Sunday, 2 April 2017

Napalm Death "The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code" (2005)

It not the first time we've talked the legendary Napalm Death and it wont be the last! Hoping around through their discography we arrive at the bands eleventh full length and the first of three successive records that have received significant critical praise. Somehow the band continuously reinvent their frenetic, invigorating sound over and over and without loosing the intensity or excitement these octane riff fests bring. "The Code" is a moment where their sound comes full circle, feeling closer to their original Grindcore chaos without the tropes of Groove and Death Metal becoming a stylistic determinant in the wake of guitar led violence.

Riff eccentric and structured as such the album rolls through the motions in a constant state of alert as riff after riff perpetuates a dizzying unleashing of ferocious anger directed at the path of the listener. Its on a war path and your standing in the way, the drums bearing down around the rhythm guitar with a consistent battering on the snare and blast beats thunder between high tempo grooves. There is little break from this formula, a very occasional tempo slowing and winding down of the thrashing lets you come to the surface for the occasional gasp of air.

Vocalist Barney is right on the mark with the voice of fury and frustration, leading the charge with savage barks, shouts and growls. On the records opener he utilizes a memorable bellowing ewww scream that gets me every time, wish he'd pulled that card a few more time as it has a true distinction to it. A couple of guest vocals add some spice, Jello Biaffra of Dead Kennedys and Lard makes a decorative feature but its Barney who takes the work load.

The records mix and tone is fantastic, getting an apatite amount of clarity from each of the instruments, finding the right spaces for them to collide, keeping the overwhelming wall of sound in just the right measure for it to retain its edge. Like most Napalm records it comes down to another riff fest of sliding power chords and evil tremolo picking. In this case all the stars align for perhaps their most consistent if not a personal favorite. The closer "Morale" showcases the bands musical talent with a slower, atmospheric track and Barney's archaic chanting leaves one wondering why they don't do more of this, they can certainly pull of more than the deathgrind they have become masters of.

Favorite Tracks: Silence Is Deafening, The Code Is Red... Long Live The Code, The Great And The Good, Pledge Yourself To You, Losers, Morale
Rating: 8/10