Napalm Death

Napalm Death

Inside the Torn Apart

Earache

Since its inception in the early ’80s, grindcore-pioneering Napalm Death was a band in perpetual refinement, subsequently pushing the envelope with nearly every record it released. Hitting its apex with the frenetic, angular urgency of 1994’s Fear, Emptiness, Despair , Napalm Death has been in a slow, subtle decline since then.

Far from being a poor record, Inside the Torn Apart is the sound of complete exhaustion. Not too far removed from the classy but routine death metal gallop of 1990’s Harmony Corruption , Inside the Torn Apart unceremoniously rehashes every other riff the band has churned out the past ten years to less-than-stellar effect. The band’s formerly trademark blast-beats rarely enter into the equation, but when they do, they lack almost all bearing of logic. Frontman Barney Greenway predictably grunts ‘n’ growls lyrics that decry greed, technological control, and social alienation, all tired subjects the band has treaded upon for far too long. Just a notch above the critically blasted Harmony Corruption , most of Inside the Torn Apart invokes a feeling that the band has finally accepted self-parody and has kicked into irony-overdrive.

Not all of Inside the Torn Apart is a lost cause, though. A few ace tracks (“Next of Kin to Chaos,” “Trio-Degradable/Affixed by Disconcern,” and “None the Wiser?”) coexist with all the monochromatic drudgery, but, sadly, the end result is just too little too late.

By all means, Inside the Torn Apart would be a top-notch record for most other metal bands, but when Napalm Death’s once furtive past is taken into account, all that’s left to do at the end of the day is shrug your shoulders in solemn defeat. In sum, too much progression ultimately results in more blatant regression.

Earache America, 295 Lafayette St, Ste 915, New York, NY 10012-2700; http://www.earache.com

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