Vanity Project

fanzine archive and photo blog

Napalm Death @ Cafe Central

shane001Napalm Death
Weinheim Café Central. 20jan13.

Napalm Death are much like the Sugababes really, in that their current line-up features none of the people that made up their first incarnation. However, the current quartet have now all been in situ for well over twenty years, and in terms of recorded output, this collective have worked together on twelve of their fifteen long-players.

Barney Greenway has been the vocalist now for quarter of a century, which with his fresh face and bank clerk hair suggests he arrived in Napalm Death before he did secondary school . His stage movements are, however, a bit more Dad-at-wedding appearing, as he prowls about, to be a man wading through swampland, pushing aside five-feet-high long grasses whilst shaking his head like a dog attempting to rid itself of excess rainwater. Not some cartoon ‘evil’ death metal band these, certainly; after playing their infamous one and a half second long piece You Suffer, Barney whips his grinning face towards the crowd in a way which recalls Tim Vine after an elaborate pun has hit home.

napal11For a man barking like a garrotted lion during the tunes, between them Barney is very much the avuncular presence, thanking the audience repeatedly for making their way to Weinheim to pack out Café Central despite the repeated snowfall and transport issues of the prior few days, as well as requesting, in hangdog fashion, that we both put aside violence and war and invite Nazi Punks, courtesy of their Dead Kennedy’s cover, to “fuck off”.

To his right, American-born guitarist Mitch Harris also looks well preserved for his years on the road, crashing through the noise and offering backing vocals that contrast Barney’s rumbling tones with a high-pitched, help-I’m-being-devoured-by-zombies-at-the-bottom-of-a-well scream.

The rhythm section looks exactly as an extreme metal rhythm section should look: portly, goateed and appearing to be combating a migraine throughout. Bassist Shane Embury, the sole member to date back to 1987 debut LP Scum is still billowing out an unkempt wafro, but these days pattern baldness has rendered a kind of reverse-Mohawk parting of the red sea, the bubbling follicles hanging round his ears like palm leaves.

What Napalm Death continue to offer after all these years, and even now slimmed down from a five-piece to a four (Jesse Pintado having left in 2004, before sadly passing away two years later), is a captivating energy which in the right space sends the pinballs flying; the stage invaded on a regular basis for use as a springboard into the crashing waves of human surf.

Far be it from me to consider myself an authority on extreme metal but with regards this 75 minutes spent at Café Central, here in an otherwise sleepy provincial town, well, I loved it.

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January 25, 2013 - Posted by | new reviews |

1 Comment »

  1. […] 20: Napalm Death. Weinheim Café Central (January) “The rhythm section looks exactly as an extreme metal rhythm section should look: portly, goateed and appearing to be combating a migraine throughout. Bassist Shane Embury, the sole member to date back to 1987 debut LP Scum is still billowing out an unkempt wafro, but these days pattern baldness has rendered a kind of reverse-Mohawk parting of the red sea, the bubbling follicles hanging round his ears like palm leaves”. FULL REVIEW. […]

    Pingback by 2013: 25 gig salute « Vanity Project fanzine | December 30, 2013 | Reply


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