January 11, 2014


The Peel Sessions (1989)

Put it this way; I used to listen to this cassette on mornings I had to get up at the asscrack of dawn to go to work at a job I hated, and it woke my sleepy ass up faster than caffeine ever did. Within the first few blasts of noise, I mean songs, yet. And I mean blasts of noise in the best possible way, as this is grind at its purest and most undiluted. The late, great John Peel somehow managed to capture the rawest of the raw in aural form, as this album sounds like it was recorded in a garage, with trashy drums, ultra-grungy downtuned guitar and obscenely fuzzed-out bass, and Lee Dorrian's vokills right in your ear like he's screaming and roaring right next to you. And it is a brilliant representation of what Napalm were about "back in the day".

From blasts of sound only a few seconds long to (slightly) more coherent attempts at songs, alll the great classic ND stuff is here on display; "The Kill", "Lucid Fariytale", "Instinct of Survival" (featuring Mickey's most deranged whirlwind screams ever), their choice cover of Siege's "Walls", "Deceiver" (which blatantly rips off the intro riff of Repulsion's "The Stench of Burning Flesh") , it is all here, all good, and all GRIND. Lee sounds like he's demonically possessed here on every tune (he has never done it for me in Cathedral, I have to say, after hearing all this especially), and Mickey's trademark bloodcurdling "whirlwind screams" will make you cringe in terror.

Many (if not most) of these songs sound alike, but at this insanely, impossibly high level of energy and intensity who cares? And this album WILL get your blood rushing, your heart pounding, and you ecstatically screaming your head off every second of the roughest ride you will *ever* experience. Who cares if you can't understand a word they're saying, this is the best representation of ND you will get at their noisiest and most sense-obliterating and cardiac-arrest-inducing before they toned it down a little in favor of a more metal-influenced direction musically. Get this and know what true devastation is.
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