Napalm Death
Scum


4.5
superb

Review

by SubtleDagger USER (35 Reviews)
January 20th, 2006 | 133 replies | 25,776 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist


11 of 11 thought this review was well written

Napalm Death's debut album, Scum, was recorded throughout 1986 and released in 1987, and defines grindcore music to this day. Mick Harris, the drummer, was the first to coin the term, and the band was the first to apply a sound to the genre. While there were bands playing the same sort of music, it was Napalm Death who gave it direction and shaped it into what it is today.

It was a revolution in heavy music. Napalm Death made a name for themselves off their own style of music, and the surprising success of the song "You Suffer" (which is probably due to the song being around a second in length). Scum has twenty-eight tracks and is around thirty-six minutes long, with few songs breaching the two minute barrier. The drumming is usually either a very fast, near punkish "doop-chick", or it is signature grind drumming: extremely fast, pounding double bass and snare offbeats. The bass is heavily distorted and the guitar moves over chords at breakneck speed, carrying obvious hardcore punk and metal influences. The production is muddy (this was 1987 and released on Earache, a relatively small label), but it gives a very raw sound and demands more volume.

From the second Scum begins, you know it's going to be a ride; "Multinational Corporations" comes in with cymbal hits and some noise, and then "Instinct Of Survival" begins the journey that tears through any standards that the metal world had at the time. While songs like "The Kill" and "Life?" are around thirty seconds and hastily tear through a musical idea, this is not all the record has to offer (even though it would still make the album worthwhile). Songs like "Scum", and especially the longest track, "Siege Of Power", churn though structured riffs and beating rhythms and sound phenomonal all the while. "Siege Of Power" even has an excellent solo!

Like most Napalm Death albums, this can become a real chore to listen to if you're not paying attention... the riffs and songs will blend together quickly. This is the problem most have with this music, but the simplest way to get past it is to listen to what's really going on. "Caught... In A Dream" may be mindless pounding and riffage to some, but others (such as myself) will hear the awesome drumming and storming guitars. Napalm Death do a great job of spicing this album up, though; songs like "Sacrificed" and "Human Garbage" provide great changes of pace when it's needed.

While the production is by no means excellent and the novelty may have worn off on many, this is still an excellent album and retains the energy and intensity Napalm Death put into these songs. While the novelty of grindcore has worn off over the years, Scum is still a valuable contribution to heavy music and is listenable even after all these years.

Recommended Songs: "Scum", "Siege Of Power", "Caught... In A Dream", "Born On Your Knees", "Human Garbage", "Dragnet"

Rating: 4.5/5



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user ratings (550)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (2)
While Scum's worth to the music industry is clear, its worth as an album isn't much....

Ryan W. (4)
Crazy and emotionally scaring release....

Will Forest (4.5)
Having a good hook for your album doesn’t seem to be necessary anymore, instead, just put together...

Will C. (2.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Cravinov13
January 20th 2006



3854 Comments


good review. short and sweet. grind is a genre you don't really get long reviews
with.
I rather like this CD, and I am really not much of a grind fan.

Deffinitly Napalm's classic album though.This Message Edited On 01.29.06

Storm In A Teacup
January 20th 2006



12687 Comments


Great review, as before, I don't know much about the band.

Zebra
Moderator
January 20th 2006



2647 Comments


Decent review, but you should have added another paragraph of info considering that there are 28 tracks on the album.
I'm starting to get into Napalm Death and I might start here considering that you gave this a 4.5/5.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
January 20th 2006



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review. I could never get into this album, I prefer Carcass for early grind. "You Suffer" kicks incredible amounts of bum.

Arrakakaka
January 23rd 2006



685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Your review pwns mine.

Pizza
January 26th 2006



687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

woow, i just downloaded you suffer and its pretty sweet.

IAJP
January 30th 2006



378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album...Great review too.

Neoteric
February 23rd 2006



3243 Comments


This album bores me, great though when you're in the mood.

kornsoad132
February 25th 2006



31 Comments


i have never been into grindcore very much, but i am thinking of looking into napalm death soon.

Pinball Map
March 7th 2006



39 Comments


This album is good at certain moments but it bores me a lot.

Doop
May 10th 2006



14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this album is pretty much almost perfect.

beso negro
October 30th 2006



53 Comments


I hated this album, I consider it worthless. 0/5 for me.

skip this and go to "From Enslavement to Obliteration"

Thor
October 30th 2006



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You Suffer ftw.

Apocalyptic Raids
February 19th 2007



810 Comments


Classic album. Definitely essential for any fans of extreme music.

Confessed2005
February 19th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I would most certainly like to buy this somewhen.

TheStarclassicTreatment
June 23rd 2007



2910 Comments


YOU SUFFER BUT WHY!

LifeInABox
July 4th 2007



3708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Does anyone else hear how out of tune the guitars are on side 1?This Message Edited On 07.04.07

Misfit_Fiend
October 31st 2007



35 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a solid album this and their second release were the best!

BlastTyrant
December 13th 2007



3 Comments


Awesome review. I personally can't stand Napalm Death but it's interesting to hear someone else's viewpoint.

MyRamona
February 16th 2008



1074 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I absolutely adore the count in to 'pseudo youth' and 'as the machine rolls on'.



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