Napalm Death’s latest single, released on vinyl via Century Media, is sure to keep fans more than happy until late February when the full album, Utilitarian, is released.
Post-Lee-Dorian-era Napalm Death have never been a band to stray far from their sound and with Analysis Paralysis, Napalm show they aren’t about to change a habit of a life time. The track is full of edgy, harsh guitar courtesy of Mitch Harris’ unique riffcraft-manship and low thundering bass from long serving member Shane Embury. There is also the welcome return of the blast beat alongside the usual complex rhythms provided by drummer Danny Herrera. Over the top of this cacophony of sound are Barney, who once again delivers his trademark vocals, barking his way through another vicious sermon punctuated by Mitch Harris’ falsetto screamed backing vocals.
The song starts off with a tremolo picked riff with Barney repeating the track name before the band fully kicks in with the songs main riff. The chorus features a more pummelling typical Napalm chord progression with call and response vocals between Barney and Mitch before returning to the tremolo intro. The song then enters a sped up middle section with tremolo picked riffs offering a slightly less chaotic section to the song before returning with full force to the main riff and chorus sections to end the song in a whirling fury of grindcore perfection.
Throughout the track the musicianship is vicious and the band doesn’t let up until the final note has been played. This unrelenting aural assault coming from a band this late in their career is rare indeed and is more than welcome, especially in an era plagued with poor come back efforts from former greats and less than satisfactory efforts from bands half Napalm’s age.
The b-side of the single, Youth Offender, is a straight forward, heads down, grind track. Based around a simple punk-style chord progression, the track sounds more like late 80’s Napalm before they added more complex song structures and rhythms. This straight forward slab of grind brings a welcome change of pace to the varying tempos of the single. Having been recorded during a different session to the album the production is somewhat different. It’s a more natural sound, with less polish, which I think suits the band’s sound better.
Analysis Paralysis may not win any awards for originality but it will go down well with the fans and is enough to whet the appetite for the forth coming LP. Youth Offender is also a welcome addition to the Napalm back catalogue and, combined with the single, shows why they are still the world’s premier grind band after 25 years.