I really didn’t know what I was going to say about the new NAPALM DEATH album when it arrived in my mailbox. The reason for this is that I kind of lost track of them over the years and they were yet another of those bands I knew I needed to check back on, but time always seemed to get away from me. So after putting out some fires this week I was finally able to sit and give it a proper listen. Apex Predator – Easy Meat was released this week via Century Media Records and the title is befitting of what’s on the record, that’s for sure. You want some serious grind, coupled with speed and nasty, filthy riffs? You got it.
First thing I loved about the disc was “Metaphorically Screw You”. Never mind that the title rules, but it’s a pissed off song that never lets up. “Smash a Single Digit” is also all bombast and aggression; I imagine someone with barbed wire wrapped around a baseball bat splitting heads wide open every time I hear it. “How the Years Condemn” is similar in that vocalist Barney Greenway is all anger and fire, as he is on the entire record. The relentless beating continues on with “Stubborn Stains” before “Timeless Flogging” changes the tempo for a bit. The riffs are still hacksaw sharp from start to finish, and of course it inevitably takes off at a gallop. I found “Dear Slum Landlord” to be of particular interest because it is unlike any of the other songs. It starts out slow, dark, and dreary, and keeps that vibe going for its full two minutes. It was a cool way to change it up before getting back to the madness.
“Cesspits”, “Bloodless Coup”, and “Beyond the Pale” will slap you around one after the other, with “Cesspits” being the best of the three. Another favorite from day one is the album closer “Adversarial – Copulating Snakes.” The raw intensity feels like it could blow through a brick wall without even slowing down. Blast beats and growls mark “One Eyed” while “Hiearchies” is one of the thicker-sounding tunes on the disc, making it yet another winner. There are some wicked time changes on “Stunt Your Growth” too. All told, this being my first NAPALM DEATH album in years I had a ball rocking to this one. Clearly it’s time for me to go check out some stuff from that time I lost. In the meantime, I definitely recommend Apex Predator – Easy Meat, and I’ll be there when the tour rolls into Philly on February 3.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Cesspits”, “Hiearchies”, “Dear Slum Landlord”, “Adversarial – Copulating Snakes”, “Metaphorically Screw You”