Published Sep 17, 2020Over three decades into their career, grindcore torchbearers Napalm Death still mine and expose the depths of humanity in its true, savage form. Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism, the band's sixteenth studio LP and first since 2015's behemoth Apex Predator – Easy Meat, is another solid addition to their brutal catalogue.
Napalm Death's unmistakable aggression is kept dynamic through rampant drums and guitars and fierce screams, barks and otherworldly chants. Opener "Fuck the Factoid" is violently epic, with chants and charging blasts. The aptly titled "Backlash Just Because" delivers auditory whiplash with death bellows and whirling and chugging riffs. Napalm Death, masters of their craft, still deal out some of the deadliest hooks in heavy music, like those found on "Fluxing of the Muscle," "Acting in Gouged Faith" and "That Curse of Being in Thrall," to name a few.
Sociopolitical lyrical themes wrapped in caustic and cryptic language stoke the Napalm Death firestorm on Throes. Vocalist Barney Greenway often rips into songs like a raging bull coming out of the gates, and the rest of the band's inventiveness and intensity is always there to keep things interesting. Throughout the album, there are stylistic outliers that add some strange flavour to the collection, like the cavernous electro fury of "Joie De Ne Pas Vivre," the stomping alt-metal groove of "Amoral," the elongated grunts and mid-tempo grind of "Invigorating Clutch," and the booming, twinkling and chant-laden closer "A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen."
Always honing and building upon their sound, Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is an outstanding testament to Napalm Death's continued legend and evolution. (Century Media)