Napalm Death – From Enslavement To Obliteration (1988)

Where Scum put grindcore on the map for most people, From Enslavement to Obliteration took the whole genre to new depths of mental speed and heavyness. I read once, I think in Terrorizer magazine, FETO being described as the bastard of a younger brother to Scum. Scum may have started it all, but FETO perfected the blueprint. To be honest, it just rips your fucking head off.

I got this picture disc as a gift one Christmas a few years back and I was very, very surprised to see it. I had never heard of a picture disc version before, let alone in full colour, and I feared that a family member had spent a lot of money on a bootleg. Nevertheless, some quick research revealed that this pressing is indeed genuine (and rather rare); Earache pressed a bunch of these up in 1990, just after the initial gatefold run. I find the full colour artwork rather bizarre, even to this day, being so used to seeing the original purple’n’white. Dig from Earache also uploaded the original full colour version of Scum to his blog Ask Earache, even though it was never used in any (legitimate) pressing of Scum. You’d be very surprised at how different it looks.

Unfortunately my copy is a bit crackly, and opener “Evolved as One” skips a bit. Picture discs aren’t exactly known for their excellent sound quality but other than the signs of wear it sounds really, really good. Better than the fucking CD, anyway! It is definitely a collectors item though, I think most fans would be better off settling for the dynamic represses of new or the original FETO pressing on black wax with the bonus 7″ (which I am still looking to obtain). If Earache had ever pressed Scum with the same full colour picture together with this it would make for some fantastic wall art.

I always used to think that FETO’s one flaw was that it couldn’t stand up to the music of today for sheer impact, but as I’ve matured and realised that loudness isn’t everything (also having the bastard on vinyl helped – so much better!), FETO has come full circle for me as something to listen to and enjoy often. After all, it is a blistering whirlwind of a record. It is also mental to think that this line up of Napalm Death lasted for so little time – who knows if they would have gone on to make more powerful things than FETO? It is sad to see how back in the day Napalm Death chewed up and spat out it’s members, but some of the bands created in it’s wake are equally or more so breathtaking (Godflesh, Cathedral, Scorn and Carcass to name a few).