Napalm Death – Electric Brixon, London (08/03/24)

Napalm Death – Electric Brixon, London (08/03/24)

11th March 2024 0 By Dan Peeke

Napalm Death and Cattle Decapitation playing on the same night, at the same time, in the same
city, could’ve been a recipe for disaster. Either the audience is divided and both shows
undersell, or London is hit with a spree of cloning and time travel attempts. But instead, we’re
met with concrete proof that the extreme metal scene is thriving. Both shows are completely
sold out.

The crowd slowly makes their way into Electric Brixon as stunningly heavy Singaporean
grindcore band Wormrot blast beat their way through their short, sharp set. Primitive Man lies on
the opposite end of the tempo spectrum, with their black metal-inspired doom blowing the heads
off of even those most accustomed to their wall of sound approach. Minutes of improvised noise
are difficult to mosh to, but the crowd made it work.

The presence of American grindcore outfit Pig Destroyer is what convinced me to head
to Brixton instead of Islington tonight, and they didn’t disappoint. They carefully focus their setlist
on their two best albums, Terrifyer and Prowler In The Yard. The first six tracks are taken from
the 2004 effort, with rip-roaring, one-minute brutality coming from ‘Scarlet Hourglass’ and ‘The
Gentleman’. They then drop a variety of newer tracks throughout the middle of the set, before
returning to their menacing second album for iconic tracks like ‘Trojan Whore’, ‘Piss Angel’ and
‘Junkyard God’. It’s technical, heavy, and terrifying. Though they do finish five minutes earlier
than scheduled, they could’ve played two more albums in that time.

Napalm Death are probably the most recognizable grindcore band of all time and for good
reason. Their signature blend of crust punk and death metal elements has always been
groundbreaking, and has allowed them to tour and record for 40 years while also appearing live
in places you might not expect, such as Glastonbury Festival, and oh so nearly the Victoria &
Albert Museum.

Electric Brixton feels like more of a natural home for the band and tracks like ‘From
Enslavement To Obliteration’ and ‘Next On The List’ sound huge and crushingly heavy within its
walls. The crowd is enthusiastic and varied, and completely nonplussed when Barney
Greenwood’s mic malfunctions just seconds after they take to the stage. He takes it in his stride
and is quickly prowling the stage like a demented Jarvis Cocker.

Their most recent album, Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism, is arguably their most death
metal-aligned, and the true power of their ultra-dissonant technicality comes through on
tracks like ‘Contagion’ and ‘Fuck The Factoid’. Long-serving bassist Shane Embury’s talent is
particularly clear, with his right hand moving blisteringly fast as he shreds surprisingly high up
the neck of his instrument. These newer tracks also serve as a testament to Barney’s voice,
which has only become more powerful over the years.

At the same time, tracks from Scum are still as sharp as ever. ‘Scum’, ‘M.A.D.’ and ‘Success?’
are all played back to back, and offer a groovy and grating few minutes of dirty noise. And of
course, no Napalm Death show is complete without the full, record-breaking 1.316 seconds of
‘You Suffer’. It might’ve been recorded 37 years ago, but it hasn’t aged a day. After a quick blast
of deep cut ‘Dead’, they round things off with their cover of American punk band Dead
Kennedy’s track ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’, and the slow sludge of 1992’s ‘Contemptuous’. All is
It might be frustrating that Cattle Decapitation is playing on the same night, at the same time,
in the same city, but they wouldn’t been playing at all if it weren’t for Napalm Death.
Napalm Death Set List

From Enslavement to Obliteration
Taste the Poison
Next on the List
Continuing War on Stupidity
The Wolf I Feed
Resentment Always Simmers
That Curse of Being in Thrall
It’s a M.A.N.S. World!
Backlash Just Because
Fuck the Factoid
Suffer the Children
When All Is Said and Done
You Suffer
Metaphorically Screw You
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)
Instinct of Survival

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