Sound — 9
Third studio album released by Napalm Death, in 1990. Honestly, I feel that sometimes, this album is really underrated. For starting, in this album is where Napalm Death's classic lineup started (with the exception of Mick Harris, who would leave after this album). It is the first album to feature Mark "Barney" Greenway as the vocalist and Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado as guitarists. Really a turning point in the band's career. In this album, Napalm Death also starts mixing their grindcore roots with many death metal elements (John Tardy of Obituary and Glen Benton of Deicide sings here on "Unfit Earth", I think this is a good enough proof of what I'm talking about). While their previous two albums basically consisted of 1 minute and a half pure grindcore storms blasting through your ears, in this album the band plays more complex stuff, featuring various riffs and song structures. The production here also gives it an amazing death metal atmosphere, and is arguably way better than in any of their previous albums. To be honest, I think this album is a unique moment in Napalm Death's career, since the band would gradually return to pure grindcore stuff in later releases.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrics on this album are just the usual great stuff that you can expect from Napalm Death. They approach themes like alienation, political issues, and you know, always fiercely criticising stuff like the government system and capitalism. You can check it out in songs like "Suffer The Children" and "Circle Of Hypocrisy". And, while I assume that its getting repetitive to cite their death metal influence on this record, I think this is worth of being said: there's also usual death metal stuff like pain and doom, like in "Vision Conquest" and "Unfit Earth". As for the vocals, like I've said before, this is the first Napalm Death album to feature Barney Greenway on vocals, and I think that he did a great job here, just like in all Napalm Death albums. Napalm Death had 3 vocalists in 2 studio releases, and here, they really found the right person to perform the vocal duties. His vocals are just insane death metal growls, and he manages to maniacally sing the lyrics and still make them understandable, which is something that the previous 3 Napalm Death vocalists missed. I think this is a good thing, because Napalm's lyrics are really interesting and and worth of being heard more clearly.
Overall Impression — 9
So, like I've said before, I think this album is really underrated. One of the finest albums in Napalm Death's career. In this album, I would point "If The Truth Be Known", "Unfit Earth" and "Malicious Intent" as the most impressive songs, but honestly, I think I can point any song here on this record as awesome, except for the last song, the bonus track "Hiding Behind", that I don't really like, but that's just my opinion, of course. This is an extreme music classic, which is just a must have for any fan of grindcore or death metal. I will totally buy this again if it gets lost or something.