25 January 2015

Napalm Death - Order Of The Leech

In the next week or so, the latest album by Napalm Death will be released; to say that most of us here at ATTIWLTMOWOS are excited is an understatement - the fact I am having to use my trump card to make sure I get to review it (otherwise it would be a love letter from Jerm) is something I am not proud about, but it is Napalm Death!!! I still remember the first time I heard them with 'From Enslavement to Obliteration' on vinyl in my mate's house in North Shields.  It is one of those moments which truly changed my life, from that moment on I was hooked; it was one of the most extreme things I had heard (and is still one of top records of all time), so much so that when I eventually heard punk music (until Discharge) I was so unimpressed that I thought it was for wimps.  These guys have rarely placed a foot wrong in their career, they have played festivals and tiny venues, they have kept on going and whilst it has sometimes not been an easy journey it has always been interesting.  Back in 2002, the band was in a bit of a green patch to be honest; however this is an album that I have not revisited as much as I have wanted to.  So, in preparation for next week it is time to relive this record.

Starting the album is "Continuing War on Stupidity" which begins with a bang - no long introduction, no chants or opera, no strings; just a violent assault on the world and a damming hymn against the war which seems to be never ending.  The reference to Thatcher, Bush & Reagan is perfect and the words about the state of the world still ring true today as they did in 2002.  "The Icing on the Hate" is next and the nightmare continues, there is no let up of pace or passion; it truly sounds like the world is ending and that Napalm Death are supplying the soundtrack; this song of self doubt and losing control is a brutal number that I keep placing on my playlists when I make them and if it was made in the tape trading days, it would have been a song that everyone would have been after.  "Forced to Fear" is the third track on the album, this one has a bit of a groove metal thing in places and then it has the trash/punk/grindcore elements as well - it is a crushing number that keeps up the momentum of the album without fucking with the formula.  Same could be said for "Narcoleptic" and its condemnation of the world that we live in.  I still find myself amazed when I read the lyrics and listen to the music, just how powerful this song sounds - it is truly a brilliant number, just a fantastic attack on our perceptions and the world in general.

"Out of Sight, Out of Mind" is more of the same, just the sound of four angry men making some of the most brutal noise that is possible; this band is pissed off with the world and is going to make it pay.  It is relentless, unforgiving and brutal; in short it is aggressive perfection.  "To Lower Yourself" is the sixth song and once more, the aggression is just unrelenting and once more it is a politically charged bomb in lyrical about enforced servitude.  I really love the dense tone of the tune, the fact that even though there has not been one let up in term of aggression, that it still sound fresh and not boring at all.  "Lowest Common Denominator" is not as fast or harsh as most of this album, but that does not mean the acoustic guitars or love songs; it is just more groove than grindcore in places.  It actually is a relief in terms of your face being punched into a wall again and again.  But we are back on that mad aggressive bull in the form of "Forewarned is disarmed"; it is one of the most aggressive songs on the album and one of the best of that wondering period that they have been experiencing since the release of 'Enemy of the Music Business'.  One of the shortest songs on the album, it is like a little ball of bile & hatred - in short, classic Napalm Death.

The ninth song on the album is called "Per Capita" has the same aggressive style and feel of "Forewarned is Disarmed", it is beginning to feel like I am being repetitive with the descriptions here, but the stuff on this album is so aggressive and harsh that it is hard not to get a bit reparative.  Next is the album's stand out track for me - "Farce and Fiction".  Starting off with a groove intro, the band then drop one of the sickest pieces of grindcore mixed with a hint of groove metal that I have ever heard.  The last section is just fantastic and makes me want to start a mosh pit on my own whilst I am doing this review.  Penultimate track "Blows to the Body" starts off a little weak after that "Farce and Fiction", but it does pick up steam into a sonic grindcore attack, it is still a decent number overall but it is no more than that.  Ending the album is "The Great Capitulator" which ends the album with a bang - full tilt grindcore with an unrelentless drive toward oblivion.  After this there is a secret track which is someone talking over some strange music.  But "The Great Capitulator" is a brilliant way to end the album.

This is an album which has grown in stature for me as the years have gone by, when it first came out it was a good album that was not as immediate as other releases; now it is an essential album from Napalm Death.  It is a true grower in many ways and once it unleashes its twisted charm and beauty on you, it will be a permanent fixture in your listenings. Yes, there is a few tracks which do not quite make the grade, but they are still awesome and do not detract from the overall feel of the album. Now I am wondering if 'Apex Predator - Easy Meat' will start off like 'Order of the Leech' and grow into something more.  I hope so, as 'Order of the Leech' is truly one of the best releases from Napalm Death.

9 out of ten - Almost perfect....Almost

Top track - Farce and Fiction

You can purchase one of the versions of 'Order of the Leech' from Amazon here

You can visit the Napalm Death website here - there is links to loads of stuff on there

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

For our Deezer users, here is a link for you

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