“Utilitarian”, the 14th studio album (excluding the cover album “Leaders Not Followers”) from British/American grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH, sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD debuted at No. 14 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
NAPALM DEATH‘s previous album, 2009’s “Time Waits For No Slave”, opened with around 1,800 units to land at No. 19 on the Heatseekers chart.
“Utilitarian” was released on February 27 in Europe and February 28 in North America via the band’s longtime partner, Century Media Records. The cover artwork (see below) perfectly fits the album’s theme and was created by the Danish artist Frode Sylthe, who is also responsible for THE HAUNTED‘s “rEVOLVEr” artwork.
“Utilitarian” track listing
02. Errors In The Signals
03. Everyday Pox
04. Protection Racket
05. The Wolf I Feed
07. Fall On Their Swords
08. Collision Course
09. Orders Of Magnitude
10. Think Tank Trials
11. Blank Look About Face
12. Leper Colony
13. Nom De Guerre
14. Analysis Paralysis
15. Opposite Repellent
16. A Gag Reflex
17. Aim Without An Aim (bonus track)
18. Everything In Mono (bonus track)
NAPALM DEATH frontman Mark “Barney” Greenway explains the album title and concept: “After some deliberation, we have decided on ‘Utilitarian’ as the album title. We generally try to avoid generic titles, and this seemed to have a lot of scope to it. I won’t explain the full meaning of utilitarianism here because it’s an ethical theory, and as ethical theories go, the depth and debate around it is quite heavy at times. It has a certain ‘morality’ aspect to it and that isn’t something that drives me, so I also certainly have issues with it.”
“So, rather than just nail that straight to the mast, of course we wanted to put our own spin on it by suggesting that those (i.e. the utilitarian in us, perhaps) who try to challenge everything, or fight against conventions, well, we go through periods of real self-doubt where we wonder if we’re really making a difference. I suppose the conclusion is that, for the sake of all our freedoms, you should never stop, as even the feeling of resistance is at least a signal to those who would like to entirely control and dominate us — meaning everything from our instinctive behavior to our human entitlement to walk the earth unprovoked.
“Regarding the album overall, the final creases should be ironed out fairly soon, and immediately after that, we thought it would be good to top it off with a few U.K. dates. We’ve been playing one new song (‘Quarantined’) out on a tour of Canada and it’s been well received, so we hope to perhaps throw in another one for now. Either way, we’ll be bouncing off the walls again near you very soon.”
The “Analysis Paralysis” can be seen below. The clip was shot and edited by the band’s own guitarist, Mitch Harris, who has his own unique underground style and manages perfectly to capture the energy, hate and sheer power of NAPALM DEATH‘s songs.