Napalm Death - Utopia Banished
It's funny that for being the band credited with creating the grindcore genre, veteran UK band Napalm Death has only made about 3 proper grind records. The 90's were an interesting time for the once young and crust covered Napalm Death. HEAVY line-up changes and an already rapidly changing musical landscape put the band in a bit of a interesting spot. By now, grindcore and death metal were in full swing and there was no going back now after the blast hit. However it was still a few years before these heavier genres would reach the mainstream. Napalm Death had already made the big change into writing death metal songs, (longer tracks, more intricate riffs and less blast beats), with the 1990 album Harmony Corruption. Their style was becoming more palatable for metal fans as opposed to speed obsessed punks. Utopia Banished, which was released two years later, shows the band in a period where they were starting to experiment more while pushing themselves compositionally. More odd time signatures start showing up, more tempo shifts, dynamics and grooves. Honestly, I enjoy this album quite a bit more than Harmony Corruption, which to me just sounds like an attempt at writing a brutal death metal record without the memorability or punch it needs. Tracks on Utopia Banished like "I Abstain" and "Dementia Access" are top ND songs and overall the album is faster and feels much more inspired. Jesse Pintado and Mick Harris were a match made in riff-writing heaven laying down some seriously blood pumping and earwormy riffs! Utopia Banished is probably in my top 5 Napalm Death albums and it's well worth your time, obviously. (VII)
Check out a track here.