I graduated high school in 1989. I was listening to Nuclear Assault, Metallica and Anthrax. Slayer had released South of Heaven and I loved it, jamming that bad boy until my player ate the tape.  Yea, I’m old but get this, in 1989 Napalm Death had recorded their second album, an awesome EP and gone on an ill-fated tour of Japan. This fractured the group, its third or fourth since its inception. Bill Steer and Lee Dorian formed Carcass and Cathedral respectively and went on to success in their own paths. The remaining members added Americans Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado for the final Napalm Death album featuring Mick Harris on the drums. This is around the time I was introduced to the band, via From Enslavement to Obliteration vinyl, and I couldn’t have disliked it more. It was a horrible noise, and sounded like they attached a blender to an amplifier. After a few more listens, it became clear to me this was special. This noise, it had melody. Sure, playing it a high volume to disturb the neighbors was funny as shit, but this started to have substance fore me. I began playing grindcore on drums shortly after, and following Mick Harris’s technique, began a long relationship with grindcore that, for me, continues to this day. Three albums, 2 EP’s and multiple sessions at the BBC are all the Napalm Death songs that Mick played on. I’m breaking down my personal favorites from his era of the band only. Nothing against the post-Mick material, it’s just my preference.

1. Walls of Confinement (Mentally Murdered EP):  The final recordings featuring Bill Steer’s Carcass-flavored riffs  are by far the best of the best of Napalm Death. If you get what I’m saying.
2. Suffer the Children (Harmony Corruption):  The grooviest bit of 90’s death metal you ever did hear, even if the muddy production affects it. Hell, crank that shit up! My 9 year old loves this song, who doesn’t?
3. Unchallenged Hate (F.E.T.O.):  This song smashes everything.

4. Prison Without Walls (Scum):  This here ripper, spins in a whirlwind of 2 grinding blender riffs and Mickey doing his Chaos UK bit. A gem, amid a barrage of jackhammer blasting.
5. Lucid Fairytale (F.E.T.O.):  Shane’s bass is oozes pure grindcore straight from it, and kicks this fucker into high gear immediately.
6. Control (Live Corruption DVD):  A classic song from the first album, done live by the band late in Mick’s tenure. The sheer energy coming from the band and crowd during the opening song is enough to land this concert video at the top of my viewing list, forever.
7. Deceiver/Lucid Fairytale/In Extremis (Peel Sessions):  I read Shane loves the bass tone he gets in the BBC studios. It’s no wonder with the sound the band exuded from their sessions there. Deceiver may be the fastest recorded Mick-blast I’ve ever heard. Lucid has that bass riff, and you can hear what he means when he says he’s chuffed on it.
8. Retreat to Nowhere (F.E.T.O.):  Another blazing fast, short, and to-the-point numbers that kick off with a grinding bass riff. Don’t sit your beer on the speaker when playing this one!
9. Cause and Effect (Mentally Murdered EP):  Total propulsion in musical form. This EP makes you drive faster, especially this song. Steer’s solo, ‘nuff said.
10. From Enslavement to Obliteration (F.E.T.O.):  You should know, as a fan, the opening cymbal accents and riff, take you to another place. It’s not very nice there, either. 

Yeah, I know. I missed Scum, Life?, Siege of Power, You Suffer, Dead, and Your Achievement. No I didn’t. - DC


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