With only a few missteps scattered here and there, it’s difficult to recall a Napalm Death who were not on imperiously career besting form. Born in Thatcher’s Britain some thirty years ago, these fearsome Brummies and their consistently routine-bending extremity have not only marked one of the most vital purveyors of British steel yet seen on these shores, but a laudable tradition of flouting the rulebook. With this in mind, it will come as no surprise that fifteenth full-length, ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’, is yet another terrifying piece of work.
Whilst the bug-eyed, dizzying horror of ‘Smash A Single Digit’ and ‘Cesspits’ deliver trademark bursts of rampant speed and foam-at-the-mouth vitriol, the startling diversity of the record, always pitch-black and thoroughly remorseless, turns up a steady stream of deliciously subversive morsels as we veer from lashing venom to dense, discordant blows.
The industrial (in the most literal sense of the word) clatter of the title-track kicks us off in rather otherworldly fashion, whereas the twisted squall of ‘Dear Slum Landlord’ and ‘Timeless Flogging’‘s claw hammer groove present a somewhat odd degree of mutant accessibility in-amongst the scabrous violence.
Lyrically centered on the very real issue of modern day slavery, Napalm Death ensure a record that is at once both sonically and thematically heavy, and even given the generous amount of past left-field experimentation, ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’ pulls off the mean feat of being a particularly horrific and furious high-point in these veterans’ indomitable catalogue.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)