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Napalm Death: Inside The Torn Apart

Napalm Death began to break down and reassemble their sound with 1994's Fear, Emptiness, Despair; since then they've slowly gained more musical definition without (completely) abandoning their grindcore roots. There are some people who would rather have every Napalm Death album be Utopia Banished Part 8, but what's the point? The early shit is still there for you to listen to.

Inside The Torn Apart picks up where 1995's longplayer Diatribes left off; the foundation is still thick with distortion and crunch, but the songs take sharper turns and the tempos make a strong effort to contrast to each other rather than mesh aimlessly. The opener "Breed to Breathe" reminds me of Helmet from it's weird, off-time riff maneuvers, as do the next few tracks. Punk-fueled rhythms and occasional bits of blasting make their presence here and there. "Reflect on Conflict" muscles it's way through, one of the heaviest on the disc. The closer "The Lifeless Alarm" is a song that is impressively flavored with Swans-esque drones.

Overall, the musicianship and production are stellar on this LP (especially the drums); but there is one flaw: the vocals. Though Barney Greenway's unintelligent barking is met with new singing variations, it's not enough. As Napalm Death have advanced musically, it's time they realized that one-dimensional vocals don't justify what they've achieved musically.

Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
Related Link: Web Site
Hits: 4818
Language: english

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