Napalm Death from Birmingham, England. Heavily influencial stalwarts of extreme music. Have been around since the Stone Age. And yet they still manage to surprise and provoke.
One would think that all the recipes for being extreme (and I don't mean the polished Arch Enemy kind of extreme, boys and girls, I mean the throat tearing, gut turning and bloody mind-numbing kind of raw extremity that came out of Britain during the 1980s) have been tried and tested by this band. Grindcore, hardcore, punk and death metal in a roaring meltingpot, that's what this band is, and there's heart and thought in it, too. And then you listen to the first track of 'Apex Predator', the title track, as it were, and so not typical Napalm Death, and yet it's eerily intense anyway. I'm not going to say more, because I want you to listen yourself and make your own impression.
With Smash a Single Digit we move into more comfortable barrage of Napalm Death brutality territory, and the next four songs don't offer huge surprises as such, merely the high quality brutality I'd always expect from this band.
Enter Dear Slum Lord... which again falls outside the Napalm recipes we are familiar with. Good, slow and different stuff. Cesspit also offers an alternate take on the barrage of noise, again, cool. Then another five outbursts of pure intensity before Adversarial/Copulating Snakes finally challenges us a bit again.
To be honest, when I listened to 'From Enslavement to Obliteration' for the first time back in 1988 or thereabouts (I didn't pick up the debut album 'Scum' until at a later stage), I would never in my wildest imagination have believed that Napalm Death would make a hammer death metal album like 'Harmony Corruption', nor the technically focused mid- to end nineties efforts 'Diatribes' and 'Inside the Torn Apart', nor would I have imagined that I in 2015 would firmly state that Napalm Death hasn't become one inch less extreme and that they'd keep churning out skull-pounding music like no one else. How The Years Condemn? I don't think so - not in the case of Napalm Death!