This re-release of the classic 1987 debut full length album from grindcore / crust punk legends Extreme Noise Terror, comes serves as a timely tribute for former vocalist and founding member Phil Vane, who sadly died this February.
Album opener ‘Deceived’ is one of only six songs on ‘Holocaust…’ that dares to go beyond two minutes and the vast majority of the tracks on offer only stick around for sixty to ninety seconds. ‘A Holocaust In Your Head’ contains some of Extreme Noise Terror’s finest moments, with ‘Bullshit Propaganda’, ‘Another Nail In The Coffin’ and ‘Raping The Earth’ all featuring on this collection.
Each of the twenty-one songs on this release is an insane blast of pure old school English bile and anger. Following the blueprint set by pioneers such as Napalm Death, Discharge and The Varukers, Extreme Noise Terror used disillusionment with politics as a basis for their lyrics and anger at corruption and a screwed up system. Despite this album being nearly twenty five years old, with the recent riots and protests, that this album is as relevant today as it was then.
In my opinion, there are few bands that have managed to capture such an uncompromising sound as Extreme Noise Terror, and this album is a fine example of that. The chaotic drums of Tony ‘Stick’ Dickens and bassist Mark Gardiner drive this album along at a furious pace. The twin vocal assault of Dean Jones and Phil Vane (with additional vocals from guitarist Pete Hurley) round off the sound and added to growing scene that continues to influence bands to this day.
With this being a re-release I did have worries that something would have been done to clean up the recordings and remaster it, but I am glad to say it sounds as raw and menacing as it always did. It is reassuring to hear this type of recording again in a time when so much music is produced to the point where it becomes almost too clean and polished.
It is difficult to mark and recommend an Extreme Noise Terror record as if you like grindcore you will already know and love this band. Twenty-one songs in just under thirty-five minutes without the need for any quiet moments. A perfect example of a band that appealed as much to punks as it did to metal fans, it is both an excellent place to start for new listeners and a reminder of how good they were for old fans.