From Enslavement To Obliteration review by Napalm Death

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1988
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (2 votes)
Napalm Death: From Enslavement To Obliteration

Sound — 8
From Enslavement To Obliteration is Napalm Death's second full length release, and the final album with Bill Steer (Guitar) and Lee Dorrian (Vocals). The only other Napalm studio material these two performed on were side B of the debut album Scum and the Mentally Murdered EP that followed FETO. The songs are driven by Mick Harris' intense drumming style and Steer's signature riffage. The music contains elements of doom, hardcore/thrash breaks, and total blastbeat madness. Steer's distortion on this album is essentially a wall of sound, and is a key component in the album's sound. The drums have a somewhat fake sound, but it really doesn't detract much from the music. The bass tone is very deep and distorted, and it really brings out the ripping guitar (although if used in a different setting I don't think it would work at all). From Enslavement To Obliteration boasts 27 songs (The last 5 being from The Curse EP) and clocks in at 34:18. It is a vicious slab of grind that will burst your eardrums and have you coming back for more.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics may shock you, as they are very well written and intelligent. It's hard to imagine that a band that most would classify as "noise" would be able to express their thoughts and opinions in such a manner, especially with Lee Dorrian's indecipherable vocals. His voice ranges from a commanding bark to midrange yells and primal screeches. His vocals bring an energy to the band that I feel replacing vocalist Barney Greenway lacks, as Barney tends to just rely on his somewhat monotone growls. Dorrian delivers a performance on this album that is easily in the top 10 most brutal metal vocals on an album, and this coupled with the strongly written lyrics pushes me to give this section a perfect rating. These are easily the best grindcore vocals ever put to tape.

Overall Impression — 9
In my opinion, this album is Napalm's finest, and (in my book) is tied with Terrorizer's World Downfall for best grindcore album. I hate to write a review that gushes over how great an album is, but this album is deserving of it. I've listened to it many, many times and it has yet to become tiring. I really hope that this lineup can reunite for a tour, or even just one show, so the world could be ground to bits once more. Until (or if) that time comes, we have this awesome, awesome album to enjoy. "In our ruthless search for prosperity we become the tools of our own oppression, forming the backbone of a society that thrives on mass division. From enslavement... To obliteration..."

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This album is great, but the Peel Sessions (later, The Complete BBC Sessions) CD is the most brutal thing this lineup ever did. A masterpiece.