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Napalm Death

The fathers of grindcore, Napalm Death pushed the envelope of metal to new extremes of ear-splitting intensity, rejecting all notions ofmelody, subtlety, and good taste to forge a brand of sonic assault almost frightening in its merciless brutality. Formed in Ipswich, England in1982, the group trafficked in the usual heavy metal fare for the first few years of its existence, but by the middle of the decade they began toexpand their horizons by incorporating elements of hardcore and thrash into the mix; ultimately, Napalm Death's sonic experiments evolvedinto a blistering mutation of metal whic ...read more

The fathers of grindcore, Napalm Death pushed the envelope of metal to new extremes of ear-splitting intensity, rejecting all notions ofmelody, subtlety, and good taste to forge a brand of sonic assault almost frightening in its merciless brutality. Formed in Ipswich, England in1982, the group trafficked in the usual heavy metal fare for the first few years of its existence, but by the middle of the decade they began toexpand their horizons by incorporating elements of hardcore and thrash into the mix; ultimately, Napalm Death's sonic experiments evolvedinto a blistering mutation of metal which they dubbed grindcore, a kind of extremist noise attack characterized by incredibly brief songlengths, demonic vocals, and eye-opening sociopolitical lyrical commentary.

Building their reputation on a series of incendiary radio sessions and live dates, Napalm Death set about recording their debut LP, Scum,issued in 1987 on the Earache label. A series of lineup changes during production resulted in the record's two sides each containing almostcompletely different rosters: while the first half featured guitarist Justin Broadrick and vocalist/bassist Nick Bullen, the flipside presented newvocalist Lee Dorrian, guitarist Bill Steer, and bassist Jim Whitely; only drummer Mick Harris played on every track. While largely ignored bythe mainstream media, Scum proved hugely influential throughout the global metal community; among Napalm Death's most publicsupporters was BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who repeatedly played the track "You Suffer" before inviting the group to record a legendarySeptember 1987 Peel Session introducing new bassist Shane Embury.

With 1988's From Enslavement to Obliteration, the band grew even more extreme, issuing some 54 total tracks, many of them clocking in atjust a few seconds in length. (The compilation Grindcrusher offered perhaps the ultimate distillation of the aesthetic by including a bonus splitsingle from Napalm Death and the Electro Hippies with each side lasting just one second; the shortest single ever.) More roster shiftsfollowed, as Dorrian exited to form Cathedral and Steer jumped ship to found Carcass; with vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway (formerly ofBenediction) and guitarists Jesse Pintado (ex-Terrorizer) and Mitch Harris (ex-Righteous Pigs), Napalm Death resurfaced with 1990's HarmonyCorruption, a nod toward more conventional song structures and a less punishing sound. Apparently unhappy with the results, the groupfollowed later that year with the Mass-Appeal Madness EP, a return to all-out grindcore fury.

Mick Harris, the only remaining member from the unit's earliest lineups, exited Napalm Death in 1992 to mount an acclaimed ambient dubproject named Scorn; he was replaced by drummer Danny Herrera for Utopia Banished, followed by a single covering the Dead Kennedys'"Nazi Punks Fuck Off." With 1994's Fear, Emptiness, Despair, Napalm Death earned some of the best critical notices of their career, and tothe shock of many even found themselves in the Top Ten of the U.S. pop albums chart by virtue of their appearance on the soundtrack to themotion picture Mortal Kombat. The Greed Killing mini-album appeared in 1995 as a teaser for the following year's relatively accessible full-length Diatribes. Greenway was subsequently fired in November 1996 and replaced by Phil Vane of Extreme Noise Terror; however, afterrecording a split EP with Coalesce, the band reconsidered, and Greenway re-joined in time for the 1997 album Inside the Torn Apart. Nextwas 1998's live release Bootlegged in Japan, trailed early the next year by the well-received Words from the Exit Wound, which proved to betheir final album for Earache (from which they experienced an acrimonious split). 2000 saw the release of the covers EP Leaders NotFollowers in mid-summer. Napalm Death returned to its early grindcore roots to a degree with its next full-length, Enemy of the MusicBusiness, which was issued in early 2001. Throughout the remainder of the decade, the band reliably stuck to its guns, releasing high-qualityalbums -- including Order of the Leech, Smear Campaign, and Time Waits for No Slave -- at a rate of roughly one every other year. To ring in30 years of punishing noise, the grind metal pioneers released their 15th album, Utilitarian, in 2012. « hide

Similar Bands: Terrorizer, Repulsion, Nasum, Carcass, Cripple Bastards

LPs
Utilitarian
02/27/2012

3.8
226 Votes
Time Waits for No Slave
2009

3.8
287 Votes
Smear Campaign
2006

3.6
214 Votes
The Code Is Red...Long Live the Code
2005

3.7
195 Votes
Order of the Leech
2002

3.6
82 Votes
Enemy of the Music Business
2000

3.9
127 Votes
Words from the Exit Wound
1998

2.7
102 Votes
Inside the Torn Apart
1997

3.1
107 Votes
Diatribes
1996

3.4
102 Votes
Fear, Emptiness, Despair
1994

3.9
186 Votes
Utopia Banished
1992

3.6
146 Votes
Harmony Corruption
1990

3.8
224 Votes
From Enslavement to Obliteration
1988

4
352 Votes
Scum
1987

3.8
572 Votes
EPs
Our Pain Is Their Power
2014

Leaders Not Followers
1999

3.8
4 Votes
Breed To Breathe
1997

3
11 Votes
Greed Killing
1995

3.4
20 Votes
The World Keeps Turning EP
1992

3.6
3 Votes
Mass Appeal Madness EP
1991

3.9
17 Votes
Mentally Murdered
1989

4.2
29 Votes
The Curse
1988

3.9
14 Votes
Hatred Surge
1985

3.4
24 Votes
(Appears on) Bullshit Detector 3
1982

3
1 Votes
Live Albums
Punishment in Capitals
2004

3.2
8 Votes
Bootlegged in Japan
2000

2.7
6 Votes
Compilations
Grind Madness at the BBC
2010

3.5
3 Votes
Leaders Not Followers: Part 2
2004

3.7
28 Votes
Noise for Music's Sake
2003

3.5
48 Votes
The Complete Radio One Sessions
2000

4.2
7 Votes
Death by Manipulation
1991

3.7
32 Votes
The Peel Sessions
1989

4.5
1 Votes

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