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.
Tronos is a side-project born of many late-night conversations between the two of the more prolific creative forces in underground metal, Napalm Death legend Shane Embury and legendary producer Russ Russell. Joining them is the equally talented Dirk Verbeuren on drums, Billy Gould, Troy Sanders and Dan Lilker on bass and vocals by Snake from Voivod – there’s no shortage of talent on display here. Continue reading
I mean what else are you supposed to call a band featuring Napalm Death’s Shane Embury and Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh fame? I would’ve been partial to the Care Bears, but not sure if that would fly on an LP titled The Infinite Mirror of Millennial Narcissism (Extrinsic Recordings). Continue reading
Yes, it’s a cliché, and no, I don’t care if writing professors from here to hell say to avoid clichés at all cost, but Heinz was on to something… It has been six years since Lock Up’s last album, and three years since Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth) replaced much-beloved vocalist Tomas Lindberg and very simply, good things come to those who wait. Continue reading
Remember the first time you heard From Enslavement to Obliteration (Earache), the ground-breaking second album from UK grind pioneers Napalm Death? I certainly do. It was 1988, I’m there trying to grasp on to my love of loud music…and I fucking hated it. I found it laughable, and it sent me away from Metal’s harder edges for a long time. How can you identify with a five-second song, for Christ’s sake? Up to this moment, I’d never listened to another Napalm Death album.
A staggering 27 years later fifteenth album Apex Predator – Easy Meat (Century Media) hits my inbox and boy, I feel different. The angry yet tribal rhythm of the shamanic title track gives way to the pounding machine-gun rattle of ‘Smash A Single Digit’, while the powerful skewing punk of ‘Metaphorically Screw You’ ploughs an irresistible furrow. There’s display of a flexibility in pace with the initially slower ‘Dear Slum Landlord’ retaining a hefty boot with a full production and eventually exploding with euphoric ferocity. The band’s trademark veering grind is still in evidence in the speed and violent switches of ‘Cesspits’ and ‘Bloodless Coup’; while the exercise in raw bloody velocity that is ‘Stunt Your Growth’, complete with mid-point of brutal groove and a barked Barney Greenway delivery, will rip up some serious pits live.
That the band still emits a burning intensity, railing against injustice and The Establishment, is reassuring and adds the crucial element of gravity to what is, in essence, a joyous and energising sound. The beefy punk of ‘Hierarchies’ possesses choruses of near harmonised, reflective vocals and a lightning lead break to highlight the versatility. Thankfully this is followed by the frenetic bludgeon of blastbeats and the savage roars of the penultimate ‘One Eyed’, reverting back to the coruscating norm with a wonderful closing bounce that is the album’s highlight.
Me, the Napophobe? I bloody love the nose-breaking, careering chaos of it all, which would appal an old, lost friend and make a few more chuckle. I’m ashamed I’ve missed out on so much but thank God for mid-life crises, eh?….
Lockup have been working on new material for a new album. They posted an update:
Shane & Nick have been writing and recording some new songs for the Lock Up # 4 this past week which went very well,it’s coming together slowly.