Utilitarian (album)

Last updated

NAPALM DEATH Utilitarian.jpg
Studio album by
Released27 February 2012 (2012-02-27)
RecordedMay-November 2011
StudioParlour Studios, Kettering
Genre Grindcore, death metal
Label Century Media
Producer Russ Russell
Napalm Death chronology
Time Waits for No Slave
Converge / Napalm Death
Singles from Utilitarian
  1. "Analysis Paralysis"
    Released: 2 January 2012 [1]

Utilitarian is the fourteenth studio album by British grindcore band Napalm Death. It was released in the UK on 27 February 2012 and globally on 28 February 2012. [2]

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.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 74/100 [3]
Review scores
About.com Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [5]
Blabbermouth.net 8.5/10 [6]
The Guardian Favourable [7]
Metal Forces 8.5/10 [8]
MetalReviews95/100 [9]
Metal Sucks Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [10]
Popmatters 8/10 [11]
Spin 8/10 [12]
This Is Not a Scene9/10 [13]


Utilitarian was recorded in 2011. A 7" vinyl single for "Analysis Paralysis" was released in January 2012. [14] When asked, vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway stated that he was quite proud of the new album, saying, "The thing you have to consider about Napalm Death is that no two albums sound the same, which is what makes this album unique. Whilst we stick to the same aggressive tone that fans are used to, we also have added other technical elements in it to make it stand out. It's still a rock album, but it's something we do to it to make it fresh." [15]

Barney Greenway British extreme metal vocalist

Mark Andrew "Barney" Greenway is a British extreme metal vocalist, who is currently the lead vocalist of Napalm Death, and was formerly a member of Extreme Noise Terror, and Benediction.

When the recording sessions for the then-untitled album had already finished, Napalm Death extended their worldwide contract with Century Media on a number of future albums. According to vocalist Mark Greenway, "it's the first time we've actually re-signed on a longer term deal with anybody since the days when we didn't strictly know that we could be digging ourselves a big hole with labels." [16]

Century Media Records record label

Century Media Records is a heavy metal record label with offices in the United States, Germany and London. In August 2015, Century Media was acquired by Sony Music for US $17 million.

Track listing

1."Circumspect" (Instrumental) 2:17
2."Errors in the Signals"Mark Greenway, Mitch Harris3:02
3."Everyday Pox"Greenway, Shane Embury 2:12
4."Protection Racket"Greenway, Embury4:00
5."The Wolf I Feed"Harris2:57
6."Quarantined"Greenway, Harris2:47
7."Fall on Their Swords"Greenway, Embury3:57
8."Collision Course"Embury3:14
9."Orders of Magnitude"Harris3:21
10."Think Tank Trials"Greenway, Harris2:27
11."Blank Look About Face"Greenway, Harris3:12
12."Leper Colony"Greenway, Embury3:23
13."Nom de Guerre"Greenway, Embury1:07
14."Analysis Paralysis"Harris, Embury3:23
15."Opposites Repellent"Greenway, Embury1:22
16."A Gag Reflex"Greenway, Harris3:30


Napalm Death

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.

Shane Embury British musician

Shane Embury is a British bassist and, since 1987, a member of grindcore and death metal band Napalm Death.

Bass guitar Electric bass instrument

The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, and four to six strings or courses.

Additional personnel

John Zorn American composer, saxophonist and bandleader

John Zorn is an American composer, arranger, record producer, saxophonist, and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, surf, metal, soundtrack, ambient, and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions, which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as "one of our most important composers".

Saxophone type of musical instrument of the woodwind family

The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. Although most saxophones are made from brass, they are categorized as woodwind instruments, because sound is produced by an oscillating reed, traditionally made out of woody cane, rather than lips vibrating in a mouthpiece cup as with the brass instrument family. As with the other woodwinds, the pitch of the note being played is controlled by covering holes in the body tube to control the resonant frequency of the air column by changing the effective length of the tube.

Russ Russell is a British record producer, sound engineer, mixer, mastering engineer, musician and writer. He has worked all over the world and now is mostly based at Parlour Studios in the UK. He was also the guitarist in the psychedelic band Draw, and now plays in British metal band Absolute Power and cosmic mind metal trio, Reformat.

Chart positions

Chart (2012)Peak position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) [17] 84
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) [18] 25
French Albums (SNEP) [19] 80
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) [20] 74
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [21] 88
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard) [22] 22
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard) [23] 14
US Independent Albums (Billboard) [24] 43
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard) [25] 25

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