Napalm Death
Scum


2.0
poor

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (67 Reviews)
May 17th, 2013 | 163 replies | 5,420 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While Scum's worth to the music industry is clear, its worth as an album isn't much.

Scum is an admirable album. Napalm Death tried something no one had before – to provide a thorough, merciless ear rape in the form of a 33-minute long, 28-track CD. In many ways, they succeeded. During its 33 minutes, Scum is never forgiving. As you can tell by the tracks-to-album length, these songs aren’t long, a majority of them barely reaching the one-minute mark. The shortest is ‘You Suffer’, which also happens to be the shortest song in the world clocking in at a nifty 1.316 seconds. All of the songs are distorted, dissonant, and downright filthy to listen to. Not a disdainful filth, an entrancing one – after a while the pure insanity of these songs puts you in some sort of a trance as your ears get pummeled by each testosterone-fueled riff.

It’s amazing really what Napalm Death managed to accomplish with Scum, objectively at least. The problem is that the songs aren’t very good. Most of the riffs are elementary and about half of these songs sound exactly the same. It’s also a very lazy album. Each half has its own vocalist and production job, and while the vocals are fine for this kind of music, the production is just awful. The guitars are insanely distorted, as they should be, but in this case they're so distorted you can hardly tell what they’re doing, and they don’t even sound in tune half the time. Everything just sounds sloppy, ‘The Kill’ being the worst offender. Nik Napalm shouts utterly indecipherable lyrics, the guitars and drums carelessly blast the same riff as fast and loud as possible, then it ends. That's basically the formula for most songs here. Each track is like a gust of wind that flies by before you even realize it was there. They have no lasting impression, and by the time the albums over you don’t even remember what you had just listened to, and that’s the problem with Scum. For it’s time, it was unlike anything anyone had heard before and was highly praised for its ingenuity, and to an extent, rightfully so – it’s a technically impressive debut and they had managed to create a sound many bands still try to emulate to this day. However, due to Napalm Death's substantial improvement on their sophomore release and hearing how grind has evolved since its birth makes one think Scum's profound influence is really all it had going for it.



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3.8
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other reviews of this album
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...

SubtleDagger (4.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2013



18230 Comments


werent you born in like 2003

Digging: Syndrone - Salmataxia

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2013



20749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

and since this is bound to get torn to shreds, i just want to say fuck you all and have a good night

^oh and fuck you too :]

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

ShadowRemains
May 17th 2013



20476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fuck off agreed

breakingthefragile
May 17th 2013



2954 Comments


The main appeal for me lies in how horrible and messy this sounds. It's just completely merciless
chaos and unrelenting insanity, and I don't think any group that followed after this album managed
to even match the sheer relentlessness of this thing. It was undoubtedly influential in just how it
managed to make music more indistinguishably unhinged than ever before, and I think that there's few
better examples of perfect music you should listen to for the purpose of blowing your face off. That
being said though, I can completely understand exactly why any sensible person would outright hate
this and think it sounds like shit for the very reasons many people love it. But for me and a lot of
people, this is the grittiest and most extreme embodiment of the most ferocious scene in metal, and
is worthy of high ratings and praise for it.

I'm sure the next forty or so pages of this thread are going to be arguing back and forth over Ins
"not getting it," so I'm just gonna leave what I said here and predict this whole fiasco that's
bound to unfold as a case of taste vs. taste with no resolution. I can't really agree with anything
in the review, because the weaknesses you cite are great traits to me, but I'm just gonna agree to
disagree with you Ins since I'm sure no one else will take the mature route and do that.

tempest--
May 17th 2013



13043 Comments


Ins you obvi just don't get it

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

tempest--
May 17th 2013



13043 Comments


"annunciate" is spelt enunciate, by the way.

zxlkho
May 17th 2013



3460 Comments


Worst review I've ever read.

SubtleBody
May 17th 2013



519 Comments


I don't even want to read this because of the rating. Honestly, a 2?

SubtleBody
May 17th 2013



519 Comments


"Most of the riffs are elementary"

"The guitars are so distorted you can hardly hear what they’re doing"

"It’s a technically impressive debut – everyone’s great at their instruments"

You have a habit of contradicting yourself in your reviews, I've noticed. At one poitn you say the riffs are elementary, then you say you can barely tell what the guitars are doing, then you say everyone's technically impressive with their instruments. How can you tell how elementary/not-elementary the guitars are if say you can barely make out what they're doing through the production?

TheSpirit
May 17th 2013



17626 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Reek of Putrefaction >>


this still rules tho

Digging: Venus Star - Nigredo Expulsion

ncguitar
May 17th 2013



2402 Comments


Ruh ruh ruh
Ruhr uhr ruh
Duh kill urh dahr duh kill
Ruh ruh ruh
Ruh urh ruh
Duh kill ugh dahr duh kill

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2013



20749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yes subtle thanks for repeating exactly what you had just quoted, that was necessary. i will also quote myself

"MOST of the riffs are elementary"

"The guitars are so distorted you can hardly hear what they’re doing" (translation: its difficult to hear, but still audible)

read between the lines buddy. sure there are some good riffs on here, obviously they can play their instruments but im not gonna waste time in my review praising such insignificant shit when i can actually spend the time getting my point across as to why i find this a 2

but yea thanks for the feedback bro m/

SubtleBody
May 17th 2013



519 Comments


lol

KILL
May 17th 2013



71134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

o

m

g

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

wanderlust
May 17th 2013



304 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You just went full retard, ins. Never go full retard.

KILL
May 17th 2013



71134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dont even get why he does these reviews, he always deletes em a few days after!

Mad.
May 17th 2013



3668 Comments


Great review Ins, stupid album, luv ya

Digging: Anubis - Hitchhiking to Byzantium

Gwyn.
May 17th 2013



14989 Comments


"Most of the riffs are elementary, some are downright terrible, and honestly about half of these songs sound exactly the same. It’s also a very lazy album. Each half has its own vocalist and production job; while the vocals are fine for this kind of music, the production is just awful. The guitars are so distorted you can hardly hear what they’re doing, and they don’t even sound in tune half the time. "

yeah you just don't get it don't review these kind of thing pls

Digging: diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence into the Peripheral

KILL
May 17th 2013



71134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

insurrection check sabbath you'll dig em

Pestiferous
May 17th 2013



1185 Comments


"and honestly about half of these songs sound exactly the same"

"the production is just awful"

we welcome you ins, to the very wonderful world of grindcore. we hope you enjoy your stay



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