Napalm Death - _The Code Is Red... Long Live the Code_
(Century Media, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (9.5 out of 10)
What Napalm Death has managed to pull off successfully over the course of the last five years has simply been, in the grand scheme of things, an astonishing feat. After being widely declared as out for the count at the turn of the century, the band not only managed to resuscitate and thoroughly reinvigorate a career that had already spanned two decades, but they also succeeded in redefining themselves as one of the most vibrant and consistent forces that extreme music boasts in our present day and age. Consider the countless other acts who were once thought of as pioneers and are now little more than a hollow reminder of their former glory (Slayer, I'm looking at you) and the situation gains even more perspective.

_Enemy of the Music Business_ led the charge in 2001 -- a deft kick up the backside to any and all naysayers -- promptly followed by _Order of the Leach_, the existence of which could almost be entirely justified by the fact that, if nothing else, it proved that Napalm Death's second wind had not been a mere flash in the pan. Funny thing about momentum though: it has a way of wearing itself out, so for the band to truly solidify its comeback, the sequel was always going to be a crucial release. This would have been a daunting challenge by anyone's standards, but where lesser acts would falter, Napalm Death have made good with a record that's both gutsy and jaw-droppingly intense; filled with surprises as much as it manages to batter the listener into near-unconsciousness.

That Barney Greenway and Co are still just a touch discontent with the current state of the planet is crystal-clear from the moment that "The Silence Is Deafening" starts us off, but it's when Jello Biafra throws his lot in with the boys on "The Great and the Good" that you realize just how universal the band's blistering tirade has become. Indeed, the residue of hardcore and punk left in the wake of the band's two _Leaders Not Followers_ efforts rings loudly across the majority of the album's fourty five minutes. They even throw in a smattering or two of melody, the best example of which is possibly "Pledge Yourself to You", which also happens to feature ex-Carcass throat Jeff Walker in a rare recorded appearance.

There's an odd sort of irony to all of this though. For a record which aims its vitriol squarely at George W. Bush, it almost gives us a reason to thank old Dubya. Not only did he inspire a number of last year's finest releases, but he's provoked the kind of aggression and malice in Napalm Death that makes _The Code Is Red..._, in the humble opinion of this writer, the band's finest hour.


(article published 7/4/2005)

1/30/2009 J Smit Napalm Death: Silence the Tyrants
9/12/2006 J Smit Napalm Death: Blunt Against the Cutting Edge
5/13/2005 J Smit Napalm Death: Cause for Alarm
1/10/2001 P Schwarz Napalm Death: Killing Is the Business of Their Enemy
1/17/1996 A Bromley Napalm Death: On A New Plane of Existence
1/23/2009 J Smit 10 Napalm Death - Time Waits for No Slave
8/22/2006 J Smit 9 Napalm Death - Smear Campaign
7/29/2004 J Smit 8 Napalm Death - Leaders Not Followers 2
6/23/2003 J Smit 9 Napalm Death - Order of the Leech
11/20/2000 P Schwarz 9.5 Napalm Death - Enemy of the Music Business
5/19/1999 A Bromley 8 Napalm Death - Words From the Exit Wound
9/1/1998 A Wasylyk 8 Napalm Death - Bootlegged in Japan
5/13/1997 A Bromley 8 Napalm Death - Inside the Torn Apart
2/5/1997 A Bromley 8 Napalm Death - Breed To Breathe
12/13/1995 G Filicetti 8 Napalm Death - Greed Killing
1/16/1999 P Azevedo Cradle of Filth / Napalm Death / Borknagar The Smell of Napalm in the Dark
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