Napalm Death - LIVE: Granada Theatre, Lawrence, KS 2015

Through Space And Grind Tour
February 26 (22:15 - 23:15)
Capacity 1700

Napalm Death are legends. That's not opinion - it's fact backed up from their 30-plus years of existence introducing radically new and different elements into hardcore punk, grindcore, death metal and extreme metal as a whole. Headlining the Through Space And Grind tour, Napalm Death capped a night of extreme music featuring the grinding of Exhumed and Phobia, the crossover appeal of Iron Reagan and Altered Beast and the thrash stylings of Voivod.

Already at the brink of exploding, the rabid Lawrence, KS crowd at The Granada kicked up non-stop mosh pits and crowd-surfing from the opening notes of Vision Conquest from 1990's Harmony Corruption album. It continued right into I Abstain, one of many songs performed from Napalm Death's newest release Apex Predator - Easy Meat. The newer tracks performed showcased a complex inclusion of varying styles of metal incorporated into Napalm Death's sound, especially when compared to their older, "classic" albums. Everyday Pox from 2012 Utilitarian features none other than John Zorn performing freestyle saxophone over the track, which was replicated by blaring his part over the PA system - and it worked. More dissonance and a bit of musique concrete for the sledgehammer of grindcore to slam down upon. On the contrary, Smash A Single Digit might be one of the heaviest songs Napalm Death have ever written - it holds it's own against the myriad of classic grindcore anthems the band has penned.

While the crowd was extremely active throughout the entire set, they really come to life during any song from the band's pre-1995 catalogue. Control, Unchallenged Hate and Suffer the Children were fantastic in showing the progression between Napalm Death's first three albums, but nothing got quite a response as the title track from their debut album Scum. With it's slow, bass-heavy build-up before launching straight into now-standard blastbeats and grinding riffs was enough to whip everyone on stage and in the crowd into a frenzy for just under three minutes.

Vocalist Barney Greenway, his arm in a sling from a previous tour mishap, took the time to thank the crowd between songs and deliver some quips about song meanings - "When we wrote this song in 1990, it was about religious lunacy. Twenty years on, look how much has changed," he professed in his introduction for Suffer The Children. Guitarist Mitch Harris is absent on the tour, his replacement coming in the form of ex-Brutal Truth and Nuclear Assault guitarist Erik Burke, although he did not handle any backing vocal duties. Still, there was no change in the ferocious delivery of the songs and Barney in particular can hit high-pitched screams that shouldn't seem possible for a vocalist entering his 26th year in extreme metal.

Everything really came together at the end of it all and made Napalm Death's first headlining show in the Lawrence, KS area in over a decade something to behold - loud, fast, heavy grindcore with a healthy dose of extreme genres.

“ non-stop mosh pits and crowd-surfing ”

Setlist: Vision Conquest / I Abstain / On The Brink of Extinction / Smash A Single Digit / Walls of Confinement / Scum / M.A.D. / The Kill / Control / You Suffer / Cesspits / Nazi Punks Fuck Off / Everyday Pox / How The Years Condemn / Dead / Timeless Flogging / Suffer The Children / Plague Rages / Unchallenged Hate / Adversarial/Copulating Snakes

Written by Jackson May
More: 2015, Gigs,

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