Napalm Death – Apex Predator Easy Meat
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Napalm Death has been a household name in the grindcore and death metal scene for many years, influencing bands during the infant years of their inception during the 80s and continuing to do so today. It is amazing to believe that they have consistently pushed out albums on a regular basis, reaching up to their 15th full-length album, Apex Predator – Easy Meat. Napalm Death prove that they are not to be taken lightly and seek to do so by obtaining the coveted “apex predator” title.
“Apex predator” is a term to describe a predator with no natural predators of their own, thus placing them at the top of their food chain. Napalm Death set this as their mindset with this record, blasting out of the gates of 2015 with one of the most impressionable death metal releases I have heard so far.
The album starts off with one of the coolest introductions I’ve heard in a long while. It is completely different from the rest of the album and does not set the pace for it at all either. Napalm Death compose a dark ritual with the resonations of tribal and almost industrialized influences. Repeated chants, distorted and destructive vocals, and boisterous drums fill the ears. The results sound like that of a dark and menacing pool of hate opening up underfoot and dragging you into hell. The title track is just one of the many great pieces here.
“Smash A Single Digit” is short and to the point, clocking in at about a minute and a half. Mark “Barney” Greenway decimates everything in his path with screams of anguish and hate. Even with this brutish performance, the rest of the band is not cast out. Guitarist Mitch Harris easily makes himself apparent, providing a rhythmic backbone separating itself from the drums and bass. I find it surprising that you are able to separate everyone out in the mix considering the style of metal these guys play in.
Danny Herrera is one of my favorite elements of the album. His drum work is superb, with a nice punch added into its sound that shows quality when compared to similar bands. Seeing a lot of his work at the forefront is refreshing.
Shane Embury is somewhat buried in the album. His bass work is apparent, but it takes some headphones and close listening to differentiate it from the rest. This is completely understandable as the sub-genres aren’t known for their elaborate and audible bass work in the first place. Shane provides just that right amount of oomph in the backbone.
Apex Predator – Easy Meat is surprisingly diverse considering the “one dimensional” definition the style is given. Each song has its own identity yet familiar at the same time. “Dear Slum Landlord” is a great example, bringing in a similar style to that of the title track, but following the same songwriting formula as the others. “Cesspits” and “Hierarchies” can also be included here, implementing vocal approaches not heard in many of the other pieces.
Napalm Death show no weakness in their resolve, confirming that they are indeed seeking to become the apex predator. Each listen becomes more devastating than the previous, bringing about an explosiveness and energy that is not easily matched. Apex Predator – Easy Meat will rip you to shreds and leave your sorry excuse for a corpse behind.
Rating – 9.6/10