NAPALM DEATH – Smear Campaign

NAPALM DEATH have been blasting skulls in for over two decades now, which is remarkable considering that many of the band’s newest fans were still swimming around in their daddy’s nutsacks when the groundbreaking Scum was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Smear Campaign, the band’s latest onslaught, sees the band continue their tradition of fast, furious forward-thinking grindcore with an invigorating energy that band’s half their age would kill for. Sandwiched between two dark, atmospheric tracks, “Weltschmerz” and the title cut, is a collection of fourteen aggressive, incinerating tracks all of which deliver fine examples of why the band continues to reign as leaders in the world of extreme music. “Puritanical Punishment Beating” offers one of the album’s many highlights with its incorporation of several different time and tempo changes in between the blasting intensity the mixes things up effectively. “In Deference” also adds some nice variety to the proceedings with an unlikely contribution from THE GATHERING‘s Anneke Von Giersbergen, whose haunting vocals complement the band’s vicious assault. Even though the band’s previous album, The Code is Red, was by no means a weak or mellow album, there’s an urgency and vitality to Smear Campaign that pushes the band’s intensity level to a higher degree, quickly and easily leaving all the competition in the dust. Another triumph for the kings of grind. (Century Media Records)