|Death Metal, Grindcore
May 31st, 1994
Release length: 34:57
Fear, Emptiness, Despair really marked when Napalm Death brought in a heavier groove metal element to their music. The only problem is, this sound is definitely not one the band should stick with. While the music on the album sounds nice and heavy, it’s that much of it sounds simple. The only major draws to this album are the blast beats that adorn some of the songs and kick up the intensity of the music. “Hung” is a perfect example, since the song really incorporates elements of grindcore and death flawlessly, while adding a basic groove element to it, and only really picks up and makes you want to mosh about two thirds of the way into the song when the blast beats kick in and kick you in the ass.
But, with all that said, this is still an album that really could have benefitted from being faster and more complex. Much of the music on this release, aside certain songs that have a lot of blast beats, such as “Hung” and “Fasting On Deception”, is slow, sometimes repetative and simple, and can bore you after a good while. “More Than Meets The Eye” is a decent track as the guitar work has some complexity in it, but then you hit “Primed Time” which is just a flat out heavy song. But, of course, these and many others, just feel drawn out and as if the songs are playing forever since you’re really only hearing the same simple chord over and over again. The vocals, however, do pack a bite, but aren’t anything really impressive.
The Napalm Death identity crisis continues with Fear, Emptiness, Despair and, while this isn’t the worst album the band put out, it’s definitely a boring one. While the vocals are better on this one then some of the other albums released during this time period, it’s the simple music that really breaks down the enjoyment level of the release. While the blast beats that adorn the album really do kick up in the intensity and make you want to punch someone in the teeth, the band could seriously do better. This is definitely one for the hardcore fans, and not the casual listener.
01. Twist The Knife (Slowly) – 2:52
02. Hung – 3:49
03. Remain Nameless – 3:33
04. Plague Rages – 3:51
05. More Than Meets The Eye – 3:55
06. Primed Time – 3:28
07. State Of Mind – 3:32
08. Armageddon X 7 – 3:16
09. Retching On The Dirt – 2:59
10. Fasting On Deception – 3:48
11. Throwaway – 3:42
|Overall Score: 5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.