Thursday, April 25, 2013

Napalm Death - Harmony Corruption (1990)

Easily my favorite ND album. After 'From Enslavement...' I was relieved that they changed things up a bit. I couldn't imagine yet another album in that style. Sure, it was cool for what it was as was 'Scum', but the novelty was wearing thin and if they were going to stick around for a while they were in dire need of some serious changes.

I for one am not one of the gay "punk" douche-bags that cried all the way home about the changes made within the ND faction. For one, I've always been a metalhead, first and foremost. I never liked punk. Period. The music sucked. The douche-bags that populated that scene sucked, The lame "punk attitude" thing was gay and so on and so fourth. When ND went all out death metal, I thought "fuck yeah!", now this is more like it! Don't get me wrong, I was all about their early grindcore stuff and I'll never forget the day I went to the record store, purchased my "pink" (yep) copy of 'Scum' on cassette, brought it home and was completely bludgeoned by it. It was cool then and on occasion I'll pop it in (more for nostalgic purposes than anything else) for the hell of it, but I just couldn't see Napalm belting out a continuous succession of Scum's and From Enslavement's. One more album done in that fashion would have been overkill. The transition to full blown death metal began with 'Mentally Murdered' and was complete with 'Harmony Corruption'.

I was not expecting the vengeful, hateful blast beat/Barney roar combo that would coming crashing through the gates, unexpectedly amidst the static laden intro. I was momentarily dazed. Once the dust quickly settled I noticed the bizarre tremolo riffing of team Pintado/Harris doing its thing and I knew right away that everything was gonna be alright. To date, this is ND's finest hour. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know there's a million naysayers out there that wanna tell you that ND died after Steer and Dorrian flew the coop, well, fuck 'em. Their opinions don't mean shit to me. There's also a newfound and rabid interest in the band due to their supposed "return to form" starting with 2000's 'Enemy of the Music Business'. Apparently I'm in the minority on this one as I can't shake the feeling that a very large and important ingredient is missing. The band's early 90's mojo is obviously a thing of the past and I'm not terribly enthusiastic about the 900 albums they've released in the last 10 or so years. Again, for me, Harmony is the pinnacle moment of the band with a couple of worthy follow-ups since but nothing quite on its level.

Barney's vocals are unbelievably hateful and monstrous sounding, "New guys" Jesse Pintado and Mitch Harris really added a new dimension to the band yet kept everything sounding just as intense as the band's previous albums. The songs are more tempered. Not in the sense that they've lost their edge, but there is more of a notion of "craftsmanship" this time around and Mick Harris' drumming is on point throughout the duration, mixing it up between blasts and beats and I'm sorry to all the "trigger haters" out there, but Scott Burns did a fucking fantastic job on this album.

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