Napalm Death

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Napalm Death did not have a new album in the bag, but they did kick off a new European tour right here in Copenhagen, a tour beautifully entitled Campaign for Musical Destruction.
Now, I’ve enjoyed Napalm Death several times in the past, but it has mostly been in small, intimate venues. This, however, was a big headlining tour, in a big venue, and I was interested to see just how the band would hold up in this setting.

“Stating the fucking obvious, we are Napalm Death.”
- Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway (vocals)

Now, I had already gone through Power Trip, and had been positively blown away by both Brujeria and Lock Up, so basically anything Napalm Death would bring to the table was pure icing on the cake at this point.
Still, Napalm Death took me by surprise by opening in an uncharacteristic way – after the intro, they made a slow, slow start with the old song Evolved As One – and here I figured they were all about the speed, especially when opening!
It was a very deliberate move on the band’s side, we would quickly find out. Greenway promised us a very different set than what they usually perform, really digging deep to show off different sides of the band, different flavours of Napalm Death as he called it. Admittedly, I am not so strong in knowledge about this band, that from a mere title I can say whether it is a live staple or not, but I will say that Greenway proved true to his word, and we got to see several sides of the band that I at least was not fully familiar with. Clean vocals, for one thing, and the aforementioned slow opening, are only a couple of these.

The set was mainly concentrated around the old albums, and the 2015 release Apex Predator – Easy Meat, but it also stopped by several of the other albums, so again, something for everyone here.
More important than that though, was the performance of the band. In accordance with the first song, the guys started out nice and calm, but as soon as those first blastbeats kicked in, Greenway was all over the place! Kudos also to Shane Embury, this was his third performance of the night, and he showed no signs of fatigue, not even for a second.
Still, it was Greenway that was the main man, there were no two ways about it. The way he hurriedly stomped around the stage, or stood at the edge of it, bellowing his lungs out and whipping round the microphone chord (why someone doesn’t give him a wireless mic is beyond me), he was simply giving off so much energy.

At this point, we were reaching the zenith of audience attendance. No, the place wasn’t nearly sold out, but there was a respectable amount of people gathered nonetheless.
Strangely, all the energy that the band was giving off didn’t seem to hit though. Sure, there were a lot of cheering and applauding between songs, as well as for Greenway’s many short speeches about the affair of things, but during the songs there was only a bit of headbanging going on, and the moshpit didn’t kick in until we were more than halfway through the set.
There were some requests shouted from time to time, and some of them were met (You Suffer was one, not surprisingly), and the band’s decision to praise their own sources of inspirations with a cover song section was also met with appreciation (Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedy’s was one, not surprisingly), but on the whole, this was a rather calm affair. There was a good atmosphere, and I don’t doubt that the band was liked, but I had imagined a livelier reception.

For my own sake, the show was a bit too long. Napalm Death works best coming in hard and fast, and leaving in the same manner, if you ask me. Midways and towards the end I was losing energy.
Even so, I’d say this was a very good gig, and the band did everything right on their end. They didn’t beat Brujeria, but they did good.


Apex Predator – Easy Meat
Evolved As One
It’s A M.A.N.S. World!
Necessary Evil
Smash A Single Digit
Stunt Your Growth
When All Is Said And Done
Stubborn Stains
The Kill
You Suffer
From Enslavement To Obliteration
The Code Is Red… Long Live The Code
Twist The Knife (Slowly)
Dear Slum Landlord…
Christening Of The Blind
How The Years Condemn
Suffer The Children
If The Truth Be Known
Face Down In The Dirt (The Offenders cover)
Hate, Fear And Power (Hirax cover)
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)
Adversarial/Copulating Snakes

Latest uploads: