It’s been about five years since Napalm Death released Apex Predator – Easy Meat and in those five years Napalm has clearly honed their sound. Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is a fresh sounding record that mixes speeds, experiments a bit with sound and requires the listener to appreciate, at times, a slower – yet more brooding and festering dose of grind.
This rather fresh approach is apparent in tracks like “Invigorating Clutch” where the song is really crafted around Shane Embury’s bass. And, per usual, Embury’s bass is prominent in the mix but not at all overbearing. “A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen” is another track that’s going to turn some heads. Think Faith No More meets Fear Factory meets well… Napalm Death. You have to hear it.
Barney and co. bring a bit of groove back, harkening back to the earlier years with songs like “Backlash Just Because.”
I was dancing in my seat, almost as good as Charlie Benante does when he’s playing drums, but not quite as graceful. There’s groove in tracks like “Acting in Gouged Faith” as well which also has some killer guitar riffing to boot!
“Flexing of the Muscle” has some great guitar licks and a few harmonics here and there to make it an interesting listen. Similarly, “Contagion” gives the listener some luscious guitar and is straight ahead, to the gut, metal. “Contagion” is obvious live pick for me and I can only hope to actually see this band in concert.
Overall, Napalm Death presents a different, perhaps, more mature sound on this new disc while still being distinctly Napalm.
Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism releases September 18, 2020 and can be ordered here.