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First off, let me get one thing out of the way, if you already have these records do not go out an buy this set for any reason other than sheer bloody minded completion-ism. Secondly, if you do have these records and choose to buy them again don't complain about record company greed.
Unfortunately metal music attracts a snobbish element of individuals whose complaining make these preambles necessary.

For those who are new to the band, Napalm Death have changed their style considerable through the years, from the ferocious first two albums, to a more 'Morissound' death metal feel for their next two. From Fear Emptiness Despair onwards, until the unrivaled for quality Enemy Of Music Business album, the band tried many new things, maturing with the times and diversifying their style.

Some listeners write this period off as selling out, claiming that the broad range of new styles don't belong in the Napalm Death cannon and if you are the kind of person who calls extreme metal bands sell outs if they start using clean vocals then you might want to give this set a miss.

Now, on to the set. This release contains Diatribes, The Greed Killing EP and the live album from that period, Bootlegged In Japan.

At the time, Diatribes alienated and confused Napalm Death fans by going in a completely different direction by adding tones, chords and effects that the band had never used before and people were quick to abandon ship at the change in style.

The passage of time has been kind to Diatribes however, the album has not dated badly at all. Barney's voice sounds terrific and the production is a lot clearer and easy to listen to than you'd expect.

Ok, they changed their style considerably but songs like 'Ripe For The Breaking,' and 'Dogma,' are interesting and well written. The album also the extremely catchy lead single 'Greed Killing,' which is still in the set list all these years later.

The Greed Killing EP is less necessary on its own merits, but just think of it as a few bonus tracks to go along with Diatribes.

Finally, we come to Bootlegged In Japan. The track listing is great and contains a wide mix of Napalm material, similarly good is the performance from the musicians. Unfortunately where the album loses quality is in the live vocals and production departments. The sound is pretty poor to be perfectly honest and I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend you Bootlegged In Japan as an individual product as a result of this.

Overall, as a way to get a handle on Napalm Death's experimental albums, this set is a great buy. This obviously isn't the go-to point for new listeners, but is a great way to delve deeper once you have become a fan. Basically, if you are ready to check out Diatribes, this collecion serves as a sort of comprehensive special edition of that album, with b sides from the time (Greed Killing EP) and live material from the time (Bootlegged In Japan)

So, for Napalm Death fans willing to take the plunge and try something a little different, don't rule this out.
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on 3 March 2012
I have about 9 albums by ND including Scum, Harmony Corruption, Smear Campaign and Fear, Emptiness, Despair so I have a wide range of their albums over their career. Diatribes is different to their earlier albums but either way it's very interesting and heavy. I don't see why some ND fans give this album a low score when you have tracks like Greed Killing, My Own Worst Enemy, Ripe for the Breaking and Cold Forgiveness which are all furious metal tracks with the hammering Embury style bass and awesome powerful vocals from Barney. It's different but doesn't step away from what ND are all about, and its important for the band to try and tweak their style a little to make every album stand out. I must also add that Glimpse into Genocide has probably one of the most intense riffs I've heard in years.

Fear, Emptiness, Despair is my favourite album so I really liked Diatribes as it was kept in the same league as that. The songs especially Greed Killing is very energetic and catchy.

This boxset is great value for money, you also get the EP Greed Killing which has 4 other songs which are like bonus songs for Diatribes not on the album and Bootlegged in Japan which is an awesome brutal concert recorded in the Liquid Rooms Tokyo. If you don't have Diatribes and are interested in a great sweat soaked metal album in your collection then this boxset is a must.
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VINE VOICEon 1 December 2006
Napalm's previous album `Fear Emptiness Despair' had already shown the writing on the wall, with the band cutting out huge swathes of their usual manic grindcore style for mid-tempo grooves. With `Diatribes' Napalm take the process a stage further - this album is virtually devoid of the high-speed blastbeats that made the bands name, with the emphasis now on catchy grooves. On the plus side the album does boast a better production than `Fear Emptiness Despair' and the more simplistic song-writing does make this a more catchy proposition. The band must also be applauded for it's willingness to experiment, with speaking (and at times almost rapping) vocals and some Godflesh-style moody slower songs. Ultimately however what seemed cutting edge and experimental in 1995 now seems a little dated, with the emphasis on grooves making this now sound uncomfortably close to (whisper it) nu-metal territory at times, and the near total lack of speed gives this the feel of a middle-aged Napalm Death losing the energetic spark that once made them so vital. Perhaps the best that can be said of `Diatribes is that it provides the perfect entry point for new listeners who might be otherwise put off by the band at their most extreme, otherwise even the band themselves now seem to regard this as something of a failed experiment.
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on 8 June 2002
This album does sound slightly mainstream in its grinding song structure. But really Napalm were better off for it. Fear Emptiness Despair, Utopia Banished and Scum were excellent albums but by 1996 when this album was released it was clear that the change in style was necessary. Cursed To Crawl sounds slightly numetal with the shouty, Downset-type verse (but no rapping anywhere on this album, thankfully) but it has a brutal hook. Greed Killing is probably the best song Napalm have ever written. My Own Worst Enemy is heads-down grind. Glimpse Into Genocide is very mosh-friendly. This whole album is excellent, it might not be Napalm's crowning moment but it sounds refreshing from the usual "hail Satan" or pagan-like death metal. And six years on, it has stood the test of time. Who knows, give it a few more years and this album might become a classic. Don't you just love revisionism?
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on 21 July 2006
Yes i did use the term melodic in a napalm death review,and of course some argue that napalm death dont do melody,thats laughable to think that,of course they do but diatribes is their most melodic and commercial album yet,the fact that they went back to their most grindcore best after this is merely a sign that the band felt they sold out somewhat on this but this is still a pretty special album.

Released in 1996,some say that this has a machine head groove to it,true in some ways,false in others.Greed killing is a great opener and certainly fans of the classic album scum may lose the plot at this,but they are being single minded fools,other great songs include cursed to crawl,my own worst enemy and take the strain.It certainly seems alien to hear barney throwing a few clean vocals our way but in no way is this a sell out,accept this as a one off napalm death album and move on with your life.
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on 7 November 2001
Seeing as this was produced by Colin Richardson soon after Machine Head released 'Burn My Eyes', and ND were trying with this album to show how well they could emulate the early 90s thrashers a la Machine Head, it will come as no surprise to somebody how similar these albums sound.
It's listenable in a no-brainer sort of way, and the sound and production is great, but I'd imagine most ND fans will find this a bit dull due to the obvious song structures and straightforward time signatures.
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on 31 May 2015
A+
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