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3.84 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Grindcore


1. Evolved as One (3:13)
2. It's a M.A.N.S World! (0:53)
3. Lucid Fairytale (1:00)
4. Private Death (0:35)
5. Impressions (0:35)
6. Unchallenged Hate (2:07)
7. Uncertainty Blurs the Vision (0:40)
8. Cock-Rock Alienation (1:20)
9. Retreat to Nowhere (0:30)
10. Think for a Minute (1:42)
11. Display to Me... (2:44)
12. From Enslavement to Obliteration (1:36)
13. Blind to the Truth (0:21)
14. Social Sterility (1:03)
15. Emotional Suffocation (1:06)
16. Practice What You Preach (1:21)
17. Inconceivable? (1:06)
18. Worlds Apart (1:16)
19. Obstinate Direction (0:58)
20. Mentally Murdered (2:13)
21. Sometimes (1:06)
22. Make Way! (1:36)
23. Musclehead (0:50)
24. Your Achievement (0:06)
25. Dead (0:05)
26. Morbid Deceiver (0:45)
27. The Curse (3:17)

Total Time: 34:18


- Bill Steer / Guitars
- Shane Embury / Bass
- Lee Dorrian / Vocals
- Mick Harris / Drums

About this release

Full-length, Earache Records
September 16th, 1988

Recorded And Mixed At Birdsong, Worchester.
Engineered By Steve Bird.
Produced By Napalm Death And Dig.
Front Art By Mark Sikora.
Mastered By Mike Marsh At The Exchange, London.

Thanks to UMUR for the updates


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Earache UK 2008
$10.43 (used)
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Japanese Import 2003
$16.94 (used)
From Enslavement to Obliteration by Napalm Death (2012-04-10)From Enslavement to Obliteration by Napalm Death (2012-04-10)
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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
It's a familiar story. Four young men with astounding clarity of vision are brought together by the spirit of creative lifeforce and combine their common love of music, in the process recording an album which becomes a yardstick for a genre, the starting point for a new musical movement, an awakening of creative consciousness, a defining moment in the artistic oeuvre.

Nah, fuck all that over analysis bullshit. "From Enslavement To Obliteration" is simply a blinding album which will rip your fucking face off!

Twenty-seven manic tracks blast past in a bit over 34 minutes. This is grindcore at grassroots level. Ugly music stripped back to the bare bones. Everything is straight forward, and pushed to the limits just to see what would happen. The songs are exercises in beautiful simplicity. Take one idea or riff. Take it as far as it will go. End. Repeat. Only two tracks stretch past the three minute mark, and a good number are shorter than a minute. Then again, 12 minute epics are not really an option when playing at this speed and intensity.

No one involved with this album could have possibly imagined the influence they would all have on extreme music. Vocalist Lee Dorrian formed Cathedral. Guitarist Bill Steer went to Carcass full time. Drummer Mick Harris helped create the almighty Godflesh and a plethora of other experimental extreme musical projects. Bass player Shane Embury has stayed with Napalm Death, and has been a leading figure in shaping the direction of most things extreme since.

This is fast, energetic, brutal as fuck, no nonsense music. It's the way grindcore used to be, and still should be.
Bookended by the sole tracks on it with a running time of over three minutes, From Enslavement To Obliteration is a more sonically consistent album than the preceding Scum - it's the first Napalm Death album to be played by the same lineup from start to finish, for one thing - and it's also the one Napalm Death album which really chased after the whole the "super-short songs" thing as an aesthetic decision. Side 2 of Scum offers the precedent, of course, but it's here that Napalm Death perfect the form, with 27 songs packed into the album's 34 minute running time - many of which are less than 2 minutes, 11 of which don't even last a minute, and a couple of which don't even last 10 seconds.

Napalm Death would never embrace this songwriting style quite so thoroughly ever again, with their subsequent albums concentrating more on fully developed longer songs (well, "longer" by their standards), but From Enslavement To Obliteration is a great example of a crazy idea taken to an even crazier extreme.
"From Enslavement to Obliteration" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK grindcore act Napalm Death. The album was released through Earache Records in September 1988. The debut album "Scum (1987)" features quite a confusing lineup history, but on this album, Napalm Death have settled with most of the lineup that recorded Side 2 of "Scum (1987)" with the addition of bassist Shane Embury. An important addition to the ranks as Shane Embury has proven to be the only remaining member from this lineup. Drummer Mick Harris would depart after the next album ("Harmony Corruption (1990)") and soon after form Scorn, guitarist Bill Steer would depart after recording the "Mentally Murdered (1989)" EP to concentrate his efforts on Carcass and vocalist Lee Dorian would also depart after the "Mentally Murdered (1989)" EP to form Cathedral. the 27 tracks on "From Enslavement to Obliteration" were recorded by a relatively shortlived lineup. There´s nothing wrong with the interplay though as the band are pretty well playing for a grindcore act. At this point very few death metal influences had sneaked into the band´s sound so the music on the album is more or less fast-paced hardcore punk taken to the extreme. However some of the longer, and partially heavier tracks, like "Evolved as One", "Unchallenged Hate", the title track and "Mentally Murdered" do show that the band weren´t content with only blasting away. Most tracks are 0:30 to 1:30 minute long blast fests though and most tracks are pretty hard to tell apart even after listening to the album for years. It´s a bit of a shame the band weren´t more conscious about writing more diverse material at the time because about half way through "From Enslavement to Obliteration", the album becomes somewhat of a drag. The extreme aggression and trivial blast beating simply become monotone, when there are so few hooks to hold on to.

I know the criticism might seem harsh considering that "From Enslavement to Obliteration" is widely considered a seminal album release in the grindcore genre, but it´s a very hard album to listen to from beginning to end, even though it´s only 34:18 minutes long. The raw and abrasive sound production is not exactly nice on the ears either, but on the other hand it does suit the music well, so I guess it´s an aquired taste. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

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