Napalm Death: Enemy of the Music Business (2000)

Released in 2000, “Enemy of the Music Business” is the ninth studio album by British grindcore band Napalm Death. It comprises 13 tracks with lyrics addressing political and social issues, often criticizing the music industry. The album is characterized by its aggressive sound, fast tempos, and harsh vocals. It marked a return to the band’s more extreme style after a period of experimentation.

Track Listing

  1. Taste the Poison
  2. Next on the List
  3. Constitutional Hell
  4. Vermin
  5. Volume of Neglect
  6. Thanks for Nothing
  7. Can’t Play, Won’t Pay
  8. Blunt Against the Cutting Edge
  9. Cure for the Common Complaint
  10. Necessary Evil
  11. C.S. (Conservative Shithead) (Part 2)
  12. Mechanics of Deceit
  13. (The Public Gets) What the Public Doesn’t Want
  14. Fracture in the Equation

Length: 41:14


Death metal, grindcore

Release Date

September 25th, 2000

Record Label

Dream Catcher

The Lineup for the Album

  • Mark “Barney” Greenway: vocals
  • Shane Embury: bass
  • Mitch Harris: guitar, backing vocals
  • Jesse Pintado: guitar
  • Danny Herrera: drums

Recording Date

May 26th, 2000 – June 8th, 2000

Recording Studio

Parkgate Studios (Catsfield, England)

Produced by

Simon Efemey

Album Themes/Concept

Anti-establishment: The lyrics rail against the music industry’s power structures, accusing them of manipulating artists and stifling creativity.

Social commentary: Songs touch upon broader social issues, such as political corruption, consumerism, and the dehumanizing effects of capitalism.

Personal frustration: The lyrics convey a sense of anger and disillusionment with the state of the music world.

Call for change: There’s an underlying message of defiance and a call for a more authentic and artist-driven approach to music.

Album Mood

Angry and Confrontational: The album is fueled by a palpable rage against the perceived injustices of the music industry. The raw vocals, aggressive instrumentation, and blistering tempos all contribute to a sense of sonic fury.

Urgent and Intense: The album’s breakneck speed and relentless energy create a sense of urgency, as if the band is on a mission to expose the dark underbelly of the music world. The unrelenting pace keeps the listener on edge, never allowing for complacency.

Bleak and Disillusioned: The lyrics paint a grim picture of the music industry, expressing a deep sense of disillusionment with its practices. This negativity is mirrored in the music, which often feels harsh and uncompromising.

Defiant and Empowering: Despite the bleakness, there’s an underlying sense of defiance and empowerment. The album encourages listeners to question authority, resist exploitation, and embrace their own creative independence.

Album Trivia

Album Title Significance: The title “Enemy of the Music Business” reflects the band’s intense dissatisfaction with the music industry, particularly their issues with their previous label. This discontent profoundly influenced the album’s aggressive style and lyrical themes, making it a fierce statement against the commercial aspects of the music industry.

Creative Freedom and Energy: Freed from their previous label constraints, Napalm Death approached this album with renewed energy and a focus on returning to their grindcore roots. The album is noted for its raw production and unrelenting aggression, qualities that helped reestablish the band’s reputation in the extreme metal scene.

Back to Aggression: “Enemy of the Music Business” marked a return to Napalm Death’s more aggressive and intense sound, a deliberate move after their experimental phase in the late 90s. This shift was largely fueled by the band’s dissatisfaction with their previous label, which inspired much of the album’s raw energy and vitriolic content.

Innovative Drumming: The album is also notable for its exceptional drumming by Danny Herrera, whose work is particularly highlighted. His ability to deliver intense and precise drumming added a powerful dynamic to the album’s sound, contributing significantly to its overall impact.

Last Album with Jesse Pintado: “Enemy of the Music Business” was the last Napalm Death album to feature guitarist Jesse Pintado, marking the end of an era for the band’s lineup. Pintado passed away on August 27, 2006, at the age of 37. He died at Erasmus MC hospital in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from liver failure, concluding a significant chapter in the band’s history as well as the metal community at large.

Listen or Pass

This album might be for you if you…

  • Enjoy fast and aggressive music: Napalm Death’s “Enemy of the Music Business” is a relentless assault of grindcore and death metal, with blistering speeds, intense vocals, and a chaotic atmosphere.
  • Appreciate politically charged lyrics: The album’s lyrics are filled with anti-establishment sentiments, social commentary, and criticisms of the music industry.
  • Like extreme metal with punk influences: The album incorporates elements of punk rock, adding a raw and rebellious edge to the music.
  • Are open to experimentation: While rooted in extreme metal, the album features some unexpected moments, including a guest appearance by Anneke van Giersbergen from The Gathering.
  • Want a cathartic listening experience: The album’s raw energy and angry lyrics provide a powerful outlet for frustration and anger.

You might want to pass this one if you…

  • Prefer melodic or accessible music: The album’s extreme sound and abrasive vocals may be too harsh for those who prefer more melodic or accessible styles of metal.
  • Dislike overtly political lyrics: If you prefer your music to be purely instrumental or with lyrics focused on other themes, this album’s political commentary might not appeal to you.
  • Are sensitive to extreme vocals: Barney Greenway’s signature harsh vocals are a defining feature of Napalm Death, and they are on full display throughout this album.
  • Prefer longer, more complex songs: The album’s grindcore nature means most songs are short and to the point, with few exceeding two minutes.
  • Seek a relaxing or uplifting listening experience: This album’s aggressive sound and bleak lyrical themes are unlikely to provide a sense of calm or optimism.

Release Date

September 25, 2000