Campaign For Musical Destruction // Napalm Death // Drop Dead // Siberian Meat Grinder // Escuela Grind // Live Review // The Electric Ballroom // London

Now the “Campaign For Musical Destruction” tour might of been rescheduled multiple times due to the plague that shouldn’t be named, the added problems of vocalist Barney Greenway’s leg break in Munich a few weeks into the tour & the absence of bassist Shane Embury might be a good reason to give up. But not in Napalm Death’s eyes! The show must & will go on!!

The bi-yearly tour package that Napalm Death & M.A.D booking puts on is always stellar but this year is a right rager. Featuring some of the best classic hardcore with Drop Dead, the bear-loving cultists Siberian Meat Grinder & manic brutal grinders Escuela Grind.

It might be Sunday & early doors but the room is packed for Escuela Grind. A group that has blown up recently since their last album 2022’s “Memory Theater”. I’ve been eagerly awaiting seeing the band on the UK shores & they did not disappoint.

Escuela Grind isn’t just your average “grindcore” band. They brilliantly mix genres so well. Think Brutal Truth fast sections, with Hatebreed style breakdowns & Cannibal Corpse death metal riffs. And it blends perfectly. Vocalist Katerina Economou is so animatic, passionate & just engaging to watch. A brutal snarling voice is better than some male vocalists!

Guitarist Krissy is a total shredder with some of the best breakdown chugs of the night! The whole band is fired up & it shows. A debut for a lot of ND fans that they won’t forget anytime soon! Tracks like “Cliffhanger” &  “All Is Forgiven” showcase the frantic yet scintillating songwriting Escuela Grind poses.

Next up are Moscow thrashers Siberian Meat Grinder. Bringing the fun & surprising element to tonight’s show. Blending elements of thrash, crossover & even some hip hop influences (hey their intro song is House Of Pain’s – Jump Around) to bring something different & something for everyone.

Noted their set is one of the funniest & anarchic I’ve seen in some time, including a giant crowned bear costume to mosh on stage & vocalist Vladimir’s “The Grand Tormentor” mask bring a fun stage show but still having some balls out thrashing tracks keep the band from being too silly & they are able to deliver a vigorous set!

Rhode Island’s Drop Dead are next up to give the audience true hardcore punk. Now legends in their own right the next forty minutes is full of punishing hardcore blasting & furious aggression.

Vocalist Bob Otis hits on politics, animal liberation & womens rights perfectly between songs to give the band’s set even more power! Featuring tracks from the bands whole discography the crowd are in a frenzied state during the whole of the set.

Drop Dead leaves the crowd with enough energy for the main event, the almighty Napalm Death!

After a quick intro from Barney on the current situation the band smash right into “Narcissus”. Matt Sheridan (Pro-Pain) might be filling in on bass but his chops are here & are up to ND level. “Backlash Just Because”, “Fuck the Factoid” & “Contagion” all tracks from the bands last album sound huge & showcase the evolution the band has undertaken in the last few years sonically but in the live setting they fit perfectly & seem to get some of the best crowd interaction.

Classic ND tracks like “Scum” & “I Abstain” are still permanent fixtures & well placed in the set. Guitarist John Cooke always puts on a good show. His strumming blistering fast & signature dreads swinging around the stage is always an amazing sight.

“When All Is Said and Done” is a personal favourite in the band’s live show as always the band keeps the track catchy & brings back any stamina the audience has lost during the long set time.

Closing out the night with “Siege of Power” from the grind bible “Scum” is the final curtain on a fantastic tour & packed night in london. Proving Napalm Death will always be the kings of grindcore. Long live Napalm Death.

Review: Joseph Mitchell

Photography: Tony Giannattasio

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