Napalm Death - Scum [Earache - 2007]This is a double sided 20th anniversary edition of this classic album. On the first side theres the untouched original album and the other side is a 50 min documentary about the albums making and its influence.
Itís difficult to under estimate the effect Scum has had on the metal scene in general and the wider extreme music and experimental scene. It went to influence the likes of John Zorn, Merzbow and manly others. It also of course made Earache, the almost branded metal label theyíve become over the years.
But Scum is far from a piece of history, it still sounds as fiery and tower block grim as it did all those years ago when I first heard it on vinyl. Itís lost none of its power, aggression or ugliness, and I can now admire it as a piece of art in its own right above and beyond been a good brutal, adrenalin fired beating. Basically for those who donít know the album- itís just over half-an-hour & twenty eight tracks long that mix together ragged edge of harcore punk, metallic elements and still some of the fastest drum work ever played- hell Mick Harris invented the blast beat. Making the first Grindcore album and still one of the most extreme albums around today.
So why reissue something that most will already have? Well Iím sure thereís still a few that havenít heard it and of course itís important to celebrate its twenty birthday too and show how important and fresh it still is. But the main buying point for most will be the documentary about the album, which is rather excellent lasting near on 50 mins. It consist of lots of interview footage with Mick Harris : going back to the Mermaid- the notorious pub they played in their early days, re-visting Rich bitch- the studios where both sides of the scum were recorded, and loads more interesting and informative banter about the early days of Napalm Death ect. We also have contribution's from respected metal journalist like Malcolm Dome, and a few others interesting input. All making a very rewarding film, thatís easily worth re-buying this again for those who already have and those who donít a must have. Only bit of disappointment I guess is you donít hear from the other members of the band, but Harris is more than adequate, since he was the power behind keeping the band together in its early years.
A must buy if you already have it or not. A worthy celebration of one of the great extreme albums of all time, whose anger towards muilt-national companies seems even more apt today than ever.Roger Batty