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EP Review: NAPALM DEATH Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes

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Napalm Death burn into 2022 with a nasty little nugget of an EP: Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes. Its verbose album title indicates that Resentment is an epilogue to their 2020 Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism, which made this author album of the year list. Resentment Is Always Seismic shakes the sonic Richter scale with its eight tracks and reminds one that Napalm Death, now in their fifth decade, remains furious and competitive to the younger extreme metal acts they helped inspire.

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The opener "Narcissus" comes to life with a murky bass riff. After the low-end buildup, the full band slithers in with a mid-paced hardcore rumble. You'll be ready to head bang when it hits. Trust me. The momentum quickly accelerates to a D-beat and blast-beat fueled frenzy to close out the song. "Narcissus" serves as an invigorating opener, certain to inspire continuous moshing upon live renditions.

Of course, their jovial vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway is the mouthpiece for the aggression on this mini–album. His vocals attack with demented purpose, but he also bellows out more than the typical cookie monster business. Case in point, the second track, "Resentment Always Simmers." This is slow burn of a track is one hell of an earworm. "Flaunt your resentment!" wallows Greenway, flanked by dissonant guitar twangs and methodical drum and bass. His voice fluctuates between singing and moaning, trailing off with a vibrato similar to Jello Biafra (who the band has worked with before).

They further dabble with industrial music in track three, a cover of "People Pie" by Slab! This number is a big departure from Napalm Death's harsher stylings. Its instrumentation consists of minimalist bass and drums, with more clean singing provided by Barney. This track even bursts out with gospel-style, feminine voice, which belts out those shimmery smooth notes for the finale of this song. It might be a first for Napalm Death, and it works.

"Man Bites Dogged" blasts back with Motörhead-style double bass pedal work, complimented by a thrashing guitar barrage of down-picked yarns and power chords. "Slaver Through Repeat Performance" twists with an intricate, Middle Eastern-flavored guitar melody. Again, Greenway's vocals shift between a sort of sustained Gregorian chant and screaming. This one careens between blast beat insanity and a disorienting shuffle step rhythm. I imagine this song sounds like what it must feel to try and mosh after riding the Gravitron at the state fair.

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Pay attention, or one might miss their grindcore-paced cover of "Don't Need It" by Bad Brains. It's only one minute long, and sounds a lot more like "Suffer The Children" than Bad Brains.

This record concludes with "Resentment is Always Seismic (Dark Sky Burial Dirge)," an atmospheric reworking of the opening track. Together, they serve as an alpha and omega to neatly booked this listening experience, and remain among this author's favorite parts of the album. Once more, Shane Embury's bass lines ring out with a slinky menacing tone. The drums clang with a dirty distortion, like they're being blasted from old speakers. And Barney's vocals wail the oft-repeated phrase, "Flaunt your resentment / resentment always simmers," as ethereal keyboards sparkle off in the background.

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<p>In a way, "resentment always simmes" reminds me of <strong>Lee Dorian</strong> screaming "your weak minds!" to hypnotic repetition on the introduction to 1988's <em>From Enslavement To Obliteration. </em>The comparison reveals <strong><a href=Napalm Death's evolution from their hardcore noise origins. It also shows how much of Napalm Death's original zest they've retained, despite personnel changes and differing musical influences.

So where does this album stand amid Napalm Death's considerable discography?

The only criticism this reviewer can really muster is this album's length. The cover songs, though somewhat entertaining choices, might also fall victim to the skip button after a listen or two.
Resentment Is Always Seismic might not be required listening, due to the dense catalogue of Napalm Death records it competes against. But ultimately, this appetizer of a record packs serious headbanging material. Napalm Death always simmers.

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