Friday, November 8, 2013

... NAPALM CHRIST '2013 demo' (Review)

Napalm Christ (what a cool band name) formed in 2009. Their members are or were involved in several other bands like Shitfire, Shredded Corpse, and Rwake… Their 2013 Demo is their first release (as digital download and/or cassette through Goatprayer Records.

What the four guys from Little Rock/Arkansas have accomplished here, and most humbly call 2013 Demo, is an utterly refreshing mixture of grinding, crust HC, death, sludge and doom metal.
Refreshing it is especially, because the six songs on the album (seven on the cassette version) are so very diverse and the style of combining the different elements is so unique.They don’t simply throw them all together into a cauldron and stir and boil them to one clump. Instead all is dispersed in unequal lots to the songs to give each a different taste of atmosphere. The same attitude goes for each single song. The different stylistic elements are distinguishable which provides surprising and exciting twists and jolts.
And this goes ab initio when the slow heavy sludge intro of the first song bursts into a fast paced death metal part all of a sudden. Several twists in mood and tempo happen here until the song ends slow and doomy to return to the atmosphere of its beginning.

Extreme changes in mood, tempo and style is a main feature that leads through the entire album. The longer the song, the more and the wider the range of the changes. And even in their respective length the songs vary a lot, the shortest being 1:40, the longest 9:23 minutes (the total runtime of the album is 33:29 or 36:00 minutes resp.).

But despite all skittishness and ostensible chaos this is never escalating into self-indulgence. Instead Napalm Christ’s careful and tight songwriting an overall brilliant musicianship, including their ability to play off each other perfectly, make this all come together quite natural, make it accessible and memorable and remain exciting and enjoyable from its beginning to its end…. and again!

words by Ulla Roschat

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