In 1999, British grindcore legends Napalm Death decided to take a break from their regularly demanding touring and recording regimen to pay tribute to some of their favorite bands.
The resulting six-track EP, Leaders Not Followers, was a smashing success with their fans, and also afforded Napalm a unique opportunity to have a little fun for once -- stepping outside the undoubtedly draining parameters of a hate-fueled career.
So it was hardly surprising when the band decided to not only repeat the dose, but triple it five years later with the 19-track Leaders Not Followers, Pt.
Once again, the group digs deep into a wide array of influential metallic subgenres (ranging from hardcore, to death, to thrash, to doom, and beyond) to name check both established and obscure acts (from Sepultura to Wehrmacht, from Agnostic Front to the Dayglo Abortions) on their way to uncorking an unusually entertaining and educational covers record.
As such, highlights include a brotherly take on Cryptic Slaughter's "Lowlife," a loving remake of Hellhammer's "Messiah," a fun-filled romp through Kreator's "Riot of Violence," and a pulverizing, 30-second spanking of Hirax's "Hate, Fear and Power." And, in a heartwarming display of friendship and loyalty within the extended Napalm Death family, even original bassist Jim Whitely is coaxed out of retirement to help play Discharge's "War's No Fairytale." In the end, Leaders Not Followers, Pt.
2 -- much more than just a treat for Napalm Death fans -- is clearly (and tough-guy metal heads will bristle at such a pansy-ass description before admitting its adequate) a labor of love.
And hey, enjoy it while it lasts.
Next time you hear from Napalm Death they'll probably be splattering your brain all over the sidewalk again.