Napalm Death - _Order of the Leech_
(Snapper Music / Feto Records, 2002)
by: Jackie Smit (
Love or hate them, but few can refute the fact that Napalm Death are one of the most persistent and hard-working death metal bands in the scene today -– a point hammered home quite bluntly on 2000's outstanding _Enemy of the Music Business_. _Order of the Leech_ is the logical sequel to said album: faster, heavier and even more aggressive, showcasing a band who come across as commendably more vibrant and alive than probably ever before in their career. Layering the kind of intelligent socio-political lyrics that would make Jello Biafra proud over their frenetic deathgrind maelstrom, Napalm ignite proceedings with "The On-Going War on Stupidity" -– a brilliantly bludgeoning statement of intent. "Forced to Fear" proves that Napalm can easily hold their own next to math-metallers like The Dillinger Escape Plan, and "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" stands out easily as one of the most aggressive tunes you are likely to hear (possibly) in your life. Unlike _Enemy of the Music Business_ however, the disc does have its weaker moments. "Lower Yourself" for instance, while aiming its assault at a highly deserving British monarchy, is musically not much more than a semi-coherent mesh of ideas that never quite manage to gel. Ultimately though, _Order of the Leech_ is another great album -– a reliably Napalm Death album -– and one which any fan of the band is bound to lap up.[Matthias Noll: "If there ever was an extreme metal band that managed to rise from the dead after several disastrous albums, it has to be Napalm Death with their amazing _Enemy of the Music Business_. Fortunately, there are no signs on _Order of the Leech_ that Napalm Death will ever return to the mosh-core borefests of albums like _Inside the Torn Apart_. Barney and Co. grind on in a fashion which is similar to _EotMB_ but sometimes more dissonant and a good deal crustier and more like late '80s UK hardcore. Comparatively I find the songwriting on _EotMB_ a lot more interesting, and the artificial drum sound this time around tends to get on my nerves, but it's certainly good to see Napalm Death coming forward with an album that manages to crush a lot of the competition even if it's just good and not excellent."]
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