NAPALM DEATH — Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (review)

NAPALM DEATH — Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism album cover Album · 2020 · Grindcore Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism" is the 17th full-length studio album by UK grindcore/death metal act Napalm Death. The album was released through Century Media Records in September 2020. It´s the successor to "Apex Predator - Easy Meat" from 2015 and although the album doesn´t feature any lineup changes guitarist Mitch Harris member status is a bit uncertain at this point. Harris has not played live with Napalm Death for some years, and he and his family moved back to his hometown Las Vegas from the UK, where they had lived for almost two decades. So although he plays on "Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism", nothing is certain at this point regarding his future in Napalm Death.

Stylistically "Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism" is one of the more varied Napalm Death releases, featuring both blasting grindcore/hardcore tracks, industrial tinged deathgrind/death metal tracks, and even a few experimental tracks, which honestly took me a little off-guard. A reaction I´m sure Napalm Death would find delightful, as they have always set out to challenge their audience and themselves. "Joie de ne pas vivre" is for example Napalm Death as I have never heard them before. It´s a strongly Swans influenced track featuring a bleak industrial atmosphere. Other standout tracks are "Amoral" and "A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen", which sound like they are influenced by artists like Head of David/Godflesh and Killing Joke. So while Napalm Death still blast away when that is called for, "Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism" is one of the most diverse albums in their discography. They even touch semi-melodic territory on the choruses of "Fuck the Factoid" and "Contagion". The lyrical content is as always politically charged and lashing out at the social and political issues and injustices of the world.

The album features a heavy, dark, and detailed sounding prodction, which suits the material well. So upon conclusion "Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism" is another high quality release in a long line of high quality releases by Napalm Death. It even stands out a bit more than many of their preceding post-2000 releases and there is a good chance it´s one of the band´s releases which will be mentioned among their standout albums in the future. Not necessarily because it´s a greater album than the direct predecessors, but because the diversity of the album makes it a little more memorable than some of the more relentlessly aggressive and energetic releases of the past. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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UMUR wrote:
16 days ago
Definitely one of the most diverse Napalm Death albums. I´m still not sure I enjoy all the directions they take the album in, but I´m sure It´ll grow on me further through the years.
Tupan wrote:
17 days ago
I simply love the variety of sounds in this album. It was my AOTY in 2020.

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