The kings of grindcore/death metal are back with their fifteenth studio album titled “”Utilitarian”. Of course I am talking about the little known band that every metal head has at least heard of, Napalm Death. It’s been a long road for me over the years listening to Napalm Death. I used to like one song back in the day that I saw on Beavis and Butthead, I think, and now, well this new album is fantastic.
I’ll just go ahead and throw out the fact that it is Napalm Death being Napalm death in the truest sense I can make it. It is a grindcore album with a shitload of bass/guitar grooves to keep any fan happy. It has Barney Greeneways growling throughout, another thing to keep the fans happy. What is the one thing the fans will embrace or hate? That’d be Barney’s clean vocals on “The Wolf I Feed”. I don’t think it’s that bad, I actually like it. The first listen I wasn’t paying attention to it and I thought it was Burton C. Bell, that’s how good they are. Of course I quickly remembered he was doing cleans and that there weren’t any guest vocalists on the album. Greeneway does it sporadically through the album, and for the most part it works when he does.
If I were to sit here and tell you what songs had the best grooves or caught my interest for any special reason it could take all day.The songs that I do find myself going back and listening to the most are “Quarantined” and “Collision Course”. They have a very strong punk feel to me and kind of tread away from the grindcore elements of the album. The end of the album, starting with “Analysis Paralysis” on down are some of the more brutal songs on the album. They tread the more death metal sound of the band but they are still some pretty damn good songs, and worth a listen.
Hell I’m not going to lie this is the first Napalm Death album that I have listened to in its entirety on numerous listens and it hasn’t lost any effect on me yet. I think right now this could very easily make it on to my year end lists in a lower position.
It’s totally worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre or the band. It would be a good starting point for newbies as well. It’s a grindcore/death metal assault on the ears, a pleasant one, that shows a band that knows to change it up just slightly enough to keep it fresh.