Years before I had heard a single note it was the logo, the way the letters seemed scratched in flesh, sinister crosses embedded in the “N” and “M” signifying something I wasn’t prepared to listen to…yet. By the time I finally opened up to the grand progenitors of grind, Napalm Death, it was during their post-2000 resurgence, and my purchase of their compilation Noise for Music’s Sake led me down a rabbit hole of the most exquisite display of passionate anger and rage this side of the universe. Between 6-second bursts of grind, impeccable artwork, and some of the most biting social commentary ever put to paper, the arrival of a new EP and a new full length on the horizon makes this a perfect time to dedicate a Nine Circles ov... to one of the best bands to ever carry the tag of “extreme” in their music.
Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from the last few days:
Leading off, an amusing tidbit from the world of Napalm Death: apparently, the band’s Spotify streams have gone up more than 200% since frontman Barney Greenway appeared on a radio show teaching ex-Labour Party leader Ed Miliband how to scream. (Miliband still can’t scream.)
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has followed Napalm Death vocalist Barney Greenway’s lead and written a letter to Indonesian president Joko Widodo, urging him to spare the lives of two men arrested for drug smuggling in the country. This isn’t sarcasm, but I’m genuinely wondering what the tug-of-war in Widodo’s head looks like right now.
This week’s album sales numbers are out over at Metal Insider and goddammit, Kid Rock is not only still a thing but also sold 136,000+ of his new album. You win, universe. You win. Oh well, at least there’s Torche.
Lars Ulrich claims that one of the songs Metallica has recorded for their as-yet-untitled, as-yet-producer-less new album is “not so bad.” That’s exactly the kind of positive marketing you want in a dying music industry when following up the worst album of your career. Good job, Lars!
And finally…Rob Scallon is awesome. Kendrick Lamar is awesome. Together, they’re, well…awesome! Here’s the former’s latest—an instrumental guitar medley of Kendrick tunes:
Pretty sure this dude can do no wrong. Which one? Either of them. Check out the rest of Rob’s videos here. Anyway, that’ll do it for me. Check back tomorrow for more!
If you really look at it, from 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business onward, Napalm Death has simply been lights-out. A fifteen-year, now-seven-album stretch like that from any band would command respect, but for one entering its 35th year of existence later this year? That’s special. Bands simply aren’t supposed to have that kind of run left in the tank after that much time in the game. And yet, there’s nothing about the band’s new album, Apex Predator – Easy Meat, to suggest they’ll be slowing down any time soon. On this, their 15th head-crushing venture into sheer brutality, the British grindcore legends sound as vital and aggressive as ever.