Birmingham’s Napalm Death have been one of the most important bands in extreme music for over a quarter of a century now, having released 13 full length albums starting with 1987’s Scum, one of the first grindcore albums ever recorded.
Due to the fact they’ve been so prolific, and that some of their albums in the late 90’s/early 2000’s weren’t quite so good as their earlier material, some of their albums tend to get a little forgotten about and ignored. Which is a shame, because 2006’s Smear Campaign was one of the best grindcore albums of the 2000s.
Beginning with a slow, almost industrial piece, the album then kicks into a ripping punishing deathgrind album.
Barney’s trademark bark is at its veciferous best throughout the album, spitting vitriol and venom, especially on the mighty “freedom is the wage of sin”. Riff after riff is delivered by mitch harris, from fast and grinding to slow and crushing, to ones which groove, its simplya fantastic riff fest of an album. Drummer Danny Herrera also puts in a great performance, energetic and heavy, while the bass grinds along courtesy of Shane Embury. The album also sees a guest performance with Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-the gathering, solo) providing spoken word vocals on “In Deference”, giving a darker atmosphere to the song.
Overall its an extremely underrated album by Napalm Death, constituting their best release of the century so far. Highlights include Freedom is the wage of sin, In Deference, and Fatalist, but in truth its fantastic throughout. Any fans of the band, or fans of death metal and grindcore in general should listen to it ASAP if managed to slip under the radar.
Listen to “Freedom is the Wage of Sin” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXr9mJosEos&feature=youtube_gdata_player