Preview: Analysis Paralysis
Napalm Death has been around from the beginning of 80's. At that time they were labeled as hardcore punk, which later became the famous grindcore act we know. As I was doing my homework, I was surprised to see Lee Dorrian (Cathedral) doing the vocals on the first two full lengths. Mark Greenway or "Barney" as we know him, took over the vocals duties in 1989 and appears in the third album Harmony Corruption for the first time. I am writing this mostly to myself in order to learn my history, I know there are many of you who know this much, much better.
I really recognized them in the mid 2000's as The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code was released in 2005. Their signature trademark is still the same: short, ferocious songs filled with raw energy and attitude accompanied with Barney's angry vocals. For me the most difficult thing was to get used to the idea that the songs do not build up slowly reaching over ten minutes, they are straightforward, in-your-face and simplified. For some reason I've thought the guys to be much older being around more than 25 years, but Shane is now 45, Danny 43, Mitch 43 and Barney 43 so they are not relics by any means. In fact Utilitarian only proves that these guys are on top of their game and while they have refined their sound like adding saxophone and clean vocals, they are still very much the Napalm Death you fell in love with.
Utilitarian grew on me little by little like a malignant tumor and finally took over my entire body. What I really like about the album is that sound is sharp, clear and heavy. There are 16 songs altogether, but they don't wear you out. The energy and power are very dominant and carry the album beautifully from start to finish. One thing that I have to also mention here is that Barney is really on fire! Judging by his performance in Tuska Open Air 2012 he delivers with ease without any studio reproduction. His stage present is like a school teacher: no tattoos (none that I know of), short & decent haircut and a shaved face. However once the intro is over, it is like a beast or unholy spirit possesses him and he starts jumping around the stage, shivering and delivering the angry message. He seems to be enjoying it anyway and remembers to thank the audience between the songs. One thing I learnt in the summer too was that Napalm Death do not use roadies, they do that themselves. I don't know why, but it makes me respect them ever more.
So without further ado Napalm Death is here to stay and I hope they remain healthy and motivated, I am ready for another assault!!