Shane Embury Takes The Lead on Napalm Death’s 16th Studio Album

Napalm Death: Throes of Joy in the Jaws of DefeatismFive years after Apex Predator – Easy Meat, grindcore legends Napalm Death have returned with a new album, Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism. The record, which marks their sixteenth studio release, proves that the metal veterans are showing no signs of slowing down – figuratively or literally.

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is what you don’t do to Napalm Death is round the edges off,” vocalist Mark Greenway states. “You don’t stop playing fast as [expletive]. You just don’t do it. But what we do better now is amalgamate all the different things, so there’s metal and punk and hardcore, but also the alternative stuff. We take from all kinds of bands that nobody would even guess! Then there’s the obvious stuff like Coil, Swans and Einstürzende Neubaten, that’s all chucked in and amalgamated too.”

Bassist Shane Embury agrees the album is a mixed bag of sounds. The group started working on it in 2017, but the music was written entirely by the bassist. As such, some of the songs have no guitars and only bass.

“[Guitarist Mitch Harris] hasn’t inputted musically this time, he decided not to, but we got him over and got his riffing arm to record the guitars. John [Cooke, Napalm Death live guitarist] played a bit of stuff too,” he explains. “But it leant on me to write all the songs, really. In a weird way it was easy. I had lots of different concepts and ideas, and it’s just the logical step on from the last record. Some songs were arranged, but some were written totally on the fly. But I really wanted to push those shrill, discordant bits through. We’ve taken what Napalm Death has always been about and pushed it with a bit of indie noise, alternative noise, down-tuned stuff, and even some basic punk rock.”

You can hear his crushing bass tone on the intro to “Backlash Just Because”:

Embury also explained the album’s concept. “The theme is basically the other – the treatment of the other, the perception of the other and the reaction to the other. There are many reference points at the moment, not just the Black Lives Matter movement but the general treatment of people who are Afro-Caribbean or Southeast Asian, the treatment of transgender people, and this fear that they can somehow cause huge trauma merely by their biological differences. It’s also about emigration and migration. The world wouldn’t be as it is in many positive ways without migration. The world we know wouldn’t exist. But people are invaders – they’re the other, and we don’t want to understand. So we keep them out with walls and barbed wire, and we deny them food, assistance or anything else, because ‘We inhabit this patch of land and you’re not worthy of what we have.’ That’s really problematic and you can see the consequences everywhere, whether it’s nationalism and protectionism or people being conditioned to believe that there’s only one way to live.”

Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is available now on CD, vinyl and as a digital download (iTunes and Amazon MP3).

Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism Track List:

  1. Fuck the Factoid
  2. Backlash Just Because
  3. That Curse of Being in Thrall
  4. Contagion
  5. Joie De Ne Pas Vivre
  6. Invigorating Clutch
  7. Zero Gravitas Chamber
  8. Fluxing of the Muscle
  9. Amoral
  10. Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
  11. Acting in Gouged Faith
  12. Feral Carve-Up
  13. A Bellyfull of Salt and Spleen
  14. White Kross
  15. Blissful Myth

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