One year after their debut with the shocking “Scum”, NAPALM DEATH return to the scene with “From Enslavement To Obliteration”, with an almost totally new line-up and decided to adopt an ultra fast and aggressive style, leaving behind the strong Punk elements of their previous album and demos era.
Only the drummer Mick Harris remained in the band, as the vocalist Nick Bullen left the fields and Justin Broadrick walked away to create the groundbreaking GODFLESH and so it was necessary to organize a new formation, that in this case was in a 100% compromised with Metal.
The structure is rather similar to that in “Scum”, with 27 songs in 30 minutes and anti-system attitude, but in terms of musical quality this is just far, FAR ahead. The hostile, mind-corroding atmosphere is anguishing and it’s only necessary to look at the guy on the cover art, hands to face and with a dreadful expression of despair to see the feelings produced by “From Enslavement To Obliteration”. The drums are furious, the distorted bass is chainsaw-like and well, Lee Dorrian’s vocals are sinister, ripping and extremely aggressive and low.
If “Scum” was made as an ideological manifesto rather than a musical concept, with their second album NAPALM DEATH demonstrated that they are for big creative things, with probably the most furious album to 1988 but adopting at the same time a coherent structure, with songs extraordinary to headbang and a dismembering ambient that needed an intelligent construction to be built.
The lyrical part is also highly improved here and while in their debut they were in some way innocent here they’re thoughtful and even philosophical, but the spirit of “everything is wrong nowadays” is kept alive. And well, reading them makes you feel that things hadn’t been improved a lot since the late 80s when this shit was written.
If you’re one of those who think that Grindcore is CARCASS and its heretic branch and it has to sing about gore and mutilations, punish yourself and then go to get “From Enslavement To Obliteration”, because it represents just the quintessence of what this style should be about and you just won’t find it far better than this. (Online February 17, 2006)