NAPALM DEATH: Apex Predator – Easy Meat: CD/LP

Until recently, my interactions with Napalm Death had been fairly limited. I own Scum,their debut album known for inspiring many a grindcore band. I’ve seen the band perform live, but hadn’t gotten into their more recent work. I’m glad I finally got off my ass and did so. Apex Predator – Easy Meat is a brutal forty minutes that shows that the British act is more than just a grindcore band. The album starts out with the Swans-like title track before rolling into their more well-known fast grindcore. The fourth track, “How the Years Condemn,” is, without a doubt, one of the best songs I’ve heard in many years. The thrash guitar riffs combine with lead singer Barney Greenway’s growls of the song title, as the music takes on a big hardcore influence. Nothing on here is as rough as anything they originally did on Scum, rather, there’s a great mix of hardcore, punk riffs, grindcore, and metal. There are even moments when Greenway comes close to singing—amazing, I know. Still, the material is generally fast, heavy, and fierce. If you are into hardcore, grindcore, or metal, this will be right up your alley. As a band that’s been around for over thirty years now, Apex Predator is further proof that life doesn’t end when band members turn forty. It can remain just as intense and angry as ever. 

 –kurt (Century Media)