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Review of the Album "Harmony Corruption" by British Death Metal Band Napalm Death

Updated on August 30, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Album Harmony Corruption is a Death Metal Album Without the Punk Elements In It

Harmony Corruption is the 3rd studio album by British death metal band Napalm Death and it is more than just a death metal album. It is a way for this band to make a statement. The harmony that we seek in our lives is often times interrupted or corrupted and that may be what this band is trying to convey through this album.

The Front Album Cover for Harmony Corruption


How is Harmony Corruption a Different Album Than Napalm Death's First Two Albums?

However, Harmony Corruption marks a major turning point musically for this great British band. They have gone away from the short 20 to 40 second song strategy and instead have an emphasis of including full-length songs.

Harmony Corruption is the First Napalm Death Album With the Band's Modern Lineup Without Danny Herrera

There is also the entry of Mark “Barney” Greenway for this album as well as the debut of guitarists Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado. This is when the band would get more international in their personnel. Mitch Harris is from the United States while Jesse was from Mexico but he came to the United States from a young age.

What is the Musical Style of Harmony Corruption?

Although Harmony Corruption is described as a more death metal style album, it still has slight grindcore elements due to the fast drumming. The vocals range from low growls to the beginnings of the harsh vocals that we have heard since 1990.

The Beginning of This Album Brings Up Styles That Would Influence Other Bands Later

The first song called Vision Conquest stylistically sounds like something out of the playbook of the Florida death metal scene but let’s recall that these guys started as far back as 1982 which would have been before the Florida death metal scene had a chance to develop. The vocals are of such a low tone that I am reminded of the French death metal band Agressor. Of course, France can’t really compare to the UK in terms of death metal bands or heavy metal bands that have seen more critical fame but I just brought up the band’s name to state a similarity that I see in 1990’s Harmony Corruption. What is one of the points trying to be made in this review? It is that the musical influences are diverse because these guys would influence future death metal bands which would then thrive.

Another Reason Why Harmony Corruption is an Important Album

The album also brings up philosophical themes such as reminding people that we must think before we act and that criticizing a situation that is developing is not always the best idea or plan. Sadly, there is much criticism in the United States as it remains a politically divided country. But disagreements can also occur with average people as well.

Malicious Intent and Unfit Earth Are Two More Songs With Lyrical Themes to Think About and Be Aware of

On a related lyrical theme, the song called Malicious Intent is about how a friendship starts out good with trust and honesty being the two key ingredients for a very healthy and vibrant friendship. But when someone tries to do things for quick self-gratification, this is one of the ways that the friendship can go downhill very fast.

The next song called Unfit Earth is a song about how selfish human actions can cause the Earth to be uninhabitable for future generations as the dioxin released into the atmosphere can threaten the very sustenance of life on the planet. It is so easy for humans to destroy the environment that we depend on for survival so that’s why this band brings up the issue. They want to raise awareness for what we can do to save the planet instead of doing the opposite.

Napalm Death Also Influenced the Famous Band Sepultura

The Chains That Bind Us is a song that tries to tell us that if we don’t become ambitious that our lives will just stagnate and we cannot grow in life. That’s why goal setting is always encouraged by life coaches, professors, and sometimes parents though not usually. Mind Snare is a dong that discusses the effects of a heroin addiction as this is used as a quick fix for someone that is depressed and not having goals though not all such people do this. By this point in the album, this song and some of the other riffs would have been that the band Sepultura would have been influenced by. We cannot deny the reality of our issues and we must face them.

Possible Cons ofr the Album Harmony Corruption

Are there any cons to the album Harmony Corruption? Napalm Death is one of those bands that tried to innovate themselves musically earlier in their career with their first two albums, then they changed to a more traditional death metal band with this album before experimenting starting around 1994. If there are any cons to this album it may be that the lyrics may be challenging to interpret at times. One of the other songs that deserves consideration is the song called Circle of Hypocrisy (way better than the song Circle of Beliefs by the band Slayer). In an environment of jealousy, hypocrisy can also occur.

Final Thoughts About the Album Harmony Corruption

How good of an album really is Harmony Corruption? It is a good death metal album that is better than most death metal albums made by American bands through at least most of the decade of the 1990’s but it is not as good as their next album called Utopia Banished or Enemy of the Music Business. In spite of this, Harmony Corruption started the foundation of the modern sound of Napalm Death and I hope you will really enjoy the album. At this early period in the band’s history, two things are noticeable. The first is that the drumming does not resemble what we would hear after this album. In other words, there is not as much emphasis on the furious drumming that is present in the grindcore style that these guys have been using so often. The other noticeable quality here in this album is that Barney’s growls are not as fierce as they would be later albums.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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