Scum review by Napalm Death

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1987
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (9 votes)
Napalm Death: Scum
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Sound — 9
First full-lenght album by grindcore legends Napalm Death, released in 1987 through Earache Records. Well, if you're not familiar to grindcore, don't start with this album. Don't get me wrong, really: this is one of my favorite albums by Napalm Death. But it will just sound batsh-t crazy to you. Or you will instantly fall in love with it, who knows? Well, what I know is that this album is one of the craziest things that I ever heard. Well, you take some really insane drumming, filled with hardcore beats, but mostly with blast beats. Then, amazing, crushing riffs (there's no guitar solos here at all) and competent bass lines and add a really poor production to it. The result is: "Scum". Most of the songs here does not even run at 2 minute long. Songs just starts, then a storm fills your ears for 30 seconds, 1 minute or 1:30, and then it's gone. I really love how it is just quick and straight to the point. Funny thing: Side A and Side B features completely different lineups (except for drummer Mick Harris). Honestly, Side A wins me because of some tunes like "Instinct Of Survival" and "Human Garbage", but Side B is just as good. Awesome classic.

Lyrics — 9
Lyrics on this album are really interesting. Actually, Napalm Death always been really good at it. Most of the lyrics fiercely criticise corruption, alienation and errors in the government system. That's why I like some of their songs from this album better in their demo, "Hatred Surge". They're clearly more comprehensible in there, and I really think they're really interesting and worth of being heard more clearly. Not saying in any way that I don't like the vocal performances from Nicholas Bullen (Side A) and Lee Dorrian (Side B), though. They're just vary between crazy death metal influenced growls and some quick, sudden shrieks. Totally insane.

Overall Impression — 9
Well, that's it. Like I've said, I would not recommend this album to someone not familiar to grindcore. I would recommend you to check first some of their later albums, like "Harmony Corruption" and "Utopia Banished", then this one. But, if you're familiar to grindcore, you probably know what we're talking about here. Indeed, a milestone in extreme music and a groundbreaking album for grindcore. Just one of the pillars of the genre. I would say that my favorite ones here are currently "Instinct Of Survival" and "Human Garbage", but there's many other interesting songs here, like the title track and "Siege Of Power", just for an example. I would totally buy it again if I lost it or something.

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