Napalm Death

1. Circumspect (Instrumental)
2. Errors in the Signals
3. Everyday Pox
4. Protection Racket
5. The Wolf I Feed
6. Quarantined
7. Fall on Their Swords
8. Collision Course
9. Orders of Magnitude
10. Think Tank Trials
11. Blank Look About Face
12. Leper Colony
13. Aim Without an Aim (Limited edition bonus track)
14. Everything in Mono (Limited edition bonus track)
15. Nom de Guerre
16. Analysis Paralysis
17. Opposite Repellent
18. A Gag Reflex
19. Standardization (LP bonus track)
19. It Failed to Explode (Japanese bonus track)

Mark Greenway (Vocals)
Shane Embury Bass guitar)
Mitch Harris (Guitar)
Danny Herrera (Drums)

Scum (1987)
From Enslavement to Obliteration (1988)
Harmony Corruption (1990)
Utopia Banished (1992)
Fear, Emptiness, Despair (1994)
Diatribes (1996)
Inside the Torn Apart (1997)
Words from the Exit Wound (1998)
Enemy of the Music Business (2000)
Order of the Leech (2002)
Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (2004)
The Code Is Red...Long Live the Code (2005)
Smear Campaign (2006)
Time Waits for No Slave (2009))

John Zorn (Saxophone on 3)

Russ Russel (Producer)

Released 27/2-2012
Reviewed 29/5-2012

century media

I can't say I read other peoples reviews too often, but sometimes I can't help myself when they go drastically against my own opinion in either direction. One of our main rivals for the Swedish readers about hard rock is Sweden Rock Magazine and when it came to napalm Death and their 'Utilitarian' their reviewer rewarded these Brits with a full point score (ten out of ten), which was something I just couldn't understand as I was thinking about giving them a real scolding. But since they were so über positive, I chose to take my sweet time and listen to the album extra careful to see wether I had missed something or what made me think so differently about the album. Unfortunately this extra chance was just a complete waste of time because 'Utilitarian' remained just as vile as it had been before.

Perhaps I better explain my standpoint to Napalm Death before heading any further. I'm certainly no fan of this band, but I'm definitely not one of those reviewers that has made it my mission to find the best way to disparage the band either. My opinion is pretty neutral when it comes to Napalm Death, not like the opinion I guess Vietnamese people have about them, but I haven't really found anything to build further upon by these Brits and that's something that probably won't change after 'Utilitarian'.

This British grindcore act have existed for 30 years now, all though the first release came in 1987 and none of the founding members are left in the band and hasn't been for over 20 years. This is the fifteenth studio full-length and despite they are maturing and growing as a band constantly, it's still mostly noise that comes from their album. Loud noise! Honestly though, I really struggle a bit to see the reason for this band to keep releasing albums because it's not like they have anything left to prove for the world and if we're completely honest, it's not like their music is developing in any startling manner either. Sure, they have a grander and deeper sound today compared to a couple of years ago, but it's still basically the same and come to popularity they've more or less reached the limit of how big this music can get so they'll probably not increase either sales or live attendance and musically I struggle to see what else they can do with Napalm Death without stepping too far away from the whole idea with their music. And it's not like any of them would leave the music if that's what drives them - the love of playing this music - because all the members have plenty feet in other projects and bands that plays either the same kind of music or very similar.

I'm guessing the reason for this band to keep on playing and releasing albums is the goal of improving and ameliorate the music they play and should we believe Sweden Rock Magazine (as well as a couple of other reviews I've seen that has been pretty close to a full point score) they've obviously succeeded with that. I can stretch myself to see what they mean - Napalm Death sounds noticeable more mature and to some extent also better than much earlier work by the band but I still can't say I'm either moved, touched or in any other way affected by the music on 'Utilitarian' in a positive manner. They shout and scream and the instruments grinds heavily like a steamroller on steroids while the band rumble through either heavy songs or really fucking heavy songs that all have their foundation in the same template - make as much noise as possible as heavily as possible. However, this time they've a new factor in play within that wall of keyboards behind the music and this is something you notice immediately as the first album kicks of with the instrumental intro Circumspect, which leads us in to Errors In The Signals which feels like a typical song from their early days. The album then continues with songs more similar to how it's been sounding lately with a better production and something that could be mistaken for melodies if they only had been somewhat more distinctive.

If you haven't heard napalm Death and what to get a clearer picture of their sound, I can only say like this about them: they are heavy as hell, their music goes fast like a fuck and they're mostly shouting angrily in random. This kind of music normally is defined as grindcore and as one of the bands that's commonly seen as creators of this genre, if not the creators, Napalm Death is a strong name within the genre. But it's a genre I still have some difficulties to really feel anything in particular for. I am pretty sure that fans of the genre won't be too disappointed by 'Utilitarian', but the rest of us then? Well, whatever Sweden Rock tells us, I'm quite certain that this album isn't the one that converts us into liking it because it's an album that mostly feel annoying in long runs, and trust me - I have given it more than one chance to grow on me since Sweden Rock told me it's an album that all people should like but it's just not happening. 'Utilitarian' is and remains an abject album and I'm pretty sure it won't reach any "best of 2012" summaries by me because despite its name, I'm not seeing where it could necessary.



Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Carcass/Dimmu Borgir/Exhumed
Rating: HHHHHHH (2/7)
Recensent: Caj Källmalm

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