Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Leaders Not Followers 2
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock, Metal
Listen to Samples
Total devastation of my eardrums
Anglo Saxon Thrasher | Florida, USA | 11/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank lord almighty above that the new "Leaders Not Followers" finally came out. I have been waiting for what seemed like ages for the second chapter in the "Leaders Not Follower" book. Aside from being the first one in front of the record store and breathing so heavily that my own vital organs would have exploded out of my chest. Rushing home after purchasing a copy, I raced and put it in my stereo and waited for the whirlwind Grindcore madness to begin.
For the most part, "LNF2" pretty much surpasses the first one in all-out agression, hostility, and don't even get me started on how LOUD it is. But seeing this IS a Napalm Death album, one wouldn't expect anything less, right? Napalm Death even does the unimaginable of even sticking to the original and even carrying over that authenticity from the originals themselves. If you look at the liner notes Barney used the same voice harmonizer setting on the Hellhammer and Master tracks. There is even the case where Napalm Death had to slow down their cover of Insanity's 'Fire Death Fate' because the original version was just too fast, and judging by ND's version...I can't even imagine how fast the original could be. Also the beginning of their Wehrmacht cover of "Night Of Pain"(a tribute to Michael Myers and the Halloween movies) is absolute genius with the metalling-up of the Halloween theme song.
There's also some of my personal favorites that I will breifly analyze for you readers;
Clangor of War (Massacre) - Woo-Hoo!!! A Massacre cover, and we all know what that means; Kam Lee wipe-outs. For those that do not know, Massacre frontman Kam Lee was pretty much the origin of the deep gutteral/cookie monster(I hate to use that description though) vocal style. No it wasn't Chris Barnes, or Glen Benton kids...it was all Kam Lee. Kam Lee wipe-outs were basically a mega-blast of Kam Lee's roaring that it would wipe-out all of the music and noise around it. The cover here gives excellent proof of that, and believe me....this track is a doozy.
Riot of Violence (Kreator) - What is there to say about Kreator that hasn't been said already? ND's version is THE highlight of this album. One note I should point out is that after Barney finishes the famous spoken interlude, Mitch Harris lets out one of the most blood-curling screams I have heard since Don Dotty's Thrash scream off Dark Angel's "The Burning of Sodom"...
Face Down In The Dirt (The Offenders) - OH yes, yes, yes, YES!!! This is how Punk/Hardcore should sound like. A complete shotgun blast to the face. Forget the crap that's been smeared over the label of Punk/Hardcore. This is how it's supposed to be; Fast, abrasive, in-your-face, and violent without tales of highschool woes.
And there you have it. The rest of the album is more or less within that same ball-crushing power. The only track that really didn't catch me off the bat was the Dayglo Abortions cover. Don't even fret for that much, because it's growing on me. Napalm Death put a lot of effort and intensity into this covers album and it shines through.
If you want to know where Napalm Death got their influences from, or where the actual 'leaders not followers' were in the 80's Metal/Hardcore/Punk scene. This is THE album to own in '04."
A loving Grindcore treatment to hardcore classics... perfect
James D. Deabenderfer | Aurora, IL, USA, Earth | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Penning an intro to a Napalm Death review, in my opinion, is superfluous, but, here goes, for the uninitiated:
Napalm Death are the forefathers of grindcore, with twenty sweat soaked years and releases in the double digits behind them. Always immediate, hungry, and politically charged, Napalm Death have been the undisputed kings of grind since day one. Scores of imitators and homage-payers have come and gone, but ND just won't budge. They remain on top of their game, despite the fluctuating metal market, lineup woes, and the threat of apathy and disinterest that comes with being in a musical unit with the extensive history that Napalm Death has. In late 2004, we see Leaders not Followers Part 2 revitalizing the band's recorded output after nearly two years of absence.
Leaders not Followers Part 2 is the second collection of covers recorded by Napalm Death (Leaders not Followers was released by Relapse Records in 2000). Lovingly chosen from a potential cast of hundreds, these nineteen tracks represent the creme of the crop of Napalm Death's early influences from the mid-to-late eighties and early nineties. The CD was recorded sporadically during June and July of 2003 at Robanna's Studios in Birmingham, UK; engineered by Simon Efemey & ND, with production by Russ Russell (catchy name, dude). The engineering and mix on these songs is clear (that is to say, lacking mud that could blur the enjoyment of the tunes), but, by no means thin or weak. The amount of love and sweat exuded into this record is more evident upon every spin. I think that the boys in ND (Barney Greenway- vocals, Shane Embury- bass/sung vocals, Mitch Harris- guitar/high vocals, Danny Herrera- drums, and Jesse Pintado- guitar, who has apparently, but unofficially, left the band since the recording) have found their fountain of youth in playing/recording covers. The cover artwork is handled by Mid, and has that distinct ND feel to it: surreal and disconnected. The liner notes, penned by Barney himself, go into great detail regarding the concept behind the Leaders not Followers series, as well as the justification behind each choice on this release. The overall package is definitive, and greatly increases the enjoyment of the CD by far. Also included in this enhanced CD is a live video of Cryptic Slaughter's "Lowlife", the first track of the disc. The quality is comperable to that of the Punishment in Capitals DVD - top notch.
Speaking of "Lowlife", this Cryptic Slaughter gem is the perfect opener for the CD. It has a great buildup to the body of the song, and blasts in true ND style (0:32-0:40, 0:50-1:16). The bridge at 0:40-0:50 showcases Mitch's superb backup vocals (which are very prominently featured throughout the disc - I hope this remains a staple in future recordings - what a dynamic!). The Offenders' "Face Down in the Dirt" is a more hardcore tune, and appropriately, Shane barks out "sung" backups during the chorus (0:20-0:28). There's even a guitar solo from 0:43-0:51! That brings us to Devastation's title song, well, "Devastation", the first "slow" song on the CD. This is deliciously old school thrash (check out 0:55-1:06) with some hardcore influence. No real surprises here, just all-out metal. Hellhammer's "Messiah" is a Tom G. Warrior tribute, of course, especially given Barney's "Are you Morbid? Geuh!" bark at the beginning. The breakdown after the chorus from 0:52-1:09 sticks out the most to me. This song also has production qualities that make it emulate the original recording moreso (the echoes on the vocals, etc.), and to great effect. "Victims of a Bomb Raid", an Anticimex hardcore tune, starts out with a noise effect intro. Throughout the song, Barney's vocals are effect-laden to sound like an announcement through a World War II-era loudspeaker announcing the aforementioned bomb raid. Shane's first extended bass break (1:47-1:56) and the most pronounced and melodic guitar solo thus far on the recording (1:56-2:12) can be heard here, as well. Coming in at lucky number six is a Wehrmacht tune, "Fright Night". This one features some early distant cousins to newer-era Napalm Death dissonence (see 0:01-30,0:55-0:59). Also to be found during "Fright Night" is one of my favorite vocal choruses on the CD (1:46-2:02). This one also best showcases the tight rhythmic unit that ND is today: Mitch, Jesse, Shane, and Danny sound as focused and tight as they can be. As hard as it may be to follow a gem like that, Discharge's "War's no Fairytale", featuring original ND bassist Jim Whitely, steps up to the plate. There's not much to say here, outside of Napalm Death... playing Discharge... Nice. Seriously, though, it sounds like Jim tweaked Shane's normal sound to better mimic his trademark "Exploding Eyeball" bass sound that is immortalized on Scum. "Conform", by Siege, has a lengthy buildup (0:01-0:37) into the verse, and then the chorus hits you out of nowhere at 0:55! The first time I heard this, I was smiling so hard I nearly cried. This is my second favorite song on the disc. The dynamics, breakdowns, the ferocity... it's classic Napalm Death. Continuing the tradition of bands vainly naming songs after themselves (hey, I can say that, my band did the same thing!) is Master's "Master". I particularly like the melodic flair on every second measure of the chorus (0:49-51, 0:55-0:57). It was hard to catch at first, but worth putting on headphones for! The chugging dirge that is the background riff for the solo is a major highlight, too (1:31-1:43), you ****ing wimp! Now, onto the opus of the disc: "Fire, Death, Fate", originally an Insanity tune. The intro is solid and powerful, and the body of the song is an equally powerful, if awkward grind. Herein lies the highlight of the album: the passage back into the final chorus from 2:23-2:30! The outro of the song also sees a return to true old school form (HEYYYY!). The only way to back that up is... Kreator. "Riot of Violence", off of the Pleasure to Kill album, a classic, even if you're not a big Kreator fan (which I am not). ND pulls this one off as if it were one of their own. The guitar acrobatics on this one are uncharacteristic of most Napalm Death, but a welcome thing to hear (ex: 0:48-1:16). I especially enjoy the breakdown from 3:00-3:09; they really amped up the death metal influence there. bring us to the dozen mark, and the second Anticimex track is "Game of the A**eholes". This quick one also features Jim Whitely. The chorus line of this one sums it up: "Religion is the game of the a**eholes." Great hard/grindcore tune, all the way. Massacre's "Clangor of War" was a tune I was dying to hear, as I love a good Massacre tune. Barney's love of Kam Lee's vocal wipeouts are well documented, and, here, it shows. I don't think that Barney and the boys could have picked a more quintessential Massacre song, as this has all the classic elements that made them the premier death metal band (evident in the breakdown from 1:15-1:50), second only to Death themselves. Barney holds his tongue until 2:30, where he belts out a true Kam Lee Wipeout. "Dope Fiend", an Attitude Adjustment composition, is up next. This hardcore-injected death metal grind is no frills, no finesse; just killing. Die Kreuzen's "I'm Tired" is probably the oddest entry on the disc, from it's almost whiny, dissonent intro (0:05-0:10) to the offtime arrangement (0:15-0:26). Odd, but, ultimately, very, very interesting. The next gem to be ressurected by Napalm Death is Sepultura's anthemic "Troops of Doom", which also happens to be my favorite Sepultura song. This song remains virtually untouched, as Napalm sees fit to leave it be as a nearly perfect composition, save a slight up in the tempo (and I thought for sure they'd have taken the bridge/chorus riff, first heard from 0:52-1:07, slowed it down about 10 BPM, and blasted through it... but they sped it up only slightly, keeping the original rhythm intact... sneaky.). This is, by far, one of the highlights of the disc. "Bedtime Story", by The Dayglo Abortions, is a return to the thrashier influences of ND. You have to love songs where the lead-in is longer than the actual song! Jesse and Mitch manage to find unique places in these songs to express themselves; in this one, it's in a minute tail (2:00-2:01). You can't claim to pay homage to hardcore classics without including Agnostic Front, as ND realizes with "Blind Justice". They sped this one up ridiculously! As far as I know, this one features the only backup vocals from the band as a whole (0:50-1:00). Lastly, but definitely most grind, is Hirax's "Hate, Fear, and Power". This one was chosen by Jesse, can you tell? This one is an extended version at thirty seconds, and is an obvious nod to Jesse and Mitch's early outfits, Terrorizer and Righteous Pigs.
What can I say? Napalm Death have done it again. Every time I heard a new release from these gents, I can't stop smiling for a week. No band that takes the world so seriously seems to have as much fun grinding as these five fellows. I cannot pin down their secret, but, whatever it is, let's hope it sticks around for another twenty years! Brilliant collection guys! Cheers!
The Influences Behind the Madness
B. Fanciulli | United States | 10/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Those who enjoyed ND in their early years likely progressed to extreme grindcore by listening to most of the music featured on this album.
These early to mid-80's songs range from obscure (Master) to popular (Troops of Doom), from punk to metal, and everything in between. Despite the wide range of sound and styles covered, the band pulls off most songs quite well. Because of the vocals, there's no mistaking this is Napalm Death. Yet they maintain the musical integrity of the original recordings.
The high point is definitely the fast and furious Cryptic Slaughter cover, "Lowlife." (Mitch Harris' backing vocals sound almost exactly like the original!) The low points are the classic but boring Hellhammer "Messiah" and poorly executed Agnostic Front "Blind Justice" on which Harris should have done vocals--Barney is too slow.
Extra thanks to the band for including information on the origination of each song and a little history on why they were important. The following are the band names and original release dates associated with each track above:
1. Cryptic Slaughter (1986)
2. The Offenders (1990?)
3. Devastation (1986)
4. Hellhammer (1983)
5. Anti Cimex (1984)
6. Wehrmacht (1986)
7. Discharge (1980)
8. Siege (1984)
9. Master (1985)
10. Insanity (1985)
11. Kreator (of course!) (1986)
12. Anti Cimex (1984)
13. Massacre (1986)
14. Attitude Adjustment (1985)
15. Die Kruezen (1984)
16. Sepultra (1990)
17. The Dayglo Abortions (1986)
18. Agnostic Front (1984)
19. Hirax (1986)
If you're interested in checking out the originals and are unsure of where to start, you can't go wrong with either Wehrmacht album, Discharge "Decontrol - The Singles," Siege "Drop Dead," Kreator "Pleasure to Kill," Dayglo Abortions "Feed us a Fetus," and Agnostic Front "Last Warning" and "Victim in Pain.""