Napalm Death – Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 Review

Originally written by Drew Ailes

Kicking off with a Cryptic Slaughter cover, how can an album possibly go wrong? It can’t. Napalm Death, a band that could be paid tribute to themselves, cover a variety of classic punk, hardcore, and thrash – breathing new life and honestly rekindling my interest in some of these bands. I really wish I had had this album when I was 12 or so, as I’m positive I’d be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am now.

The great thing about a lot of these tracks is they’re played by Napalm Death. It’s that simple. I’ve always maintained the belief that doing covers is usually a bad idea unless you feel you honestly have something to contribute to the song. And that’s exactly what’s happening here. Songs that were already good are further catapulted into a heavier realm of greatness. There’s something for every heavy music fan on here, from crusty hardcore, to thrash, to straight death metal. Every song done on here is extremely tight and close to the original, only done the Napalm Death way. They fucking do justice and add new depth to tracks like “Devastation” without deviating too far from the original. Hellhammer’s sparse sounding “Messiah” suddenly becomes a thunderous dark thrash attack under the wing of these English grinders. They manage to retain the atmosphere even while nailing those high pitched screams. Their cover of Kreator’s “Riot of Violence” stays true to the original, right on down to the solo – definitely appeasing the older audience. Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 is somewhat of a “best of” release of a lot of classic influential acts as well as hidden gems, only modernized by the band. Really, I never thought I’d almost cry to an Anti-Cimex cover, or break my hand with Barney Greenway singing the high-strung thrashings of Wehrmacht in the background.

Oh man, the potential of Napalm Death cover albums. I’d like to hear them do a CCR tribute album, or a couple Mr. Big tracks. Maybe an album of 70’s detective show theme songs. The endless possibilities. That said, anyone who’s ever been a fan of some of these bands would do well to pick up Leaders Not Followers: Part 2. It’s an incredible achievement and one of the best cover albums I’ve ever heard – not that there’s too much competition, but still. It’s worth it just to hear the covers of bands like Sepultura and The Dayglo Abortions. It’s rock solid and I definitely wouldn’t mind if more of my favorite bands started doing their own renditions of old songs. Kicking off with a Cryptic Slaughter cover, how can an album possibly go wrong? It can’t. Napalm Death, a band that could be paid tribute to themselves, cover a variety of classic punk, hardcore, and thrash – breathing new life and honestly rekindling my interest in some of these bands. I really wish I had had this album when I was 12 or so, as I’m positive I’d be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am now. The great thing about a lot of these tracks is they’re played by Napalm Death. It’s that simple. I’ve always maintained the belief that doing covers is usually a bad idea unless you feel you honestly have something to contribute to the song. And that’s exactly what’s happening here. Songs that were already good are further catapulted into a heavier realm of greatness. There’s something for every heavy music fan on here, from crusty hardcore, to thrash, to straight death metal. Every song done on here is extremely tight and close to the original, only done the Napalm Death way. They fucking do justice and add new depth to tracks like “Devastation” without deviating too far from the original. Hellhammer’s sparse sounding “Messiah” suddenly becomes a thunderous dark thrash attack under the wing of these English grinders. They manage to retain the atmosphere even while nailing those high pitched screams. Their cover of Kreator’s “Riot of Violence” stays true to the original, right on down to the solo – definitely appeasing the older audience. Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 is somewhat of a “best of” release of a lot of classic influential acts as well as hidden gems, only modernized by the band. Really, I never thought I’d almost cry to an Anti-Cimex cover, or break my hand with Barney Greenway singing the high-strung thrashings of Wehrmacht in the background.

Oh man, the potential of Napalm Death cover albums. I’d like to hear them do a CCR tribute album, or a couple Mr. Big tracks. Maybe an album of 70’s detective show theme songs. The endless possibilities. That said, anyone who’s ever been a fan of some of these bands would do well to pick up Leaders Not Followers: Part 2. It’s an incredible achievement and one of the best cover albums I’ve ever heard – not that there’s too much competition, but still. It’s worth it just to hear the covers of bands like Sepultura and The Dayglo Abortions. It’s rock solid and I definitely wouldn’t mind if more of my favorite bands started doing their own renditions of old songs.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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