Napalm Death are a band with a hefty legacy behind them, and a packed venue shows that they have fans who have followed the British grindcore band through their various incarnations of lineups throughout the years.
With three different bands opening for them this evening, the Voodoo Lounge venue is swiftly filling up by 7pm. The house lights permanently down, and bands milling about on stage before doing their own sound checks, it’s a curiously chilled out vibe for such an extreme sound to follow.
The stand-out opening act is clearly Warpath, a Dublin-based band that are entertaining both for their guttural hard-core vocal style and an ability to be constantly swigging from bottles of Buckfast on stage. While lead vocalist, Darren Keogh, restrains his patter to plugs for the band’s new EP, it’s overall an enjoyable and engaging performance given their impressive presence on stage.
When the time comes for Napalm Death to perform, the crowd have been suitably warmed up. Despite bassist, Shane Embury, being replaced for the Irish date, the band still manage to perform cohesively. This is probably helped, in part, due to the crowd. While every audience has its downfalls, the dynamic mixture of attendees seems to have guaranteed that most people could have a good time. At the front of the crowd there’s a frantic mosh pit, while more sedate listeners are to found towards the back where sipping drinks.
Drawing from 1987’s Scum, to more recent numbers from 2015’s Apex Predator – Easy Meat, Napalm Death cater to the different ages present in the audience.
The most interesting aspect of the gig is easily Mark Greenway’s conversations with the crowd, particularly about the importance of fighting back in the current political climate. While Greenway is preaching to the converted, in a sense, it’s interesting to see the crowd reverently agree that in an age of politically endorsed racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia; that the role of anti-establishment and metal bands comes to the forefront. Perhaps this is why Napalm Death are touring this album two years after its release, and why so many came out to hear it.