Napalm Death - Utopia Banished

Production: Flat without good representation of guitar tone, although conducive to rhythm without too much distortion, but still unclear enough to lose detail which would otherwise be welcome. Also: curious why this CD was not mastered at a louder volume.

Review: For all of the standoffish rhythm embedded in these songs, their basic approach to music provides an extremely accessible format of death metal-influenced grindcore which builds two riffs into a self-reversing pattern with the integration of vocal rhythms to structure the narrative content of the piece, which rearranges its essential riff structure to make room for itself. A sense of cyclic melody drives each riff together but does not operate to unify the songs as a whole (the engaging vocal rhythms of flatfoot woofman Barney Greenway do this admirably).

Lead guitar work is mostly forgettable; solos are tailwagging fretruns along patterns of simple chromatic derivation. Drums provide a solid basis in a more aggressive translation of rock beats in the clothesline approach: an even meter to hold clothes which breaks easily into further divisions and rolls up for the chorus. Most of what one would want to hear in this music is the correspondence between the sawhorse guitars - the primary rhythm agents - and the vocals in the context of tempo upkeep percussion.


1. Discordance
2. I Abstain
3. Dementia Access
4. Christening of the Blind
5. The World Keeps Turning Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
6. Idiosyncratic
7. Aryanisms
8. Cause and Effect (Pt. II) 9. Judicial Slime
9. Distorting the Medium
10. Got Time To Kill
11. Upward and Uninterested
12. Exile
13. Awake (To A Life of Misery)
14. Contemptuous


Napalm Death - Utopia Banished: Grindcore 1992 Napalm Death

Copyright © 1992 Earache

Where Napalm Death are excellent is the ability to ride a grindcore melody and break it into a diversity of substructures without deviation from a driving consequentialist approach to music, which emphasizes the tonal conclusions without making the arrangment of tones and more important than where in support of overall structure, an idea poetically keyed to the lyrical/vocal emphasis of this music.

With its use of tremelo strum timbres alongside buffeting grindcore chopstyle riffs and a simultaneously emphasis on riding tones in order to obliterate them in seemingly tangential but recyclic patterns, the blasting grindcore of Napalm Death stands as something both easy and hard to accept in the aural space of modern time.