Napalm Death – ‘Utilitarian’

Artwork for 'Utilitarian' by Napalm DeathA quarter of a century into their career, the godfathers of grindcore prove that they are still as acerbic, still as angry, still as pissed off – and, more to the point, still highly relevant –in their silver jubilee year.

This, their 14th album, was recorded against the backdrop of last year’s riots in various English cities and the rise of the ‘Occupy’ movement, the root causes of the both of which very much form the backdrop of the Death’s material, which basically continues to serve as a massive ‘fuck you’ middle finger to the establishment…

With 19 tracks spread across two LPs (or 16 on a single CD), this album is everything you would expect from the Birmingham quartet – Danny’s brutal breakdowns, Shane’s punishing bass work, Mitch’s grindhouse guitars mixing together elements of thrash (‘Protection Racket’ or ‘Fall On Their Swords’), classic punk (‘The Wolf I Feed’, ‘Quarantined’ or ‘Orders Of Magnitude’) and pure, glorious noise (‘Collision Course), all topped off Barney’s distinctive, snarling vocal vitriol and vicious lyrics (check out the likes of ‘Everyday Pox’, ‘Leper Colony’ or ‘A Gag Reflex’).

Many bands at this stage of their career are content to rest on past glories, staid and satisfied in the little groove they have notched out for themselves, but not Napalm Death. Most definitely not. They continue to push the boundaries of extreme music, in a positive and refreshing way, and ‘Utilitarian’ is very much an album of our times.


‘Utilitarian’ is out now on Century Media.

Visit Napalm Death’s official website at

About Mark Ashby

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