Smear Campaign is Napalm Death's best record in a decade. I'm not saying that their records since 1996 have been subpar, far from it. But, Smear Campaign is their most focused arsenal of grindcore in a long time. Barney is in top form and sounds as if he's going to jump through your speakers and throttle you. You can tell that this is the subject matter (religion) that Greenway has wanted to tackle in-depth for a long time. Puritanical Punishment Beating may be the best song that Napalm Death has ever recorded. That's a bold statement but everything clicks on this showcase track from a nasty array of riffs to signiture time changes and raging vox. As usual, Shane Embury holds the madness together with his stellar bass work and Danny Herrera continues to amaze with his super human blast beats. Mitch Harris seems to work better alone because since the departure and untimely death of Jesse Pintado, Harris seems to have stepped up his playing and carried Napalm on his shoulders. Anyway, this is a must have for ND fans and grindcore fans in general...an inspired effort.
Tracks Ranked 1-10:
1. Weltschmerz (5/10) but just an intro...
2. Sink Fast, Let Go (8.5/10)
3. Fatalist (9/10)
4. Puritanical Punishment Beating (11/10)
5. When All Is Said and Done (9/10)
6. Freedom Is the Wage of Sin (9/10)
7. In Deference (10/10)
8. Short-Lived (9/10)
9. Identity Crisis (8.5/10)
10. Shattered Existence (9.5/10)
11. Eyes Right Out (9/10)
12. Warped Beyond Logic (8.5/10)
13. Rabid Wolves (For Christ)(10/10)
14. Deaf and Dumbstruck (Intelligent Design)(10/10)