Napalm Death: Smear Campaign (2006)

Napalm Death’s “Smear Campaign” is the band’s twelfth studio album. It continues their signature grindcore sound, characterized by fast tempos, aggressive vocals, and politically charged lyrics. The album addresses themes of war, violence, political corruption, and social injustice. It features guest vocals by Anneke van Giersbergen on two tracks. The album was produced by Russ Russell and recorded at Foel Studios in Wales.

Track Listing

  1. Weltschmerz (Intro)
  2. Sink Fast, Let Go
  3. Fatalist
  4. Puritanical Punishment Beating
  5. When All Is Said and Done
  6. Freedom Is the Wage of Sin
  7. In Deference
  8. Short-Lived
  9. Identity Crisis
  10. Shattered Existence
  11. Eyes Right Out
  12. Warped Beyond Logic
  13. Rabid Wolves (for Christ)
  14. Deaf and Dumbstruck (Intelligent Design)
  15. Persona Non Grata
  16. Smear Campaign

Length: 45:02


Death metal, grindcore

Release Date

September 18th, 2006

Record Label

Century Media Records

The Lineup for the Album

  • Mark “Barney” Greenway: vocals
  • Shane Embury: bass, vocals
  • Mitch Harris: guitars, vocals
  • Danny Herrera: drums

Recording Date

May 25th – 27th and June 3rd – 10th, 2006

Recording Studio

Fuel Studios (Llanfair Caernon, Wales)

Produced by

Russ Russell

Album Themes/Concept

Criticism of War and Violence: The album condemns war and violence, highlighting the suffering and futility of conflict.

Anti-Capitalism and Anti-Globalization: Napalm Death critiques capitalism and globalization, arguing that they exploit and marginalize vulnerable populations.

Environmental Concerns: The band expresses concern about environmental destruction and the need for sustainability.

Social Justice: The album advocates for social justice, equality, and human rights.

Political Corruption and Hypocrisy: Napalm Death criticizes political corruption and hypocrisy, calling for accountability and transparency.

Album Mood

Aggressive and Intense: The music is fast-paced, heavy, and unrelenting, reflecting the anger and frustration expressed in the lyrics. The grinding guitars, pummeling drums, and guttural vocals create a sonic assault that is both exhilarating and cathartic.

Dark and Brooding: The album’s atmosphere is often dark and brooding, with moments of dissonance and unsettling melodies that enhance the sense of unease and foreboding. This reflects the bleakness of the social and political issues addressed in the lyrics.

Energetic and Engaging: Despite its dark themes, “Smear Campaign” is also an energetic and engaging album. The music is dynamic and constantly evolving, with unexpected twists and turns that keep the listener on edge. This reflects the band’s passionate commitment to their message and their refusal to be silenced.

Album Trivia

Anneke van Giersbergen’s Guest Appearance: The renowned Dutch vocalist, known for her work with The Gathering and Agua de Annique, lent her voice to two tracks on the album, “Weltschmerz” and “In Deference.”

Album title meaning: “Smear Campaign” refers to the use of disinformation and propaganda to discredit individuals or groups. The band chose this title to criticize political manipulation and the distortion of truth in media.

Listen or Pass

This album might be for you if you…

  • Enjoy extreme metal genres: “Smear Campaign” is a grindcore album, which is a subgenre of extreme metal known for its fast tempos, aggressive vocals, and often politically charged lyrics. If you enjoy other extreme metal genres like death metal or black metal, you are likely to appreciate the intensity and aggression of this album.
  • Are interested in socio-political issues: The album’s lyrics tackle various social and political issues, including war, violence, capitalism, globalization, environmental destruction, and political corruption. If you are interested in these topics and enjoy music that challenges the status quo, this album will resonate with you.
  • Like your music fast and furious: This album is not for the faint of heart. The music is fast, heavy, and unrelenting, with little room for melody or respite. If you like your music to be a sonic assault, this album will deliver.

You might want to pass this one if you…

  • Prefer melodic or accessible music: Grindcore is not known for its melody or accessibility. If you prefer music that is more melodic, or if you find extreme metal vocals to be off-putting, this album is not likely to appeal to you.
  • Are sensitive to graphic content: The lyrics and album artwork of “Smear Campaign” can be quite graphic and disturbing, dealing with themes of violence, war, and social injustice. If you are sensitive to such content, you may want to avoid this album.
  • Dislike politically charged music: Napalm Death is not afraid to express their political views in their music. If you prefer your music to be apolitical or if you disagree with the band’s political stance, you may find this album to be off-putting.
  • Have a low tolerance for noise: Grindcore is a noisy and abrasive genre, and “Smear Campaign” is no exception. If you prefer your music to be more polished or refined, this album is not likely to be your cup of tea.

Release Date

September 18, 2006