindcore .
Two decades after inventing grindcore, NAPALM DEATH continue to demonstrate that their work is far from done. “In the intervening years, there have been changes, but the mission has remained the same: to outlast every trend, never compromise, provide a political voice for the voiceless, and create the most brutal, challenging music on earth” (Outburn Magazine, USA). “Smear Campaign”, the band’s sophomore Century Media studio album, exhibits every one of these traits, this time concentrating on the theme of why we should not just accept religion and moral codes into our lives, which limit our desire to trust in ourselves.
Formed in 1982, NAPALM DEATH are the legitimate forefathers of grindcore and achieved a legendary status already during their early days with their viciously raw demos like “Hatred Surge” and the debut album “Scum” (1987), which started a truly violent revolution within the world of extreme music. Ever since then their name is inevitably connected with raving high-speed, and although no member of the original line-up is playing in the band these days they haven't cut down on their ferocity. The lot from Birmingham, England, still delivers a furious mix formed out of highly aggressive (extreme-) metal and savage hardcore/punk fitted with social criticism. Their ceaseless worldwide touring helped them gain technical perfection and thus the ability to refine their sound.
The early to mid nineties saw NAPALM DEATH implement more death metal elements (just listen to 1990’s “Harmony Corruption”), groove and even melodies in their songs, e.g. to be heard on the blistering albums “Fear, Emptiness, Despair” (1994) and “Diatribes” (1996). But, to avoid any misconceptions, our beloved grinders never alienated their fans with drastic musical changes. Their songs continued to be inalterable monuments of fury and especially “Enemy Of The Music Business” (2001), “Order Of The Leech” (2002) as well as 2005’s “The Code Is Red…Long Live The Code” demonstrated Napalm Death's dedication to sheer brutality and blasting noisy sonic eruptions.
Passionately anti-war, pro-animal rights, and outspoken on social issues, the band never shy from standing up for their beliefs. Again produced by Russ Russel, who worked with the band on their last three albums, and returning to Wales’ Foel Studios (My Bloody Valentine, Porcupine Tree, Godflesh), where the band recorded 2005’s “The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code” they have once again concocted an explosive cocktail of the band’s classic trademarks, increasing variety and flow by adding an even more extreme contrast of sheer brutality teaming up with irresistible groovy mid-pace attacks. So how is it? “Well, if you liked the previous three Napalm studio albums, then this will melt your face off. There are a few blasters, a couple of Swans-influenced tracks (think “Morale” only way better) where Barney abandons his classic trademark titanic roar in favour of more traditional clean vocals - don’t worry, it sounds awesome. Elsewhere, there’s a couple other tunes that really incorporate the dissonant, angular guitar breaks featured on “Diatribes”, albeit presented in the post new millennium Napalm musical context (i.e. fucking vicious)” (Decibel Magazine, USA).
The Gathering’s Anneke Van Giersbergen furthermore accepted the invitation to add some enchanting female vocal lines to the album, which enrich the intro “Weltschmerz” and the song “In Deference” with a morbidly atmospheric twist. Worldwide touring has been a mainstay for the band, so after having completed a string of European summer festivals, NAPALM DEATH will head over to North America to initiate supporting their “Smear Campaign” on a tour with Hatebreed, The Black Dahlia Murder and Exodus to then return to Europe for more touring this Autumn. Expect to see the band crushing your vicinity sooner than later…