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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes, you will suffer :D
After hearing many good things about napalm death, i decided to get their first album "where it all started".

It's quite different to anything else I've ever heard. The first proper riff heard on the album on the 2nd track is fantastic, while simple. It explodes into a storm of crushing vocals and hard, fast blastbeat drumming and doesn't let up until the very...
Published on 14 Feb 2007 by Nick McQueen

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish album, decent documentary
Regular readers (ha!) might be aware that I haven't much love for this album, I can take or leave most of the songs, save for a few killer riffs. I always liked the way Mick Harris played drums, even though most of the 28 songs on offer here share one of three beats. Still, seminal influential and important as it may be, it's not an easy listen.

I thought I'd...
Published on 8 May 2009 by Paul McNamee


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes, you will suffer :D, 14 Feb 2007
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
After hearing many good things about napalm death, i decided to get their first album "where it all started".

It's quite different to anything else I've ever heard. The first proper riff heard on the album on the 2nd track is fantastic, while simple. It explodes into a storm of crushing vocals and hard, fast blastbeat drumming and doesn't let up until the very end of the song. Napalm death's music is a mix of punk and death/heavy metal, more often than not played at 200 miles an hour.

I most enjoy this album when listening to it beginning to end, as it's quite short, and the songs are so fast and brutal that they rarely clock in at over 60 seconds (the longest song being 4 mins and the shortest 1 second). I personally do find the short songs a bit odd and pointless, but when listened to all together, one after the other, they really began to grow on me. It's certainly not the kind of album where you only like one or two songs.

The original album came as a double sided LP, the A side having one line up of napalm death which was recorded for 50 quid and lasts 20 minutes, the B side with a completely different line up (bar the drummer), which is quite different in song structure to the first. The first 12 songs have only one vocal style doing loud, growly vocals, while the others have 2 vocal styles, one loud and growly like the first (but slightly more aggressive) and a high pitched shrieky vocal (sort of like Arch Enemy's vocalist, but more angry and faster). I'm not sure if there's 2 vocalists or not but they often both sing at the same time giving a "dual vocal attack" style of singing. If you've never heard grindcore or anything like it before, it's seems quite odd at first. The guitars and bass are more or less equal in quality, as is the drumming.

The production quality is quite poor but it doesn't really bother me, it makes it sound slightly heavier.

My favourite tracks are "Instinct of survival" (A side, 2:27) and "Life?" (B side, 0:44). These are my favourite because they are the first tracks you hear and it's quite amazing the first time.

All in all, it's fast, brutal and hilarious at times (due to incredible OTTness).

I'm not sure if it should, but it really makes me smile when i listen to it.

:)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Grindcore!!!!!, 10 Nov 2004
By 
Mr. C. P. Hastings (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
Napalm Death looked at bands like Slayer and thought "How can we be more extreme" and hence the answer came in the form of their very own invention known as Grindcore. This was a style similar to that of the Death Metal sound being produced similtaneously in Florida, only much more extreme and with a few differences. Flushing all proper song structures down the toilet, Grindcore was a blistering thunderstorm of noise so loud and fast it was difficult to keep up with (Thrash Metal was a tortoise compared to it). Like Hardcore Punk, Napalm Death based their lyrics around socio-politics. Using this new found form of music, Napalm Death set about to become the worlds most extreme band. And to help that along, Mick Harris invented the drumming technique known as "Blastbeat" where the drums are played so fast that they resemble the speed of a machine gun.
Once they were signed to the newly formed Earache record label in 1987, Napalm Death were finally ready to release their new apocalyptic noise onto the world, and that sound was captured onto the legendary "Scum" album.
Many who do not follow Extreme Metal that closely will discard this as a CD of noises and talentless little kids who grunt and bash drums alot...but to Extreme Metal fans, this is the icon of Grindcore. 33 minutes of blistering tracks (one of which "You Suffer" is less than a second long. Don't buy this if you expect song structures like The Beatles as you will be severely disappointed. Buy this album if you absolutely love blastbeats (like myself) and have an open mind...and if you like Grindcore of course.
Nowadays however, Napalm Death generally play a more Death Metal Orientated sound, although the Grindcore elements are still there (i.e Blastbeats, politically charged lyrics etc)
If you like "Scum", I'd suggest ND's next album "From Enslavement To Obliteration" which continues on where "Scum" left off.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish album, decent documentary, 8 May 2009
By 
Paul McNamee "Rambleast Reviews" (North Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Scum [20th Anniversary] (Audio CD)
Regular readers (ha!) might be aware that I haven't much love for this album, I can take or leave most of the songs, save for a few killer riffs. I always liked the way Mick Harris played drums, even though most of the 28 songs on offer here share one of three beats. Still, seminal influential and important as it may be, it's not an easy listen.

I thought I'd write a review of the bonus documentary that comes on the flipside of the disc. Running at 44 minutes(longer than the record itself!) it features interviews with Mick Harris, Earache founder/ money-grabber Dig Pearson, metal journo and all-round nice guy Dom Lawson, Malcolm Dome and some art exhibitionist. Much of the band's early days are discussed (found a lot of inspiration in Joy Division, apparently!), and Mick Harris has a lot to say, most of which is quite interesting. The disc is an easy watch, surprising considering he's the only band member present. Still, it's nice to see where it all came about. Worth a purchase if it's your first copy and it's cheap, but if you own the album not really worth an upgrade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Before it there was nothing..., 18 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
Screaming out of the hardcore punk scene like a train with no breaks, Napalm Death was the band that detonated the warhead we call 'extreme metal' today.
I don't actually like the term "extreme metal", as it incorporates plenty of acts who really don't deserve the honour of being called "a bit different", let alone "EXTREME!!!!!" But whewn you listen to 'Scum' there is no other term to describe it. Maybe "mentally disturbing", but thats about it.
The first riff of "Multi National Corporations" is just so catchy and monsterous, its is no hard task to hear how the fledgling harder metal bands of the time took the baton and ran with it after Scum's release.
Napalm are famous for having more members than an American football team. And the line ups to this debut started the ball rolling.
Napalm's sound is all bass, all crash cymbols and a hell of a alot of blasting.
The title track has a superb hook, whilst the 1 second long "You suffer", typifies the amalgam of scenes like hardcore, crust ethics and anarcho punk that memebers like Mick Harris and Nick Bullen came out of.
Rediculously savage 30 second blasts of noise and rampant shouted vocals are what made Scum so infamous then, as it is rightly infamous now.
Many say that 'Repulsion' are the creators of the grindcore sound. That is simply fiction. Napalm Death created this sound, and 'Scum' brought it to a young and hungry audience.
Personal favorite tracks on here have to be, 'Multinational...', 'The Kill', 'You Suffer' and 'Divine Death.'
If you like early Carcass, have Repulsion's 'Horrified' album or just like really really budget produced mega extreme blast beat metal, you can't afford not to have this in your collection.
A legendary debut from one of Metals truly innovative outfits.
I was interested to read a recent interview with poster boys & "extreme metallers" 'Bring Me The Horizon', in which they firstly said that Scum era Napalm was no good, and to further show their knowledge of the roots of the very music they play, they are quoted as saying that 'Scum' is not "real" grindcore !!! Hmmmmmmmmm... youth really is wasted on the young (and dumb)...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly insane, 3 Nov 2006
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
Though Napalm Death were not the first grindcore band - the patented blend of blurring riffs and blasting drums had already been pioneered by ultra-underground legends such as the criminally underrated Repulsion - 'Scum' was the first recording in the genre that actually received a professional release. Exploding onto the extreme metal scene in 1987, Napalm Death flew to notoriety, helped no doubt by the patronage of John Peel, and never looked back.

This album is ugly, raw and primitive. The production is pretty horrible and lo-fi, the songs are fast and crashingly heavy, blurring past in a wall of furious speed; the lyrics are barked in a clenched-jaw explosion of hate and fury, the fierce blasting is complemented and interrupted by pounding grooves that shake the very floor, and melody is non-existant. This is essential, but recommended only to those who appreciate the raw and the violent, and who are no sticklers for the perfect production.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Legend Is Bigger Than The Reality, 25 July 2012
By 
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
In one form or another the band has been around since 1982 and was originally a Hardcore band, they pushed at the extremes of the genera and the Term "Grindcore" came into play. There are several differing stories as to where the term originated, some say Mick the drummer came up with it others say that it was Shane (bass)others say that it was from outside the band-at the end of the day its not that important, many of the bands contempories eg Extreme Noise Terror and Siege insist that they themselves are and always were Hardcore and reject the term Grindcore (and in the case of Siege "Powerviolence" too) whats important is that this is very fast extreme Music and if you enjoy extreme music with socio-political lyrics this may well be for you.
Despite the legendary status this album has atained many of the bands more recent releases are far superior-heavier, better musicianship and more versatile vocal style.
This may sound like i dont like the record but i do, its just that they are so much better now and have actually defined Grindcore rather that it being another name for Hardcore, the one thing that i will say is better than later releases is the cover- it makes a great shirt print and has a very underground look to it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A genre-defining noisefest, 5 Sep 2001
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
Not exactly the most accessible album in the world, but a damn fine album nonetheless. I would probably give it 5 stars, but it's let down by the production and consistency (there are two different band line ups on the album). Probably the best recommendation is the magnificent "BBC Radio One Sessions" which provides an excellent, well-produced example of Napalm Death over the years.
Brutal, dynamic, powerful, Napalm Death defined a genre of short, sharp shots of hardcore noise. Verging on the surreal, it had a very profound effect on me - in some ways, you don't find music of such pure energy and originality cropping up very often.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a classic dose of fearsome grind metal, 18 April 2006
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
this is a seminal release,its influence cant be underestimated,it has possibly aged somewhat but is still a true classic,i didnt hear this album upon first release but i imagine that fans of megadeth etc must have nearly fainted when they heard this,it was super heavy,super fast at times which isnt the grind way granted but in songs like kill that last just over a second in length then you get the idea,the album is split between two forms of the band,one with lee dorrian on vocals who has a great grunting and screaming voice and the other half is with lees replacement barney,its impossible to sing along to this.there is melody but it isnt at the forefront of the sound,ravaged insanity and vicious metal is the key to this,the drums are hit with the insanity of a madman and the guitars are brutal and distorted,the songs dont always take time to settle as they are short and precise but this is a beast of an album,filled with more rage than 5 slayer albums,it wont suit all metallers but its worth owning,i wish to stress than napalm death have released better albums but this was the shape of ultra heavy metal to come and for that we must be grateful
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4.0 out of 5 stars old school classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 23 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
kids, dont compare this with nowadayz standards. when this album came out in 1985 or so, it blew us all away. this album paved the way for so many grind-death-whatever bands after, and the members of this combo formed other influential bands like godflesh, carcass,...the new napalm death. this is crustpunk metal of the highest order and if you want to see how it all started comming together (deathmetal, hardcore, grind, etc) get this one!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the most brutal album of all time!, 15 Nov 2011
By 
This review is from: Scum (Audio CD)
When I first heard this album, I was absolutely blown away by the shear onslaught of blast drummimg and insane speed. To this day I still haven't heard a heavier album. I can't say for sure on my favourite tracks as they are pretty similar, although if I had to pick I would probably go for instinct of survival and the kill. This is probably my favourite Napalm Death album, although I still love the later death metal era, this is the band at their most insane and focused. If your'e a fan of any kind of extreme metal, then buy it now!
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Scum
Scum by Napalm Death (Audio CD - 2012)
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