Napalm Death. Two words that have become synonymous with a band who’ve beaten a unique path and played by their own rules. In that spirit their latest release Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes is a collection of tracks that revisits some roots while mapping out an uncharted future and makes for an intriguing listen.
Always a band to push at boundaries 2020 album Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism found Napalm Death introducing industrial textures on several tracks and, perhaps as a reaction, opening cut ‘Narcissus’ finds the band revisiting some hardcore roots. With a lovely rumble on Shane Embury’s bass this mini-album gets off to a slow, grinding start but soon explodes like a fragmentation grenade and throws blast beats in all directions. Down tuned and dirty, I’m picking up a definite Discharge influence (think Hear Nothing…) but this is all Napalm Death with “Barney” shouting his vocals as if political manifestos blared through a megaphone and drummer Danny Herrera delivering relentless D-beats and the result is a song that goes straight for the throat, rather like a hungry jackal.
Napalm Death have always had the knack of making albums ebb and flow and they ensure that Resentment Is Always Seismic isn’t one long blast beat. ‘Resentment Always Simmers’ drops down a few gears, trading speed for power, but it’s none the less powerful for it. In fact, its slower pace drags you down, an anchor tied to a drowning man, and leaves you crushed and in awe beneath its monolithic enormity. Of course, this makes the amphetamine fuelled ‘By Proxy’ all the more supersonic. The two tracks act as a foil to highlight the other and the contrast is quite startling with the ferociousness of ‘By Proxy’ leaving the listener windswept in its wake.
While no Napalm Death albums sound the same it’s safe to say that no two songs do either and those industrial influences mentioned earlier really come to the fore on ‘People Pie’. Originally performed by sonic terrorists SLAB! it’s a track punctuated by huge white spaces and the result is a song that’s both expansive and oppressive. Clean vocals and sampling are not new to Napalm Death fans, but they’re employed in new ways that makes ‘People Pie’ unnerving and unpalatable. In juxtaposition another cover, this time Bad Brains’ ‘Don’t Need It’, is spiky and angular, a musical blitzkrieg that burns out its own adrenal glands. The discombobulated soundscape of ‘Resentment Is Always Seismic (Dark Sky Burial Dirge)’ owes something to the likes of Swans and makes for an eerie closer.
Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes is an intriguing listen but it’s one that throws up as many questions as answers; the cover versions explore a few roots while the original tracks signpost an enticing future.
- Reviewed by Peter Dennis.
- Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes is released via Century Media Records on 11th February 2022.
- Official Website
- YouTube Channel
- Resentment Always Simmers
- By Proxy
- People Pie
- Man Bites Dogged
- Slaver Through A Repeat Performance
- Don’t Need It
- Resentment Is Always Seismic (Dark Sky Burial Dirge)