Volume 92, Issue 93
Wednesday, March 24, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
"There was a misconception that I joined the band, but it was always to be just for that album," he insists. Still, he openly admits a break was needed. "One of the problems in Napalm at the time that was a big point of contention was what I saw as a lack of democracy," he explains.
Greenway believes the experience was beneficial. "Things tend to slip out of memory quite quickly. I don't like to take anything for granted. Besides everything else, it was fun," he laughs. The vocalist returned to Napalm amidst much rumour and debate in 1997.
The obvious tensions in the band, however, were part of the creative process which spawned their newest album, Inside the Torn Apart. The intensely raw, heavy sound which defined the genre was multiplied by the recent friction.
Even the success of this latest endeavour was overshadowed by conflict when Napalm's video "Breed to Breathe" was banned. While it featured controversial scenes such as a man jumping from a building, Greenway calls the censorship misguided and unnecessary. "It wasn't meant to glorify those things, but to represent the nature of the song, the cycle of hopelessness."
Yet another drama may be lurking on the horizon. Napalm has always been on Earache Records, an independent UK label which was largely recognized as the birthplace of grindcore. Recently, Earache has gravitated toward a new sound called "gabber," which is the unholy marriage of superfast techno and death metal.
The shift has resulted in a typical confrontation for Napalm, fueled by an unauthorized gabber remix of one of their songs. "We really couldn't understand what they were doing, but they've done it and they've suffered for it," Greenway says. "Interest in the label has gone down, as well as the trust aspect for fans." Powerless to rebel against the new image because of contract obligations, they are looking forward to exploring their options upon its completion.
The future of Napalm Death could be as unstable as their past, but the sold out crowd at Call the Office on Thursday was not there for the controversy. An intimate night with a band who have played its share of stadium shows drew rave responses from those in attendance.
For both old school fans and the newly initiated, Napalm Death continue to be a major name in heavy music.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999