A Riff-Infused Strive Towards Justice: NAPALM DEATH - Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism

Shining a light on continuous disparities through boundless aggression as always.

Photograph by Gobinder Jhitta

With the daily occurrences of the contemporary world, there have been bands aplenty rising out of the woodworks to share their message. As great as that may seem, not all happen to do so in a musically sound way. Leave it to NAPALM DEATH to maintain the standard for excellence with Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism. Arriving on September 18th via Century Media Records, Throes proves to be a juggernaut of grind to strive for, all the while driving forth a cry for righteousness. Whether you agree with their lyrical content or not, there's no denying that what Barney Greenway, Shane Embury, Mitch Harris, and Danny Herrera have crafted here is truly exemplary.


Throes comes five years from the beast of Apex Predator - Easy Meat (2015) and is here educate and enforce from the get go. Album opener Fuck The Factoid erupts with turbulence and forces us down an angular Harris riff fest, a fest present throughout this 12-track outing. Add a blood curling vocal performance by the mighty Greenway and you're set for the treacherous listening experience that follows.


As great as one can attest the lead singles to be, none match the greatness of Fluxing of the Muscle, a track characterized by an electrifying opening riff that stays steady through the course. Herrera sets the pulse with a razor sharp drum performance that explodes on moments notice while Greenway's bass rumbles underneath. That Curse of Being in Thrall is another barn burner that stands a testament to the band's grind prowess. It takes but 1 second into the track for the Harris and Herrera guitar/drum duo to kick off another roaring performance.


Though the record may seem overwhelmingly aggressive, there are slight moments of ease with tracks that present a variety in composition, the likes of which include the hard-rock Amoral, Invigorating Clutch, and the industrial leaning A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen. They remain aggressive at heart, but they introduce external elements that speak volumes of Embury's compositional capabilities as each track flows seamlessly among the pummeling pace of their neighbors.


The diversity in structure is embodied within a striking cover that made many turn their heads upon first glance. Art is always open to interpretation and though we've formed our own opinion of the bloody dove, there's no denying the obvious symbolism here. From Jeff Steer's controversial Scum (1987) to the gruesome Rob Middleton illustration for Utopia Banished (1992), NAPALM has never played it safe when it comes to their visual approach and Throes Of Joy is frankly no exception. It encompasses the same visceral nature as that of their riffs, doing right by the record in bloody fashion and sparking a curiosity that allows one to engage with the material on a deeper level.


For a band as established as NAPALM DEATH, one could phone it in and call it a day with a record that simply follows a formula. However, Throes Of Joy strays from ease and finds them at an elite level of musicianship, further cementing NAPALM's place in metal's rich history at a time where their music isn't just welcome, but needed.

Throes of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism arrives on September 18th via Century Media and you can pre-order your copy of the record HERE.


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