Long time fans of NAPALM DEATH out in the world and in the media are probably all guilty of one thing…and that is taking NAPALM DEATH for granted. For the past 12 years, NAPALM has done nothing but release consecutive high quality albums starting with the return to form, Enemy of the Music Business. Meanwhile, some new band gets all the attention and hype after releasing an album that doesn’t even come close to NAPALM’s level of quality.
Utilitarian demonstrates more of the band’s trademark sound. Their driving, grinding, and slamming riffs are all present along with blasting, chugging, and bouncy punk tempos. In the vocal department, Barney injects more of his clean, ominous vocals into the mix in addition to his famous bark. Guitarist/vocalist Mitch Harris contributes a good amount of his punk vocals and when he sings with Barney, it’s excellent. And who can forget the contributions of riffmaster general Shane Embury and unsung drum god Danny Herrera?
Throughout Utilitarian’s 17 songs, the strong sense of urgency and immediacy is omnipresent as the band scorches through. While fans may obtain the album in strictly mp3 format, they would be doing themselves a disservice by not obtaining the lyrics.
NAPALM continue to stand out as stellar songwriters always remembering that memorable, catchy songs are what makes a great band versus sheer extremity, gimmicks, or costumes. Long live the gods of grind! (Century Media Records)