From Enslavement to Obliteration

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From Enslavement to Obliteration
From Enslavement to Obliteration.jpg
Studio album by
Released16 September 1988
RecordedJuly 1988
StudioBirdsong Studios, Worcester
Genre Grindcore
Label Earache
Producer Napalm Death
Napalm Death chronology
From Enslavement to Obliteration
Mentally Murdered

From Enslavement to Obliteration is the second studio album by grindcore band Napalm Death, released in 1988. It is the final studio album with vocalist Lee Dorrian and guitarist Bill Steer, and the first to feature bassist Shane Embury, the band's longest-tenured member. A remastered version was released on 2 April 2012.

Grindcore is an extreme fusion genre of heavy metal and hardcore punk that originated in the mid-1980s, drawing inspiration from abrasive-sounding musical styles, such as: thrashcore, crust punk, hardcore punk, extreme metal, and industrial. Grindcore is characterized by a noise-filled sound that uses heavily distorted, down-tuned guitars, grinding overdriven bass, high speed tempo, blast beats, and vocals which consist of growls and high-pitched shrieks. Early groups like Napalm Death are credited with laying the groundwork for the style. It is most prevalent today in North America and Europe, with popular contributors such as Brutal Truth and Nasum. Lyrical themes range from a primary focus on social and political concerns, to gory subject matter and black humor.

Napalm Death British grindcore band

Napalm Death are a British extreme metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group since December 1986, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent of the band's career since 1992's Utopia Banished, although, from 1989 to 2004, Napalm Death were a five-piece band after they added Jesse Pintado as the replacement of one-time guitarist Bill Steer; following Pintado's departure, the band reverted to a four-piece rather than replace him.

Lee Dorrian British singer

Lee Dorrian is an English singer, best known as a former member of Napalm Death and later frontman of Cathedral.



The album's lyrical themes cover a variety of social and political topics, including misogyny/sexism ("It's a M.A.N.S World" and "Inconceivable?"), animal rights ("Display to Me…"), racism ("Unchallenged Hate" and "From Enslavement to Obliteration"), materialism ("Private Death"), and anti-capitalism ("Make Way!"). The album calls for social change, as seen in the song "Uncertainty Blurs the Vision," quoting Rudimentary Peni at the song's conclusion.

Misogyny is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny manifests in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, disenfranchisement of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification. Misogyny can be found within sacred texts of religions, mythologies, and Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy.

Sexism prejudice or discrimination based on a persons sex or gender

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence. Gender discrimination may encompass sexism, and is discrimination toward people based on their gender identity or their gender or sex differences. Gender discrimination is especially defined in terms of workplace inequality. It may arise from social or cultural customs and norms.

Animal rights Belief that non-human animals have basic interests that should be afforded similar consideration as those of humans

Animal rights is the idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own existence and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings.

Shane Embury retrospectively commented on the band's progression up until From Enslavement to Obliteration in Kerrang! magazine:

<i>Kerrang!</i> British magazine about rock and metal music

Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to hard rock and heavy metal music, currently published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s it became the best-selling British music weekly.

It was a good experience but it was a brief one. Back in those days albums were recorded very quickly – we recorded the album in about six days and I think it cost about £800. In the early days in the very beginning before I joined, it was more of a crust punk band really but it was a natural progression, I think, to get faster and faster. Scum created a buzz and by the time we did FETO, we just wanted to push it as far as we could and as fast as possible. We weren't really consciously trying to break any rules but we weren't paying any attention to them either. If we wanted to do a song that was going to be 20 seconds long then we'd do it – we didn't think there was any reason not to. The vocals for us went hand-in-hand with the distorted bass guitar, distorted guitars and hyper-fast drumming". [1]

Crust punk is a form of music influenced by English punk rock and extreme metal. The style, which evolved in the early-1980s in England, often has songs with dark and pessimistic lyrics that linger on political and social ills. The term "crust" was coined by Hellbastard on their 1986 Ripper Crust demo.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [2]
Classic Rock Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]

In 2009 From Enslavement to Obliteration was ranked number 1 in Terrorizer's list of essential European grindcore albums. [4] Writer Jonathan Horsley described it as marking "the genre's perilous rite of passage through Britain's post-industrial urban landscape." [4] Classic Rock reviewer remarked how the stable line-up brought "new maturity and coherence" and reminded that "for an all-too-brief moment in time, this album could lay claim to being the most extreme collection of songs ever recorded". [3]

<i>Classic Rock</i> (magazine) British magazine

Classic Rock is a British magazine dedicated to rock music, published by Future, who are also responsible for its "sister" publications Metal Hammer and Prog. Although firmly focusing on key bands from the 1960s through early 1990s, it also includes articles and reviews of contemporary and upcoming artists it deems worthy of note. Despite starting as an on-off project it became one of the UK's best selling music magazines. In September 2010 it published its 150th issue.

In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked From Enslavement to Obliteration as 59th on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.' [5]

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage of rock music and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.

Track listing

Side one
1."Evolved as One"3:13
2."It's a M.A.N.S World!"0:54
3."Lucid Fairytale"1:02
4."Private Death"0:35
6."Unchallenged Hate"2:07
7."Uncertainty Blurs the Vision"0:40
8."Cock-Rock Alienation"1:20
9."Retreat to Nowhere"0:30
10."Think for a Minute"1:42
11."Display to Me…"2:43
Side two
12."From Enslavement to Obliteration"1:35
13."Blind to the Truth"0:21
14."Social Sterility"1:03
15."Emotional Suffocation"1:06
16."Practice What You Preach"1:23
18."Worlds Apart"1:24
19."Obstinate Direction"1:01
20."Mentally Murdered"2:13
22."Make Way!"1:36

The Curse

The Curse
Napalm TheCurse.gif
EP by
ReleasedSeptember 1988
Genre Grindcore
Label Earache (7MOSH 8)

The Curse is a free 7-inch extended play by the grindcore band Napalm Death, included in the initial copies of the From Enslavement to Obliteration LP, which was released through Earache Records in September 1988. [6]

The cover uses the famous photograph of Phan Thi Kim Phuc fleeing a napalm attack, taken by Nick Ut.

Track listing

Side one
1."The Curse"3:17
Side two
2."Your Achievement?"0:06
4."Morbid Deceiver"0:45
  • The song "Morbid Deceiver" is a re-recording of the song "Deceiver", originally on the album Scum .


Napalm Death


Some LPs had a sticker with the following line printed on it: "We wanted to be the biggest rock band in the world and you don't do that sounding like Napalm Death" Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) [7]

Grindcore band Sore Throat included a track called "From Off License to Obliteration" on their 101-track 1988 album Disgrace to the Corpse of Sid , also released on Earache Records.


Chart (1988)Peak
UK Indie Chart [8] 1

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<i>Mentally Murdered</i> 1989 EP by Napalm Death

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  1. Travers, Paul (1 May 2010). "Albums: Treasure Chest - Shane Embury". Kerrang! . No. 1310. p. 54.
  2. Raggett, Ned. "Napalm Death - From Enslavement to Obliteration review". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  3. 1 2 Delaney, Roy (July 2012). "Napalm Death - From Enslavement to Obliteration". Classic Rock . No. 172. p. 106.
  4. 1 2 Horsley, Jonathan (2009). "Essential Albums - Europe". Terrorizer . No. 180. p. 54.
  5. "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  6. "Napalm Death, From Enslavement to Obliteration". Earache Records. Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  8. Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2014.