This year marks West Midlands grindcore pioneers Napalm Death’s 34th year as an outfit. Despite a revolving door of personnel early on (most notably on their 1987 debut, Scum) and a complete lack of original members, the band has hardly suffered or changed, retaining a fixed lineup and delivering a singular, uncompromising sound since the early ‘90s. Apex Predator – Easy Meat, the band’s 15th studio album, is by all accounts another typical Napalm Death album. All of the pieces are in place: ferocious blast beats, chunky, blistering riffs, violent mid-tempo grooves, Mark “Barney” Greenway’s reliably gruff vocals, and socio-politically charged lyrics. If Napalm Death don’t cover any new ground (would you want them to?), they’ve assembled the cream of the crop for their 15th album. Few bands sound this overpowering a decade into their career, let alone upwards of three decades; the fact that Napalm Death could go toe-to-toe with their peers is a testament to their earned experience and unrivalled maturity in the genre.
Trial Track: “Stubborn Stains”