If I was an eccentric born into a wealthy and powerful family of Swiss watchmakers, I would instruct my minions, who work in the laboratories recessed deep within caves outside Zurich (the best watchmaking occurs underground), to create a wristwatch that synchronizes to Napalm Death releases. It probably isn’t as accurate as the alpha decay of the cesium atom, but it would be a hell of a lot more interesting.
But it would still keep time fairly well. A band that’s consistently put out a new record every two-three years for two decades, the Birmingham grindcore pioneers refuse to let up. Not that their brutal approach permits any resting on their laurels.
Having been working in a similar songwriting vein since 2003’s The Code Is Red… Long Live The Code (though they’ve arguably been on that path since Enemy Of The Music Business), with less of an emphasis on speed in favor of crushing heaviness—don’t worry, the blastbeats are still here—Time Waits For No Slave, truthfully, holds little surprise for anyone familiar with the band’s recent output. But the gold standard remains intact; if you’ve any fondness for the genre, Time Waits is as satisfying as it is angry.
And Time Waits is anger measured in 50 minutes—not a mere grindcore morsel. The band is still unafraid to experiment with uncharacteristic elements (clean backing vocals on “Fallacy Dominion?” Mind blown.) or to expand on tried-and-true aspects of the grindcore sound they helped create (See the classicist “Work To Rule”). Subtlety isn’t lost either, if the clever kick drum syncopation on the title track so smoothly reveals.
One of the perks of creating a genre is you embody and take hold of its characteristics before the genre is passed along to the next generation to evolve. Well, Napalm Death aren’t letting go just yet. They own this.
In A Word: Brutal