Napalm Death has been the forefront of the grindcore scene for a long time (a good 30 years). Recently (the last few releases) they have experimented more and more with a newer style. After writing the same style of music for so long you yearn to try something different, especially when its real fast and heavy grind (short songs at that too). Every release has gotten that taste and they move a bit further away from that sound. With “Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism” they go more avant garde/experimental and are still pretty heavy if you had any doubts. I haven’t loved everything they’ve released since last decade but you have to give them credit for going a different route after a long time. And you know what? I dig it, for variety’s sake. Not every old dog can learn a new trick, but in this case Napalm Death really turned my head yet again.
The riffs are a lot more interesting and wholesome to a guitarist like myself. You expect a ton of power chords and chugging on the low end in general with metal, but there’s some melody and licks in their riffs than what’s expected. Barney also does some more of that chanting style singing on some of the songs…..its definitely different. Don’t expect the late 80’s/early 90’s 15 track 40 minute traditional ND effort because you’ll be severely let down. The few tracks that really grind are 4ish minutes long but still go real hard, trust me. Think of it as like 5 grindcore songs in one song?
To say I’m honored is an understatement. I don’t enjoy a lot of grindcore and Napalm Death is the king. Their desire to expand is awesome and I think adding melody, different riffing, new vocal styles and rhythms that are just as groovy really hit home with me personally. I think I’ll consistently listen to this album in comparison to the last few releases (rarer listens for me). I still go back to the first handful of records and Utalitarian (my favorite “modern” Napalm Death release) for my ND fix. “Apex Predator” was a decent release and “Coded Smears” didn’t have a ton of replay value with me. I think “Throes” is a definite dynamic album hitting the grind and experimental side of the band that should please a lot of people.
Do they have a lot to live up to? They’e been around for so long they don’t have anything to prove other than they still have it. I think they do, but this is definitely their best release post 2000. A lot of their fans won’t love the new direction the band is taking but after you’ve been writing the same way for about 3 decades I would want something different as well. Definitely grab this beast tomorrow when it drops on September 18th.