Napalm Death: Harmony Corruption (1990)

Napalm Death’s Harmony Corruption (1990) is a classic of extreme metal. It’s a brutal album that mixes death metal with the band’s original grindcore sound. The songs are short, intense, and filled with angry lyrics about social problems. If you like your music heavy and aggressive, Harmony Corruption is a must-listen.

Track Listing

  1. Vision Conquest
  2. If the Truth Be Known
  3. Inner Incineration
  4. Malicious Intent
  5. Unfit Earth
  6. Circle of Hypocrisy
  7. The Chains That Bind Us
  8. Mind Snare
  9. Extremity Retained
  10. Suffer the Children
  11. Hiding Behind (Some versions may not include this bonus track)

Length: 40:48


Death metal, grindcore

Release Date

July 1st, 1990

Record Label

Earache Records

The Lineup for the Album

  • Mark “Barney” Greenway: vocals
  • Jesse Pintado: guitars
  • Mitch Harris: guitars
  • Shane Embury: bass
  • Mick Harris: drums

Recording Date

Late 1989 to early 1990

Recording Studio

Morrisound Recording (Tampa, Florida)

Produced by

Scott Burns

Album Themes/Concept

Social and Political Injustice: Many songs express rage against systems of oppression, corruption in power, the hypocrisy of those in authority, and the destructive tendencies of humanity.

Environmental Ruin: Tracks like “Unfit Earth” lament environmental degradation and the consequences of unchecked exploitation of the planet.

Anti-war Sentiment: The album has a strong streak of anti-war messaging, exemplified in songs like “Suffer the Children”, with visceral portrayals of the horrors of conflict.

Personal Responsibility: Some lyrics emphasize the need for individuals to examine their own actions and how they contribute to the world’s problems.

Album Mood

Relentless Fury: The album is a sonic assault, dominated by crushing riffs, blast beats, and guttural vocals. It maintains a breakneck pace throughout, rarely offering moments of respite.

Anger and Disillusionment: The lyrics and vocal delivery convey a sense of profound anger towards oppression,injustice, and the destructive tendencies of humanity.

Dark and Nihilistic: There’s a strong undercurrent of nihilism and hopelessness in the album’s worldview. It doesn’t offer easy solutions or feel-good moments, focusing instead on the harsh realities it critiques.

Album Trivia

Barney Greenway’s Debut: Harmony Corruption was the first Napalm Death album to feature vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway. His debut was a major stylistic shift for the band, as his guttural death growl replaced the higher-pitched style of previous vocalist Lee Dorrian.

American-Mexican Influence: The addition of American and Mexican-American guitarists Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado brought a distinct death metal flavor to Napalm Death’s established grindcore sound. This influence is highly evident on Harmony Corruption.

Scott Burns Production: Harmony Corruption was produced by renowned death metal producer Scott Burns at Morrisound Recording in Florida. Burns’ signature production style gave the album a raw, visceral sound.

Super Big Gulps and Sleep on the Couch: Bassist Shane Embury shared that during recording, the band enjoyed a steady diet of Super Big Gulp drinks and that vocalist Barney Greenway recorded all his vocals in a single day, stoned, in the studio.

Bonus Track Surprise: Some versions of Harmony Corruption include a bonus track called “Hiding Behind.” This wasn’t originally intended for the album, but snuck in last minute.

Listen or Pass

This album might be for you if you…

  • Enjoy extreme metal: If you like death metal, grindcore, or just heavy music with a lot of aggression and intensity,you’ll likely find elements to appreciate in Harmony Corruption.
  • Don’t mind short songs: Most of the songs on this album are under 3 minutes, some even less than a minute long. If you prefer a quick blast of musical brutality, this is perfect.
  • Appreciate historical context: This album marks a turning point in Napalm Death’s sound and holds significance within extreme music history.
  • Can handle challenging and bleak lyrical content: Harmony Corruption pulls no punches with its social and political commentary, delivered in an unfiltered style.

You might want to pass this one if you…

  • Prefer melodic music: This album is relentlessly harsh and offers little in the way of melody or traditional song structure.
  • Are sensitive to extreme lyrical themes: The focus on war, injustice, and human destructiveness is very intense and may be disturbing to some listeners.
  • Don’t like super short songs: If you want your music to have a more developed feel, the short song format on this album might feel disjointed.
  • Dislike guttural death metal vocals: Barney Greenway’s deeply guttural delivery is a hallmark of this album and might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Release Date

July 1, 1990