Napalm Death choosing to drop Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (Century Media) is the definition of perfect timing. For those not keeping score at home, the current leader of the free world is an ass-clown who smears his face daily with greasy self-tanner and fancies white supremacists and McDonald’s food. Oh, and there’s a bit of a global pandemic that has paused the world and crippled economies.
Naturally, people are angry. I vacillate from angry to anxious on the regular. In these let’s call them challenging times releasing Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism just makes a whole lot of sense. Unfortunately touring and shows are on the back burner so we won’t get to hear and experience heartwarming numbers like ‘A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen’ and ‘Backlash Just Because’ in a live setting anytime soon, but it’s quite nice to have them channeling through my headphones. That and it’s been a while since the brilliant Apex Predator – Easy Meat so it’s nice to have a new Napalm Death LP.
And it does not disappoint either. For a band known for keeping recordings lean and cutting to the point somehow, they double down on that sentiment here. ‘Fuck the Factoid’ rips right into your senses with no samples or spoken word to get in the way. From then on the boys, particularly Danny Herrera‘s frenetic pace and legendary blast beats (see ‘The Curse of Being in Thrall’) and Mitch Harris‘ noisy guitars keep things at a killer’s pace until ‘Joie de Ne Pas Vivre’ where the focus turns to Shane Embury‘s rumbling bass tone. Then ‘Invigorating Clutch’ slows things to almost shoegaze pace and gives the listener a moment of meditation but don’t confuse that for boring. ‘Invigorating Clutch’ much like the Godflesh level weird aforementioned ‘A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen’ proves that even without Tesla levels of speed and torque, Napalm Death can deliver the goods.
In the heavy metal realm, we love to sit around and debate who’s the fastest, the heaviest, or the tightest playing. But now that I’ve had plenty of time to sit on my hands – seeing as the world has basically called it a day – I know that Napalm Death is the most important band in the genre.
9 / 10