Napalm Death - Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism review


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Band: Napalm Death
Album: Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism
Release date: September 2020

01. Fuck The Factoid
02. Backlash Just Because
03. That Curse Of Being In Thrall
04. Contagion
05. Joie De Ne Pas Vivre
06. Invigorating Clutch
07. Zero Gravitas Chamber
08. Fluxing Of The Muscle
09. Amoral
10. Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism
11. Acting In Gouged Faith
12. A Bellyful Of Salt And Spleen

Of all the bands that were formed in the '80s and are still around today, Napalm Death have nearly always been - and still remain - the most relevant. And they have managed this while acting in the confines of a niche genre, such as grindcore. And with the same lineup for decades now.

Rightfully mentioned among the founding fathers of grindcore, Napalm Death have come a long way musically since John Peel discovered them and invited them to aurally molest the listeners of Radio One. At the same time, their caustic lyrics and their strong political stance have consistently been a trademark characteristic; the cover of Dead Kennedys' anthem "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" remains today one of their standard live setlist tracks next to classics, such as "Scum", "You Suffer" and "Suffer The Children". But no one can make a career as successful as theirs just by standing on a soap box. Having proven to everyone with Scum and FETO that they can be sickeningly fast, Napalm Death have been deliberately pushing the envelope of the genre ever since, and even more so during the previous decade, with Utilitarian and Apex Predator - Easy Meat.

Five years is the longest time we have ever had to wait for a Napalm Death album. Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism (what an awesome title!) follows the pattern of the band's last two full-lengths, heading into more experimental territories while, even at its most brutal, it comes across as fairly melodic. Worry not though you dedicated fans of extremity; this is still as aggressive, chaotic, and confrontational as ever. Age hasn't made Napalm Death's sound less extreme, but maturity has helped them continue to challenge and bludgeon with more weapons than merely hyperspeed grind.

No one can argue that Throes isn't energetic, opinionated, and fuelled with thrusting blastbeats since it makes a statement of intent from the get-go with its first four tracks. "Fuck The Factoid" and "Backlash Just Because" are packed with deathgrind ferocity - as is the title track which comes much later. Things change a little with "That Curse Of Being In Thrall" which is a thrashing neckbreaker, while "Contagion" also embraces thrash in its groovier form. Then, Napalm Death start cruising into noise rock and industrial waters with "Joie De Ne Pas Vivre" and "Invigorating Clutch", and they also chose to end the album with the best of that sound; "A Bellyful Of Salt And Spleen" is Godflesh-meets-Swans circa Children Of God.

My favourite part of this album is its third quarter. For starters, I love how well "Zero Gravitas Chamber" and "Fluxing Of The Muscle" blend together. The former commences with grinding rage mixed with belligerent crust and gradually picks up even more speed before ending with a demolishing groove of the Fear, Emptiness, Despair kind, a groove that drips into the beginning of its successor which goes the opposite route; the opening riff of "Fluxing Of The Muscle" is simply crushing and is followed by fast and furious d-beat vibe. The third part of this section, "Amoral", sounds at times like a post-punk version of Hawkwind's "Hassan I Sahba", and sweetens the disappointment for not including here the amazing "Logic Ravaged By Brute Force", which was released earlier this year and was a desperate, Killing Joke-sounding cry for the sake of humanity. I guess Napalm Death decided that there was no space for two songs of this kind (wrong decision, if you ask me).

In Barney's own words, "Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism is the celebration of humanity even in the mangling jaws of negativity". The Brummie grindcore pioneers are once more promoting rational thought and the drive to make this world a better place for everyone, while expanding the genre's boundaries without renouncing their ferocious blueprint. Their biggest achievement is that, as far as grindcore is concerned, they are the first among a handful of bands that need different words and descriptions for each of their albums.

The world is still shite in 2020, and it has always been like that, but at least we have Napalm Death.

"Disconnected amoral limbo
In the end we're just food for the worms"


Written on 18.09.2020 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 6   Visited by: 135 users
18.09.2020 - 03:12
Great review, you've got me pretty excited to hear this thing in full now, especially for the "groovy thrash" parts of it. Napalm Death are one of the few older bands I still get hyped for new releases for, so given their delivery on Utilitarian and Apex Predator I'm expecting good things out of this one
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
18.09.2020 - 09:45
Written by Apothecary on 18.09.2020 at 03:12

Great review, you've got me pretty excited to hear this thing in full now, especially for the "groovy thrash" parts of it. Napalm Death are one of the few older bands I still get hyped for new releases for, so given their delivery on Utilitarian and Apex Predator I'm expecting good things out of this one

Thanks man, since you liked the previous two (and I did as well) you'll definitely enjoy this one a lot.
18.09.2020 - 19:32
Troy Killjoy
All I need to see in a Napalm Death review is that they haven't radically changed anything and I'll know it's gonna be among the best grind releases of the year.
I have no memory of this place.
19.09.2020 - 15:26
doesn't use salt
On a first listen it didn't really blow me away, but it was still really good. I like the bigger focus on the industrial songs (although I liked the way they did them the most on the last album). Gonna listen to it a few more times. Generally Napalm Death seems to be so crazy consistent.
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
20.09.2020 - 12:43
JoHn DoE
The album title is great.
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
05.10.2020 - 22:17
The industrial element to grind is working out well for the genre, It is working out well for Anaal Nathrakh, for Napalm Death too it fits like a glove.

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