September 30, 1998
Words From The Exit Wound
Metal no longer exists. Ash are rock. Marilyn Manson, conceivably, are rock. Terrorvision, bless 'em, are pop. And Napalm Death?...
6 / 10
METAL NO LONGER EXISTS. Ash are rock. Marilyn Manson, conceivably, are rock. Terrorvision, bless 'em, are pop. And Napalm Death? 'Extreme music'. The point being that from the tar-black loins of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple hurtled such a powerful and all-consuming force that metal, regardless of its heaviness, could never be bettered, not even 20 years on. But as a concept, metal is spring-fresh pure.
All grist to the Death's almighty mill, frankly. For this Birmingham-born crew are beyond metal. Their self-styled extreme music - tyre-slashing riffs, bludgeoned, pummelling drums and Mark 'Barney' Greenway's cheese-grater-scrubbed bark - has been honed to such exhilarating perfection over the course of ten albums (and over a million sold) that to accuse them of being myopic in musical outlook is to concede immediate defeat. Old dogs loathe new tricks.
The essence of Napalm is not rare, but refined. 'Words...' is a blizzard of noise, sheet-steel guitars and indecipherable grunts; impenetrable and impolite, but satisfyingly self-fulfilling. They know best, let them get on with it. 'Cleanse Impure' and 'None The Wiser?' have tunes. Slackers.
Metal in spirit, mental in practice.
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