Napalm Death: Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism

Frantic chaos storms the dim streets, lit only by staggering grenade blasts and booms. Discombobulation wracks the nerves and overstimulates the senses to the point of desensitized gloom. Past the distant fury, a lone figure watches the pyre and chuckles in an oblivious release of sanity.

This is the flurry of madness in the form of Napalm Death’s new album, out September 18th, entitled Throes of Joy In The Jaws of Defeatism. The title reflects a surrender to the hurricane of existence over the past year and the paranoid knowledge that life may never be the same. Napalm Death exquisitely bottles the sound of a modern-day Jonah tale and spills it out over the 12-track abyss.

A nod to the zeitgeist blasts the beginning of Throes with “Fuck The Factoid”, which sounds like the buzzing of a hornet’s nest assaulted by a bat, as if a victim of a cruel birthday party. Napalm Death doesn’t pull punches. There is a level of unadulterated aggression like a hyper-murderous felon catching up with old habits after release.

The English grindcore unit exposes unique vocal styles as well throughout. “Contagion” accesses some deeper registers and evil whispers, even insane chants of the word contagion. The carousel of “contagion” has a 70s Rush element to it and gives a striking vision of being in a hospital bed as men in hazmat suits fit you with tubes. There is a dynamic change with the French “Joie De Ne Pas Vivre” which translates to “The Joy of Not Living” and that is a fun reprise to the album title.

Napalm Death takes great strides in showing they never left and their formula continues to strain the edge of cognitive function. The title track is a hair-raising sermon of the band. It is how one imagines a foul waif being executed, and as he writhes in the electric chair, he tells his vile last words. Throes has amazing elements of rage coupled with hopelessness. The only thing that can complete the listening experience is wearing a bandana and charging down the sulfurous avenue wielding a brick. There is nothing here but a sonic vivisection of brutality.

Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is available for streaming and anywhere you can buy physical copies.

Rating: 8.9/10