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Review: The Album Utopia Banished By British Death Metal Band Napalm Death
A photo of the 1992 CD Utopia Banished
Track listing for the album Utopia Banished (including the six bonus tracks)
2. I Abstain
3. Dementia Access
4. Christening of the Blind
5. The World Keeps Turning
8. Cause and Effect (part 2)
9. Judicial Slime
10. Distorting the Medium
11. Got Time to Kill
12. Upward and Uninterested
14. Awake (to a life of misery)
16. One and the Same
17. Sick and Tired
18. Malignant Trait
19. Killing With Kindness
20. A Means to an End
21. Insanity Excursion
A brief introduction to the album and who plays on it
Utopia Banished is the very good 4th album by British death metal band Napalm Death. This is the first album that I heard from these guys and I really have enjoyed it to this day even as we are in 2017. By this point, the band had an international feel to it. Danny Herrera, the person playing the drums on this album is of Mexican descent. Guitarist Mitch Harris is an American and Jesse Pintado (1969-2006) was a Mexican born guitarist. He would later die in The Netherlands due to liver failure. Therefore, only vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway and Shane Embury (bass) are the only British members playing on the album. There is an edition containing six bonus tracks which is the one that I have.
Napalm Death plays a style of metal known as grindcore: what is it like?
Napalm Death is considered by many people to be the founders of a genre of metal known as grindcore. This type of death metal has songs that are very short. Usually, the songs are not more than a few minutes long. You’ll be lucky if you see a song by this band that is over four minutes long. The music also has vocals that are so extreme that they sound like a loud dog that is barking. The guitar playing is distorted and very fast. The drumming in this genre is known by the term of blast beats. And of course, there are really no guitar solos. Those of you that can’t wait and sit through a long metal album will enjoy this one because it will be over fast. Utopia Banished was produced by Colin Richardson, the same person that produced the awesome album Heartwork by the band Carcass. Lyrically, the band tends to focus on themes having to do with politics and social issues. This is especially evident in this album.
Utopia Banished: a brief review
After the short and noisy track called Discordance, the song I Abstain goes into a very fast and angry kind of song. The message is that we should come out and protest against the very few in society that prosper at our expense. I guess the band must have known that the gap between the rich and poor would eventually increase in Western nations especially the UK and US. Imperialism is also rampant in this day and age as countries are invaded, occupied and in some cases conquered. The band brings up the subject for thought. We must be the ones in our society that campaign for lasting change. After all, democracy is a system of government where the people have a voice so that they can speak out against injustices. More great songs follow including Dementia Access, Christening of the Blind, and The World Keeps Turning. That song was featured on the popular program Headbanger’s Boll back in the early 1990’s. The band would make a music video for that song. Even for those just getting accustomed to the style of this band, Utopia Banished is an excellent choice of albums to listen to.