Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat (Century Media)

The aural equivalent of that enema they give you before they stick a camera up your arse... in a good way.
Release Date: 
25 Jan 2015 - 11:30pm

Midway through the second track on Apex Predator… something really strange happens. The opening track – which also happens to be the title of this aural scourge of an album – is a good enough start, being a sort of unsettling industrial noise/weird a capella mash up that sets the unsettling scene well for what is to come; But then, just as the band hits ramming speed on  next track Smash a Single Digit, it happens. At least it did to me – and, if you’ve been with Napalm Death for every step of their nearly-thirty-year journey like I have, I’m sure you’ll get the same rush.

What I’m talking about is a sheer deluge of endorphins that seemed to manifest themselves, causing a spine-tingling, almost priapic orgy of gratitude to flood through me. I’m fucking deliriously happy that Napalm Death have released an album as absolutely vital as this, and those feelings don’t abate as the band absolutely wreck the next 40 or so minutes of peace and quiet with what has become very quickly one of my favourite releases of all time from this band

Sure, the greed-is-bad message is the same one they’ve always peddled lyrically – but until the ills of the world are solved, it’s a message that still needs repeating to anyone who’ll listen (and probably more importantly, to those laggards who ain’t down with the program yet). And who better than Barney Greenway to deliver the good word? He absolutely delivers the goods on this record, with his unhinged barking on the likes of Timeless Flogging going almost beyond anything he’s committed to tape in the past. The level of commitment here – and remember these blokes are all comfortably in middle age now – is frightening. Mitch Harris riffs like some sort of demented grind bastard – why use ten riffs a song when 30 can be wrenched from that axe? But he only gets to do this because of the near-superhuman drumming of Danny Herrera, who brings the d-beat, the double kick and the snare barrages with unerring accuracy, brutality and, praise be, swing; Christ alive this man can drum, and when he locks in to a pounding, pulsating rhythm with bassist Shane Embury on the deliriously good Cesspits it’s like the very columns that prop up reality are collapsing around your whimpering ears. I fucking hope that when the bankers of the world resch their judgement day, it sounds like this.

The news that Napalm Death are shortly to tour Australia with Carcass should fill all our Australian readers with glee – you already know how good Bill Steer and co are, but on the evidence of this album Napalm Death are in career-best form too. Hats off.