You cannot bring up grind-core without mentioning its godfathers Napalm Death, who ostensibly created the genre over 30 years ago. With Apex Predator – Easy Meat, they show zero signs of stopping, and it is obvious that they do not plan to release their hold on being at the top of the genre they helped create. Very few bands can be sixteen albums into their career and still release a gripping, face-crushing and brutal album as this but Napalm Death do it with the ferocity of a band that is still in its youth and not three decades into its storied career.
Barney Greenway remains one of the best vocalists in metal, his frothy, hate fueled style permeates the music, leaving the listener pounded by line after line of exacting political critique. His lyricism is on top form here, with songs like ‘Smash a single digit’ referencing corporate greed and its capability to destroy the “single digits” in the world. The haunting opener and title track paints a terrifying picture, the worlds apex predators; humanity, who are also just as easily, meat for the slaughter. Lines in songs like ‘How The Years Condemn’ are catchier than they have any right to be, Greenway delivers powerful screams along with spoken word choruses, with an occasional chanted or partly sung moment that adds an element of horror to the already powerful music.
The riffs on Apex Predator – Easy Meat are eviscerating, causing immediate and necessary movement of the head on the part of the listener. ‘Smash A Single Digit’ and ‘Cesspits’ featuring some highlights on an album full of massive, bone-crushing guitar work. Where Napalm Death excels is ferocity but their approach is measured, Apex Predator – Easy Meat features a bevy of variety with moments of brevity that add atmosphere and lulls in the onslaught presented here. Songs feel full and complete and the album is a cohesive whole, deftly avoiding the trappings of so many grind albums with songs so short they lack staying power and album lengths barely breaking double digits.
Apex Predator – Easy Meat is the kind of album that lends itself to pure metal destruction and quiet contemplation. It will stir the pits into a previously unseen fervor while providing interesting and though provoking subject matter, that will stick with listeners willing to dig deeper. It is an album that transcends grind-core, allowing anyone who truly gives it a chance to have a great experience with a powerful piece of music. Napalm Death have created one of their best albums with Apex Predator – Easy Meat, and another one of 2015’s forseeable best.