Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Napalm Christ - S/T 12"


D'you ever have those days where you just want to switch off and stick on something heavy? I know that entire sentence is a massive cliche, but today was one of those days. Thankfully I had the new Napalm Christ LP to listen too. I reviewed their demo tape (released by Goatprayer Records) back in September of last year and when I saw that they were working with A389 Records, I was pretty happy. Well, almost a year later, this six-track LP was released (which, features remastered versions of the songs that appeared on the demo). It's ace to see bands like NC getting wider attention and hitting bigger audiences.

Tracklisting:-

1. Idols Of Evil
2. Life Is Dimming
3. Reclaimed By The Earth
4. Nuclear Holy War
5. Despoilment Of Will
5. Burning Away The Scourge

From their name, the uninitiated amongst you would be forgiven for thinking that Napalm Christ were a crust band. The sludgy riffs of Idols Of Evil prove otherwise. NC are typically difficult to pin down in terms of sub-genre. Idols Of Evil features grind, black metal and melodic thrash harmonies, all within it’s opening bars. There’s plenty of brooding negative atmosphere, just like there was on their demo. 

NC have gathered together their collective influences and experiences for this release. They’ve honed their heaviness and rage, distilling it into a more controlled sound compared to that of the demo. Life Is Dimming is a slow-burn of a song, full of blackened soul and excellent melodic guitar. The transitions between those blackened passages and their sludgier underbelly leave no time for pondering. It’s just one head-smashing beating after the other.

At times, they threaten to morph into a trad/heavy metal band, but regain their menacing momentum right at the brink. The main bedrock of Reclaimed By The Earth is blackened thrash, but thanks to the quality of the production, it sounds clear and precise. There are moments of grand, towering sound during the song, where the low-slung growls sit deep within the instrumentation. Those cavernous sections are an absolute joy to listen to.

NC regain their earlier urgency on Nuclear Holy War. There’s tech-death and even a strange medieval feel to some of the picking going on in this song. I might be reading to much into this album, but it’s kept me guessing since I pressed play! Their urgency and rage is used to full effect on the short blast Despoilment Of WillNC’s power doesn’t truly sink in until Burning Away The Scourge drags you down. The extended instrumental passage at the start brims with progressive guitar riffs and then dives headfirst into a pogoing punk rhythm. The song’s many lurching movements proves how adept NC are at weaving a tumultuous hymn. It’s all kinds of epic and is the perfect way to finish off this LP.

It does seem a bit odd writing about the same set of songs twelve-months on, but as Napalm Christ have matured so has their music. They sit perfectly on the A389 roster and their self-titled LP will long be ringing in these ears, just like they will be in yours! 

Stream/download it here:-



Buy a vinyl copy here - http://shop.a389records.com/collections/12-vinyl-a389.

Napalm Christ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NapalmChrist
A389 Recordings Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/a389recordings

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