01. Weltschmerz 02. Sink Fast, Let Go 03. Fatalist 04. Puritanical Punishment Beating 05. When All Is Said And Done 06. Freedom Is The Wage Of Sin 07. In Deference 08. Short-Lived 09. Identity Crisis 10. Shattered Existence 11. Eyes Right Out 12. Wapred Beyond Logic 13. Rabid Wolves (For Christ) 14. Deaf and Dumbstruck (Intelligent Design) 15. Persona Non Grata 16. Smear Campaign2006 Century Media Records
by Rob McFeters
I've always liked Napalm Death, and unlike many people, I have no problem with their mid-to-late nineties stint with more mid-tempo, groove-oriented metal. Actually, I've enjoyed all the shifts of sound Napalm Death has executed. This could very well be the reason I enjoy their newest album Smear Campaign. I suppose Napalm Death's last few albums have been more of a return to their roots, with an updated twist, and I have to say that I've loved that as well. 2005's The Code is Red... Long Live the Code is one of the best grindcore albums that I've heard in years. With Smear Campaign, these English gentlemen have melded different aspects of their musical past to create one of their best albums to date. This new record combines their grindcore roots, older death metal elements, and heavy groove. It's as if they've mixed the updated grindcore sound from Order of the Leech, elements from Harmony Corruption, and serious groove from Inside the Torn Apart. While the emphasis is still on their grindcore roots, Smear Campaign might be the most dynamic Napalm Death album ever released. For a band to kick out such furious music as long as these guys have, I am almost in awe that Napalm Death still sounds relevant and continues to smash everything in their way. To my ears, it sounds like the music keeps getting heavier with more time that goes by. For a good example, check out the track "Puritanical Punishment Beating," where the listener will find everything Napalm Death can do smashed into one song. Napalm Death chose to again tap producer Russ Russel. Russel has helped on the band with recent albums, and the sound of Smear Campaign is completely Napalm Death. Whatever chemistry these guys have with Russel, it certainly seems to work, because I have loved the production on the last few Napalm Death records and this is no different. Bottom Line: While Napalm Death has been cranking out serious grindcore and metal for years and years now, they haven't slowed down a bit. Smear Campaign is a testament to the band's drive and power. This album could be one of the best of Napalm Death's career.