After two decades of metal, Napalm Death release another sinister beast with enough volume and power to devour you whole. How much bite does this apex predator have?
There are few metal bands that can stand the test of time and evolution of a genre like Napalm Death. There are not many bands who can say they were producing their sound and releasing albums back when cassettes and LPs were still the main home listening medium.
While none of the original lineup member from 1981 are present in the band, Napalm Death has held the same consistent lineup for roughly 20 years. Napalm Death has been shredding for roughly three decades.
With an enormous discography and loyal fanbase, it is hard to have never heard of the name Napalm Death. So when their 15th full album Apex Predator-Easy Meat comes out, it will get attention from virtually every metal radio station and online metal community.
Apex Predator – Easy Meat marks my own personal first time listening to one of Napalm Death’s albums from beginning to end. While I’ve heard their music before I never heard any of their past albums on hard copy. This is my first real experience diving into Napalm Death, and Apex Predator is definitely a wake-up call.
From the beginning of the album with the title track and the demonic chant, I could tell this was an album that would demand my attention. It only took a few minutes to realize just how brutal and complete of an experience listening to this album would be. This is the metal that will shake every brain cell loose in your head and agonize every cranky next door neighbor alive.
Cesspits was one of the first tracks to be released as being on the album. It is a three and a half minute onslaught. The guitar riffs are scorching and the percussion is amazing. This entire song sounds like a death race as your speeding towards impending doom and it is amazing. The speed, rhythm, and change in vocal delivery, and overall flow of this song is immense.
The song Cesspits stands out to me for several reasons with its intensity and speed along with several other songs on this album. One main reason that this song stands out more than others is because it is longer than all but two tracks on Apex Predator. Of the fourteen tracks on this album, the average run time is under three minutes with a combined album time of 40 minutes. These are quick, rapid fire metal tracks that feel like they are being shot out of an automatic.
While there will always be detractors from metal saying the music is just screaming over guitar solos until everyone gets a headache, Napalm Death put much more effort and thought into their music than people realize. A song like How The Years Condemn prove this.
In a press release from Century Media, Napalm Death’s bassist Shane Embury spoke about the song saying:
“Musically I wanted this track to encompass lots of different rhythms and nuances in the short space of time which the song occupies, which I hope we achieve, and that it bursts with an intensity and emotion to match the theme of the lyrics! We are not invincible – Nor are we indestructible. There are choices – points of return…”
It’s not easy to deliver a message at 1,000 miles per hour, but Napalm Death take it serious. When you hear legends of a genre come out and deliver new material to a market filled with gimmicks and fads, it’s refreshing to know that there are some standards you can rely on.
I could read off more information and press release statements from the band about the concept behind Easy Meat and the various underlying messages, but me just reading everything would do this album an injustice. And although many of the songs will leave you wanting more due to the track length, it can also be argued that the tracks are so good you “can’t get enough” in a good way.
Overall, it’s hard to deny the talent and focus throughout Apex Predator-Easy Meat. While the style may not be for everyone and some songs will be revisited more than others, I don’t think any metal fans who buy this album will be disappointed.