I just got my double CD reissue of NME's '80s material from Dark Descent, and let me tell you, it kicks some serious ass. I think that the DLA
describes their music more effectively than any other written source:
Use of straight hardcore riffs alongside metal-influenced but not modally pentatonic playing gives this band the freedom to make either hypnotically simple tonal continuance or leaps beyond the chromatic for periodic emphasis on structure, yet the essence of this playing is the raw rhythm and relative motion in these riffs that gives a shape to the forward inertia flung out in primitive and brain-maulingly simple pieces.
I'd say that not only is this album an essential amorphous slab of protean black/death, but it's also of tremendous historical importance: for '86, you really can't get much heavier than this band, and they are said to be a huge influence on Euronymous' initial forays into black metal (you can really hear it in the guitar tone and guitar playing itself). What really caught my eye was this excerpt from an old promotional flier included in the liner notes:
Do not fear. For life to exist, there must be death. Those who don't believe -- must die!
I'd say that that's right up there with Tom G. Warrior's immortal '83 statement of intent. If you're into Mad Max-style wasteland metal (Bolt Thrower, Blasphemy, etc.), this double CD is an essential purchase.