Reviews : Albums : Napalm Death, "Smear Campaign"

Napalm Death, "Smear Campaign"
Napalm Death
Smear Campaign
Napalm Death, "Smear Campaign"

"Unqestionably the most influential band in extreme music's ferocious history." - Albert Mudrian, the author of Choosing Death: The Improbably History of Death Metal & Grindcore

Remember that one genre? You know, the one that mixed death metal's brutality with hardcore's energy? Come on, it basically invented the blastbeat. I think it was called grind something or other. Anyways, these dudes apparently invented it. No biggie, right?

Two decades after inventing grindcore, Smear Campaign demonstrates that Napalm Death is still a vital part of today's music scene as their classics continue to influence countless bands while showing they still have something to say. As on 2005's The Code Is Red... Long Live the Code, Barney and Co. stick to their tried and true melding of crusty hardcore (politics included) and a furuious blasting death metal. Having been produced by Russ Russel who produced their last three records, Smear Campaign has a similar tone and energy to it as their last few records.

As expected, quite a bit of Mitch Harris' guitar work is speedy, punk oriented chord riffing and he sounds as sharp as ever. There are also quite a few dissonant breaks in addition to some excellent stomping mid-paced sections. Greenway's vocals are absolutely hateful as always with his consistent anti-war, pro-animal rights, and outspoken socially conscious lyrics rendered with even more vigor than on The Code Is Red....

Although it may sound like more of the same, Napalm Death are firing on all cylanders on Smear Campaign, easily one upping their last effort, which was great in its own right. Phobia's Cruel is another excellent like-minded release from earlier this year, but was merely an appetiser for grindcore fans, Smear Campaign being the main dish.

Standout Tracks

   In Deference
   Smear Campaign
   Rabid Wolves (For Christ)
   Puritanical Punishment Beating