NAPALM DEATH – The Code Is Red…Long Live The Code

Perhaps given an added kick in the arse coming off last year’s Leaders Not Follower 2 album of cover songs, NAPALM DEATH surely sound refreshed and focused with their latest, The Code is Red…Long Live the Code. Not that their previous output of original material, Order of the Leech, was lacking but it was surely mired in unpleasing production. The Code is Red…Long Live the Code, however, is faultless on the production tip while thoroughly precise and in-touch with the band’s roots musically. The 55-second burner “Right You Are” captures the urgency that NAPALM DEATH best flaunt in the genre that they laid the groundwork for two decades ago; closers “Morale” and “Our Pain is their Power…” meddle in the doomy, industrial sludge that bookended 1992’s Utopia Banished. Mitch Harris‘ grinding riffs carry tasty hooks, much like the ones on 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business, which help promote a sense of focus. Additionally, Barney Greenway‘s vocal phrasings sound youthful and are delightfully engaging. The well-publicized guest appearances by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) on “Instruments of Persuasion,” Jeff Walker (ex-CARCASS) on “Pledge Yourself to You,” and Jello Biafra on “The Great and The Good” add a pleasant flavor to the mix–particularly the thrashy Biafra-backed track. Although Enemy of the Music Business was a more complete album, the strength of the material NAPALM DEATH continue to crank out is frighteningly awesome. The British grinders may have had their times of relative mediocrity, but they’ve shown their ability to right their wrongs (and write the wrongs). Long live NAPALM DEATH. (Century Media Records)

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