Napalm Death
Time Waits for No Slave

You can talk about winning streaks in metal all you want, but how many acts have been on one as long and consistent as Napalm Death? Think about it. The game was raised way back on 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business and continued with 2002’s Order of The Leach, then raised again on an incredible triumvirate that included 2005’s The Code is Red…Long Live the Code, 2006’s Smear Campaign and now this year’s Time Waits for No Slave. Do you want to know just how good Time Waits for No Slave really is?

It’s as good as both its predecessors, meaning that it is a cinch that Time Waits for No Slave will end up on many a critic’s year-end list.The songwriting is simply superior, helped in no small way by Greenway’s always-lacerating sociopolitical lyrics and the lethal combination of straight blast-beaten grind, d-beats-on-steroids terrorism, and those ambient/noisy/Swans-esque touches that added so much to the compositional variety of the last couple of Napalm Death albums. The only difference is that this time the band declares that “this album contains no cameos, thank you very fucking much.” And who needs ‘em when you’re Napalm Death?

The sheer explosiveness of Time Waits for No Slave is dangerous to one’s equilibrium, as most would expect. Mitch Harris always seems to cram a semi-trailer full of scorching riffs into every album and this one is no different, regardless of whether the song is speed-addled and reckless or chugged out and (relatively) controlled. Full-on grinders like “Strong-Arm,” “Feeling Redundant” and “Diktat” continue to represent the gold standard, yet even here the approach isn’t one dimensional. The tracks are so smartly arranged, no matter the type of delivery.

There are many memorable songs too, as in those with easily recognizable, if not catchy, choruses, so aptly demonstrated by “On Brink of Extinction” and “Life and Limb,” the latter featuring an attention-grabbing militaristic rhythm/riff on the verse. The same can be said of the dual-paced “Larceny of the Heart” and “Passive Tense.” And then there are the tracks that offer just enough in the way of atmospherics and experimentation to add depth without sacrificing brutality, such as the title track with that eerie “clean” (for this band anyway) chorus and the always-welcome Celtic Frost breakdown (ala “Suffer the Children”). “Fallacy Dominion” is another prime example with some serious otherworldly tones and tinges. Quite honestly, there is something noteworthy about every song on the album.

There is just so much to love about Time Waits for No Slave. Will this band ever suck? Are they capable these days of creating a subpar album? I think not. Let’s all give thanks for it

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
March 12th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Overcow
  2. Commented by: Apollyon
  3. Commented by: ceno

    Damn, I should finally check this out. Excellent review, Scott.

  4. Commented by: vugelnox

    So far the best thing I’ve heard in 2009, and there have been some real contenders releases thus far! Absu, Razor of Occam, Obscura, Tombs, Karnarium, Infernal War, Tribulation, Seance, Excoriate…etc. Not bad for only two months into the year but ND is the #1 pick so far for me, this album is just damn near perfect

  5. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    yeah-better than Smear Campaign and as good as the Code is red-one of my ND all time faves

  6. Commented by: Reignman35

    Indeed… absolutely killer. And if you go to their myspace you can see videos of Barney talking about the lyrics. They put some good thought into them… these boys ain’t just singing about poop.

  7. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    Great review. This release deserves all the praise. I’ve been listening to it non-stop for the last 3 months and it never gets old.

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