Leaders Not Followers Part 2
The art of making someone elses work your own
After endless hold ups and label issues, Napalm Death has finally released the long awaited second volume of covers entitled 'Leaders Not Followers Part 2' (With the original E.P. 'Leaders Not Followers' released back in 1999). 'Leaders Not Followers Part 2' marks the legendary U.K. grindcore act's first new studio release since 2002's 'Order Of The Leech', and is the first for their new home at Century Media Records since their split with Earache Records in 2003. As you would expect, Napalm Death (Who are vocalist Mark 'Barney' Greenway, guitarists Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado, bassist Shane Embury and drummer Danny Herrera) haven't diluted their musical extremity any over the years, and over the course of the albums nineteen tracks, they pay a fittingly brutal tribute to those who inspired and influenced the genre defying act with their typically raw and uncompromising delivery.
Like the original E.P., 'Leaders Not Followers Part 2' features an equal mix of punk, hardcore and metal numbers, and while there are some well known names covered, there's more than a few obscurities thrown in to break up the monotony of predictability.
Starting things off is Cryptic Slaughter's 'Lowlife'. The fast paced blitzing speed is standard Napalm Death fare, while the vocal trade off from Greenway's harsher growls provides something new to the mix.
The Offenders' 'Face Down In The Dirt', Siege's 'Conform', Agnostic Front's 'Blind Justice' and Attitude Adjustment's 'Dope Fiend' are the albums most direct and to the point numbers (With all of them running under the two minute mark), and delivered with frantic Napalm Death speed, while acts as obscure as Devastation ('Devastation'), Wehrmacht ('Fright Night') and Insanity ('Fire Death Fate') are given a chance to be exposed once more after being given the Napalm Death makeover.
Elsewhere, classics such as Hellhammer ('Messiah'), Master ('Master'), Massacre ('Clangor Of War'), Kreator ('Riot Of Violence'), Die Kreuzen ('I'm Tired'), Seputura ('Troops Of Doom'), The Dayglo Abortions ('Bedtime Story') and Hirax ('Hate, Fear And Power') are all given an airing, and for the most part stand up well with the Napalm Death brand of extreme reworking.
Interestingly enough, Napalm Death's original bass player Jim Whiteley (Who appeared on the b-side of 1987's 'Scum') guests on the covers of Discharge's 'War's No Fairytale' and Anti Cimex's 'Game Of The Arseholes' (Who also have 'Victims Of A Bomb Raid' covered on this album as well), making this somewhat of a reunion.
Given that cover albums are more often than not disastrous affairs (Six Feet Under's 'Graveyard Classics' and Pro-Pain's 'Run For Cover' spring to mind), Napalm Death have managed not only managed to cover acts that few would be game to, but still retain their reputation and credibility as extreme metals finest (And originators) in the process.
(Century Media Records/Shock Records Distribution)
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- Scum (CD/DVD Dual Disc) [review]
- Smear Campaign [review]
- Code Is Red... Long Live the Code, The [review]
- Punishment In Capitals [review]
- Noise For Music's Sake [review]