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Utilitarian (Vinyl) Import


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Product Details


1. Circumspect
2. Errors In The Signals
3. Everyday Pox
4. Protection Racket
5. The Wolf I Feed
6. Quarantined
7. Fall On Their Swords
8. Collision Course
9. Orders of Magnitude
10. Think Tank Trials
11. Blank Look About Face
12. Leper Colony
13. Aim Without An Aim**
14. Everything In Mono**
15. Nom De Guerre
16. Analysis Paralysis
17. Opposites Repellent
18. A Gag Reflex

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A warning to those considering the digital download... April 5 2012
By deadite9 - Published on Amazon.com
This is an excellent album; there is no denying that fact. Napalm Death are in fine form on "Utilitarian," and they even manage to throw in a few curves here and there ("Everyday Pox," anyone?). You should be buying it now, if not sooner.

But Century Media has done a great disservice to the band and their fans by screwing up the digital version. The album proper is sixteen tracks, ending with "A Gag Reflex." The CD version, meanwhile, adds a seventeenth track at the end entitled "Everything In Mono." The limited edition contains two extra songs ("Aim Without An Aim," plus the aforementioned track); both of these are rather oddly inserted mid-stream so that they become tracks 13 and 14, respectively. This means that "Nom De Guerre" becomes track 15, "Analysis Paralysis" becomes track 16, "Opposites Repellent" becomes track 17, and "A Gag Reflex" becomes track 18. I honestly don't know if this was intentional on the band's part or if it was just weirdness on the part of CM, but it has led to the digital version being labelled incorrectly due to some apparent laziness.

What CM has done (in their infinitely infinite wisdom) is to encode the album based on the limited edition. But since they're only selling you sixteen songs, you can probably see where this is going: the last four tracks are mislabeled, and what you end up with is an incomplete album. Sure, you're getting the limited edition's bonus tracks, but you're also missing the last two tracks from the album in the process... "Opposites Repellent" and "A Gag Reflex" are just outright missing. Not getting extra songs is one thing, but not getting a true part of the album is something else entirely (and not something that any true fan of the band-- or music in general-- should be willing to condone). I hate to say it, but buying the CD is the best choice here. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've seen CM drop the ball on digital downloads (on this service, as well as others)-- and it saddens me to say that it probably won't be the last.

TL;DR... the album is great (hence the rating), but the digital version has the last four tracks mislabeled, and two songs are missing entirely. You should just buy the CD instead.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Napalm Death - Utilitarian Feb. 28 2012
By Gentlegiantprog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Napalm Death are a well respected and pioneering force in extreme music and besides that, they are a very prolific band who have released numerous live albums, EPs, one and a half covers albums and now their fourteenth studio album of original music in 2012, entitled Utilitarian. With so much of a back catalogue to contend with, approaching a new album as a new fan could be confusing without all the musical context.

Furthermore, Napalm Death are a band forever surrounded by hyperbole due to the especially nasty, violent and savage sound that they make, so getting a feel of how one album is different to another can be difficult since everyone will just say clichéd things about how your ears will bleed etc.

An honest and hyperbole-free summation would be that if you generally like very extreme music, you should give Napalm Death a fair try and if you generally like Napalm Death then you should give Utilitarian a fair try, there is a strong possibility that you will like it.

Produced by Russ Russel, (The Berzerker, The Rotted, Dimmu Borgir) Utilitarian sounds great, and the energy level from the band themselves is very high. This is yet another expertly crafted album from the band delivering more extreme music and highly political lyrics.

Historically, the band have covered a lot of different ground in their lengthy career, and in the first decade of their career became known for taking radical shifts in musical style, sometimes to crys of `sell out' and sometimes to great praise. In the past decade however, Napalm Death found a winning formula and stuck to it very rigidly, which both garnered praise for consistency and occasional criticism for treading water creatively.

With Utilitarian the band do retain a large quantity of that post millennial formula but they also seem to be overly aware that they haven't changed up their style significantly in a while and so counteract that by using riffs, rhythms and vocal patterns here and there that you wouldn't have heard on the last few albums.

In many ways, Utilitarian can feel like somewhat of a mixture of their albums Order Of The Leech (2002) and Diatribes (1996). Like Diatribes, there is more sonic experimentation and generally fewer blastbeats than on their recent albums and more time is given over to rumbly bass focused breakdowns, different vocal approaches and dissonant jangly guitar styles. However, a successful balance has been achieved between that experimentation and the recent formula and so the rest of the album is very much in the mold of Order Of The Leech in terms of riff style, song structuring, general attitude and the harsh sound from that record.

For example, `The Wolf I Feed' initially has the feel of classic 1980s Hardcore Punk, but later introduces an almost Burton C Bell style clean vocal section. Other examples of the similarity with Diatribe's variety include tracks like `Everyday Pox,' `Orders Of Magnitude' and the album highlight `Blank Look About Face', feature the aforementioned dissonant waves of noisy guitar and even the echoey clean vocals from their late 90s style mixed in to the proceedings.

In terms of stand out moments of the other variety, special mention should be made for the album closer `A Gag Reflex,' which is one of the catchiest and best songs that the band have written since their career highlight Enemy Of The Music Business album.

In summary; it is definitely nice that they are avoiding making the exact same album one more time, and if you lost interest due to too much repetition then you'll probably view Utilitarian as a step in the right direction. That being said, its not as if Napalm Death are changing their direction as vastly as they have been seen to in the past. The success of Utilitarian is that this album feels both fresh and enjoyably diverse, but it does so in a way that feels like a logical evolution. Overall, highly Recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
More pure, blasting goodness from N.D. Oct. 13 2012
By A. Stutheit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
On full-length album number fifteen (!), Napalm Death extinguish the experimental angle that they took on their last two records, 2006's "Smear Campaign" and 2009's "Time Waits For No Slave" (both of which featured guest vocals by a member of the progressive-post-punk group Swans or Dutch prog-rockers The Gathering). But this is still one of the most innovative and groundbreaking grindcore bands in the history of the genre, so experimentation is never out of the question. And sure enough, 2012's "Utilitarian" does employ some new-ish-sounding elements. Opener "Circumspect" is a two-minute-long doom metal-soaked instrumental, making it a big standout not just on the record, but in Napalm Death's whole discography. Also of note is "Everyday Pox," which fuses in squealing, strangulated saxophone soloing (from Naked City frontman/noisemaster John Zorn) amidst its usual avalanche of fiery riffs, pounding drums, and distorted bass. "The Wolf I Feed" features a bass-heavy mix in addition to some Burton C. Bell-derived borderline clean, echoing-out vocals from Mitch Harris. (And this is on top of the tune's usual Motorhead-inspired speed punk beat and catchy call-and-response vocal refrain where intelligible hardcore screams trade-off with Barney Greenway's visceral growls.) And finally, "Fall On Their Swords" has another interesting twist in that it incorporates an epic-sounding, Gregorian-esque chanting choir into the mix, thus interrupting a number that is otherwise sheer, blast beat-laden sonic violence and malevolence. The vast majority of this blistering, throat-ripping set, though, sounds like the usual Napalm Death of old. Track two, "Errors In The Signals," is a furious, white-hot, and rip-roaring ball of racing hardcore punk riffs, pummeling drum blasts, and freaky high, black metal-lite shrieks (that do well at offsetting Barney's usual penchant for livid, full-bodied bellows). Other standouts include the fiery, abrasively chugging guitars, stomping rhythms, foaming-at-the-mouth vocals, and deft, machine-gunning drum fills of "Protection Racket"; "Quarantined," a bludgeoning blast of full-on speedcore that plays like a runaway Mack truck with its abundance of thundering guitars and bass and blistering grindcore blasts; the positively mosh-able "Blank Look About Face" (which features some catchy, staccato riffing and vocals); and the catchy, chugging groove and Unsane-like clangy bass of "A Gag Reflex." Also, if you buy the edition of "Utilitarian" that has a bonus track, "Everything In Mono," you will be treated to an additional highlight, because it features an "Ace Of Spades"-era Motorhead-esque grumbling bass intro. Finally, no review of this album would be complete without mentioning "Think Tank Trials," "Leper Colony," "Nom De Guerre" (a minute-long throwback to ND's "Scum"-era), and "Opposites Repellent." Why? Because all of these songs showcase Danny Herrera, who steps into the spotlight by unleashing a flood of excellent, crushing, airtight, and frequently-jackhammer-fast drumming. All told, what we have on our hands, here, is another very good and impeccably solid -- albeit if not life-altering -- effort from Barney and the boys. It might not be the crown jewel in Napalm Death's career, but it certainly proves that they still mean business!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Art, death and the working class. April 6 2012
By araboflawrencia - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It's not exactly news to long-time Napalm Death followers that the band is one of the rare and blessed few metal acts to not only go with strength into their fourth decade but also to find new ideas and approaches that work within their time-tested framework. If I may, they're the Killing Joke of the grindcore scene or whatever genre you use to describe them to the uninitiated. To me, this is a fine hour of many for the band! On every track, their trademark fearlessness is front and center and, unlike many metal albums to have been relased in the last decade, the production varies enough between pieces to allow for different moods to exist without sacrificing any power or pulse on the heaviest of heavy to be found on Utilitarian. Truth be told, I'm always a sucker for a band/artist that has longevity but also really begins to blossom in their late forties-early fifties, proving that youth is just youth when wisdom prevails. Napalm Death sound wiser and grittier than ever, compiling good ideas from previous albums into where they are now, improving upon them in most cases, having a bold and furious go of it in all. Just when I thought they couldn't improve upon Time Waits For No Slave, they prove me wrong yet again!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
ND step it up Sept. 28 2013
By Kevin Shanholtzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Napalm Death has set the bar pretty high in the past and a few bands 'got it'. While ND has gone through some experimental phases, the last few albums headed back closer to home, and Utilitarian gets even closer.

I've liked every album ND put out and still hold Scum at the top, sharing with the Peel Sessions. Utilitarian quite easily slipped into the second slot. This is an extraordinary album. The intensity in total is better than Scum, though the Peel Sessions have moments that have yet to be matched by anything else I've heard from anyone.

Utilitarian is well crafted modern grindcore and no other band today can do it better than Napalm Death. Yet, while bringing it back closer to their roots, they are still sophisticated enough to be willing to embellish with some of the vocals and even throw in a surprising and superb John Zorn-ish (see Painkiller) brass instrument scream which complements the track well.

I'm giving the five stars for being the cream of the crop of modern grindcore, but I wish they'd throw down the gauntlet and put out a pure grindcore album; I'm sure with what they've learned over the past 30 years they could put out a pure grindcore album that destroys everything in the past.

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