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Napalm Death - The Peel Sessions

Strange Fruit, 1993, CD, Vinyl, Cassette

This is a great grindcore collection by one of the pioneers of the sound. It contains 3 sessions from 1987, 1988 and 1990 that John Peel put out on radio 1. There is a more recent version of this that also includes another session from 1996 titled "The Complete Radio 1 Sessions".

It sounds better than their earlier records as each instrument is captured more precisely and cleanly. There is still a lot of treble and echo and so more recent grindcore releases sound quite different, but this is really amazing for the late 80s.

By then, some types of extreme metal were well established in the collective consciousness and so a band like Slayer, while still unpalatable for the masses was at least recognisable to most rock fans. With such a thing as Napalm Death though you realise that if people found Slayer to be extreme, then this was off the radar. What Slayer had were songs... vocals that were audible and discernable, melodies ( although evil sounding ) and structures, so at least there was some degree of accessiblity. Napalm Death had none of this. Instead they sought out to barrage the listener with a wall of cacophonous noise, loosely glued together into sections, but without any convential song structures. They were attempting to push the rock/metal sound to the limit, both in terms of speed and aggression. Some songs last barely 10 seconds, whereas others last longer and have some variations but are still as brutal and uncompromising and are made up of mainly blast-beats and hardly discernible riffs. The vocals come in the form of guttural beast-like grunts or higher pitched screams, a style that continued to be popular in extreme music circles ever since.

For Napalm Death fans this is an essential release... for grindcore fans it will be a good listen even if you are only recently into the whole business with newer bands like Nile and Agoraphobic Nosebleed... for any other heavy music fans, it might well get you into this sound.

Reviewed by indigo on 19-12-2011

Keywords : grind death metal noise john peel

This record rated by users : 2.538 ( out of 5 ) from 26 votes.