REVIEW: Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism


The English grindcore veterans NAPALM DEATH have had a long and fruitful career behind them, creating some of the most sonically punishing and extreme metal out there. Their legacy and reach extends much wider than simply the death metal scene and the quality of their recent input is impressive. The band is releasing their new album, “Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism,” on 18 September 2020 through Century Media Records.

All new “Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism” is really no exception to the quality that has become synonymous with NAPALM DEATH‘s name. It’s very joyful to see the band not grow old and tired with their sound, but instead embrace different influences that feed well into their brutal grindcore and death metal.

The album is opened by the duo “Fuck the Factoid” and “Backlash Just Because,” which on the surface sound a lot like your straightforward typical ND-tracks, but they both include some influences from black metal and even possibly from some mathcore, creating an intriguing blend that sometimes reminds you a bit of bands like ANAAL NATHRAKH and CONVERGE.

NAPALM DEATH introduce a lot of other sonically interesting choices. The track “Joie De Ne Pas Vivre” sees them dwelling in a soundscape that feeds from the noisier side of SWANS with a hint of the industrial terror of GODFLESH. “Invigorating Clutch” is a cold, sludgy number with creepy vocals creating an omnious dark void ready to suck the listener inside a dark void, while the stand-alone track “Amoral” sees NAPALM DEATH creating fantastic post-punk drenched in melody and entwined deeply in the hardcore. Truly a highlight on the record with the great vocals and melodic guitars sometimes screeching and sometimes harmonious with some KILLING JOKE vibes.

“Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism” feels like an artistic record without falling into the pit of an “art metal record,” somewhere unobtainable by the metal masses. It’s a tasteful experimentation with something that’s familiar and something new that compliments the overall heavy and harsh nature of grindcore and death metal. I have to say, this album might be my favorite recent release by the band. It’s astounding how well they can incorporate new elements in the music that they helped pioneer.


1. Fuck the Factoid
2. Backlash Just Because
3. That Curse of Being in Thrall
4. Contagion
5. Joie De Ne Pas Vivre
6. Invigorating Clutch
7. Zero Gravitas Chamber
8. Fluxing of the Muscle
9. Amoral
10. Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
11. Acting in Gouged Faith
12. A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen


Shane Embury – Bass reverberations, barks and moans, noise-testing everyday objects

Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway – Bawling, shrieking, intermittent baritone

Danny Herrera – Turbulent beat throes


Century Media