Words from the Exit Wound
Released: 1998, Earache Records
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
After waiting month after month, Earache finally has gotten their shit together and released this album in the U.S. It's about fucken time! Europe saw this album last year, but it didn't hit the shelves here until March!!! Was it worth the wait? I think so…after all, this IS my favorite band!
After storming the planet with their highly acclaimed album "Diatribes", fans seemed to be disappointed with their follow-up "Inside the Torn Apart", saying that it resembled the former too much and didn't show much progression. If you are one of those fans, then prepare to be disappointed again! "Words from the Exit Wound" is basically an extension of both albums…the same sound and style are still here! And this is a good thing, because no matter how much progression, Napalm Death still out-grind every other band! As usual, you can expect colossal riffage from the dynamic duo known as Shane Embury and Mitch Harris, whose riff and songwriting capabilities are still very unique and unmatched. The runaway-train riffs in the opening track ("The Infiltrator") bring to mind 1992's "Utopia Banished". In fact, quite a few parts resemble that album. Maybe it has to do with the fact that there's more blast beats on this album? That's right…more blast beats!!!! Napalm Death have always been very effective at pairing riffs with blast beats (remember "Ripe for the Breaking"?) and do so once again on this new album. Great combinations of dissonance and harmony can be found in various places, which N.D. keeps getting better at. Ex-Terrorizer beast Jesse Pintado also writes a fair amount on this album, which is always a plus. And you can expect the usual intelligent and thought provoking lyrics, which deal with social and political themes, among other topics. Barney delivers these messages with his typical death grunt, a voice no one has been able to match yet (although Burton of Fear Factory came pretty close on "Soul of a New Machine"). The quantity of variation in Barney's vocals is about equal to the previous two albums…only a little bit of screaming and singing here and there.
The only N.D. fans that won't dig this album are the idiots that didn't like "Inside the Torn Apart". Otherwise, crank this CD and thrash!!! Oh yeah…and because Earache took forever to release this album in the US, three unlisted bonus tracks have been included at the end of the CD. They are "Greed Killing", "Hung", and "Suffer the Children", all performed live. I suspect that these were merely taken from their live album "Bootlegged in Japan", which still has not been released here, damn it! It's cool to see Earache include these bonus tracks, but any serious Napalm Death fan is going to get the live CD anyway, so it's almost pointless. And just so you know, there are no leftover songs, unfortunately. So don't expect another EP with more new material. In addition, the Japanese version of this album does not contain any bonus tracks.