Napalm Death - Enemy of the Music Business
Spitfire Records
Brutal Death/Grind
14 songs (48'35")
Release year: 2000
Napalm Death, Spitfire Records
Reviewed by Adam
Archive review
Some bands need a target to focus their energy against. More simply put, some bands just sound better when they are pissed off at something or someone and release this emotion into their music. One example would be Ministry. They were always at their best when they had a conservative US President to lyrically and musically assault. With 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business, extreme metal legends Napalm Death (another politically minded outfit) made themselves a prime example of this line of thought. The band’s not so harmonious split with longtime label Earache Records provided them with all the vitriol they needed to release one of their most intense and aggressive albums, quite a feat for a band based on a history of brutal output.

Some fans, and many critics, had begun to grow tired of the increased experimentation supposedly prevalent on the Napalm Death albums of the late 90’s. I, for one, never saw what the big problem was, though I will admit that this trio of albums (1996’s Diatribes, 1997’s Inside the Torn Apart, and 1998’s Words from the Exit Wound) are further down my list of favorite Napalm Death albums and I do catch a little of the lack of an inspired attitude that they were criticized for on these efforts. That said, if there is one thing you can’t say about Enemy of the Music Business, it would be that it suffers from a lack of intensity or inspired tone. This is the band at their most unrelenting, unleashing wave after wave of pummeling death metal blast beats to complement Barney Greenway’s signature visceral vocal grunts. This album really sets the tone for the Napalm Death sound you hear today (not to mention it marked the return of the much better band logo). From the opening barrage of Taste the Poison, the band’s anger is expertly projected, giving their tried and true extreme sound even more power. Even when the riffs are slowed to a near groove, as in Next on the List, the effect is still the same. Jesse Pintado (in his farewell performance) and Mitch Harris combine to unleash some of the better riffs in their history, from the aforementioned groove of Next on the List to the machine gun charge of Necessary Evil. The latter is the highlight of the album. Seriously, if you consider yourself a death metal fan, I double dog dare you to listen to this song and not bang your head along with the main riff. It is really that good. Also of note is the drum sound, which is damn near perfect. Danny Herrera does a fantastic job behind the kit, and his bashing tempo is at the perfect volume in the mix to maximize the punishing sound, and the speed and precision with which he plays will force any listener to take notice. (The Public Gets) What the Public Doesn’t Want is a prime showcase the entire Herrera repertoire on this album, equal parts blast beats and pummeling fills.

Napalm Death always had politics to rant about, and they still do to an extent on this album (see the not so subtly titled C.S. (Conservative Shithead), Pt. 2 and Constitutional Hell). However, their fury was magnified as they found a new enemy, which the title should make obvious. This additional villain in their world ups the ante and gives us lucky listeners a tour de force in Enemy of the Music Business. Perhaps we should be thanking Earache Records.
Killing Songs :
Necessary Evil, Next on the List, (The Public Gets) What the Public Doesn't Want
Adam quoted 88 / 100
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Napalm Death that we have reviewed:
Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Napalm Death - Utilitarian reviewed by Charles and quoted 95 / 100
Napalm Death - Inside the Torn Apart reviewed by Adam and quoted 71 / 100
Napalm Death - Diatribes reviewed by Goat and quoted 58 / 100
Napalm Death - Words from the Exit Wound reviewed by Adam and quoted 74 / 100
To see all 17 reviews click here
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