on 13 June 2007
Some will say that with napalm death that you know what you are gonna get,in some instances that is true,the word brutal is laced through all their prior 12 studio albums and that doesnt leave this new release,however when one considers that their debut album 'scum' was filled with tracks under a minute long and how they ditched that after 2 albums then there is a change for you,skip forward to 'diatribes' and you get a more accessible sounding napalm death and then with 'the code is red...' you got the band introducing guest singers so the band like to keep people guessing,with latest release 'smear campaign' the gloves are off as this is a fierce album that contains backing shriek screaming that would frighten any screamcore singer,and thats only the backing vocals as lead singer barney still has the killer roars that he spews forth.
The album opens with an instrumental,its a gothic tinged track with operatic styles that wouldnt be lost on a cradle of filth album,then album opener proper is let loose with 'sink fast,let go' and its a very metal statement indeed.At times on this album the genre grindcore that napalm made famous is barely identifiable,this album is too fast to truly be grindcore,the drums are blastbeat for the most part and the guitars speed by like an episode of wacky races.The album is essentially unrelenting although strangely catchy,napalm have never been for the elite fans but listen close and this is more than just cold noise,this is an art,the final track which is the title track is basically all clean vocals and its a great song and female vocals courtesy of the singer of the gathering help the brilliant track 'in deference' to a status of sing along too.
Is this the best napalm death album?,probably not but they are a band that give their all and for those bands that think they are the new darlings of extreme music ,think again ,for napalm death have been around 25 years and they aint giving the power to anyone else yet,they dont fake it,they are it.
on 6 June 2007
there's an acquaintance of mine who reckons everyone's doing themselves irreparable damage through nightclubs etc and headphones, and that if anyone fancies making a killing they might want to invest in hearing aid companies. bearing in mind that this was before the mp3 explosion, he may have a point.
so what does this have to do with napalm death? simple. ages ago i made a vow that if i was gonna go deaf, it was gonna be on MY terms - no way was it gonna happen through listening to stuff i didn't want to listen to, the garbage that gets played at yer local pub for example. and this is where napalm death come in
i've been listening to napalm death since starting off with 'the code is red' last year (there is something to be said for discovering bands in retrospect, and if i think of anything i'll let you know). anyway this is probably not a good idea, since the albums have rarely left my car or headphones over the past few months and i've been hearing ringing noises occasionally, as well as driving even more erratically than usual.
so why do this? what is it above napalm death that makes a metal (grindcore, whatever) dabbler like me reach for the volume button in the face of all medical evidence to the contrary? especially when i want to shoot the drummer (not a fan of blastbeat). well, simply put, they are necessary. when so much music today is bland and insipid they are a force, a visceral fury. a band that reminds you of why you love music in teh first place, because it can make you feel alive. and they've never sounded better than on this album (ok, haven't had the nerve to listen to 'scum' yet). almost every track works - they have defo not mellowed anyway. plus lyrically their heart is in the right (i.e.left) place, and barney usu shouts to the bhoys on the sleeve notes (pity about the villa though). must see them live. never bled from teh ears before
on 23 February 2007
If you're a fan of Napalm Death, you'll love this. For those stumbling across the band, this is a good place to start. Napalm Death have been doing this for 20 years now, and although their sound (or at least the length of their sound!) has changed over the years, Smear Campaign features something from all of the best of it. The previous 3 Napalm albums have seen a return to form from the Grindcore masters, albeit under the inluence of a fresh and rejuvenated scene in general. This is more of the same, but faster and more metal sounding than their last punkier release "The Code is Red..."
A brilliant album for dissodants across the globe, Napalm Death once again deliver a kick to the prinstine white teeth of authority.
on 18 October 2006
Lets not piss about here, napalm death are the angriest ,loudest most venemous band on the planet.. they go from strength to strength blasting out their unique brand of vitriolic despair and gut wrenching angst come what may. smear campaign is a relentless assault on the senses from the first note, pounding, grinding power and conviction the likes of which makes most bands of this genre sound shallow and contrived. this is the reality check music in general needs. a brilliant brilliant album that sorts the men from the boys. listen with caution... listen and learn.
on 23 November 2010
This is some seriously heavy, angry, violent, powerful music - I'm barely able to describe it. Just buy it, turn up the volume to 11 and wait for your ear drums to burst! And the lyrics aren't just a load of old adolescent rage either, they write about serious issues affecting the world today. Fantastic!
Tasked with following up possibly three of the best albums that they made in over fifteen years, Napalm Death endeavored to release essentially more of the same only with a few new ideas as well. Like many Napalm Death fans I was greatly pleased with the renewed energy and intensity that the band had adopted for the fantastic trio of albums 'Enemy of the Music Business,' 'Order of the Leech,' and especially 'The Code Is Red... Long Live The Code,' which were very strong albums that made Napalm Death sound important again after their experimental period.
2006's Smear Campaign largely follows the Death, Grind and American Hardcore stylistic mixture that made the previous three albums so good; keeping the occasional unexpected Hatebreed style riffs, the blasting over swirling riffs and the general extreme-metal harshness that fans have come to expect.
There is a bit of variety to be had on Smear Campaign; the album has the unique status of featuring lyrics almost solely on the topic of religion, as opposed to the band's usual mostly political content. Furthermore some of the songs venture into different territory such as the intro 'Weltschmerz,' (which is slightly reminiscent of the intros from 'Scum,' and 'From Enslavement') or unusual 'In Deference,' with its guest female vocals, but as a general rule the songs are pretty fast, contain many blastbeats and the songs are often rather short.
Overall, Smear Campaign is a pretty solid Napalm Death album, although stylistically quite similar to the three albums which proceeded it. If this is not a problem, then Smear Campaign will be a welcome addition to your collection, perhaps not the greatest album that they ever released but giving you everything you could want from a modern Napalm Death album nonetheless.