Napalm Death: Time Waits for No Slave (2009)

“Time Waits for No Slave” is the thirteenth studio album by British grindcore band Napalm Death, released on January 23, 2009, by Century Media Records. The album features a blend of traditional grindcore with experimental elements, including semi-melodic vocals and complex song structures. Key tracks include the title song “Time Waits for No Slave” and “On the Brink of Extinction,” which address sociopolitical themes and personal empowerment. The album was recorded at Foel Studios in Wales and produced by Russ Russell.

Track Listing

  1. Strong-Arm
  2. Diktat
  3. Work to Rule
  4. On the Brink of Extinction
  5. Time Waits for No Slave
  6. Life and Limb
  7. Downbeat Clique
  8. Fallacy Dominion
  9. Passive Tense
  10. Larceny of the Heart
  11. Procrastination on the Empty Vessel
  12. Feeling Redundant
  13. A No-Sided Argument
  14. De-Evolution Ad Nauseum

Length: 50:13


Death metal, grindcore

Release Date

January 23rd, 2009

Record Label

Century Media Records

The Lineup for the Album

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

Recording Date

August – October 2008

Recording Studio

Foel Studios (Llanfair Caereinion, Wales) and Parlour Studios (Kettering, England)

Produced by

Russ Russell and Napalm Death

Album Themes/Concept

Resistance to Oppression: Songs like “Diktat” and “On the Brink of Extinction” address authoritarianism and the struggle against oppressive regimes.

Human Rights and Exploitation: Tracks such as “Life and Limb” and “Larceny of the Heart” delve into issues of human exploitation and the violation of human rights.

Self-Empowerment and Activism: The title track “Time Waits for No Slave” emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment and taking action against societal wrongs.

Environmental and Existential Concerns: “Procrastination on the Empty Vessel” and “De-Evolution Ad Nauseum” reflect on environmental degradation and the existential threats facing humanity.

Album Mood

Intensity: The album is marked by high energy and relentless aggression, characteristic of the grindcore genre. The fast-paced drumming, aggressive guitar riffs, and powerful vocals create a sense of urgency and intensity.

Anger and Defiance: Lyrically and musically, the album conveys a strong sense of anger and defiance. The themes of resistance against oppression and critique of societal injustices are delivered with a fierce and confrontational tone.

Darkness and Despair: There are underlying tones of darkness and despair, reflecting the bleakness of the issues addressed. The heavy and sometimes dissonant musical arrangements contribute to a somber and ominous atmosphere.

Empowerment and Activism: Despite the aggressive and dark themes, there is also a sense of empowerment and a call to action. The album encourages listeners to resist passivity and take a stand against societal wrongs, instilling a sense of purpose and determination.

Raw and Uncompromising: The production and performance are raw and uncompromising, staying true to Napalm Death’s roots. The unpolished, intense sound emphasizes authenticity and directness, making the album feel immediate and visceral.

Thought-Provoking: The album is not just about raw emotion but also thought-provoking content. The complex lyrical themes invite listeners to reflect deeply on social, political, and existential issues, adding an intellectual dimension to the listening experience.

Album Trivia

Recording in a Studio Surrounded by Nature: The album was recorded at Foel Studios in Wales, which is known for its scenic, rural location. This setting provided a peaceful backdrop, contrasting sharply with the intense, aggressive music being produced inside the studio​.

Variety in Vocal Techniques: “Time Waits for No Slave” is notable for its variety in vocal techniques, including the introduction of semi-melodic and cleaner vocal sections alongside Barney Greenway’s traditional growls. This added a new dimension to the band’s sound and showcased their willingness to experiment and evolve.

Album Art: The striking cover art, featuring a stylized image of a clock intertwined with organic and mechanical elements, symbolizes the album’s themes of time, societal constraints, and the struggle for personal freedom. The artwork was designed to visually complement the album’s lyrical content.

Listen or Pass

This album might be for you if you…

  • Enjoy Intense and Aggressive Music: If you appreciate music that delivers high energy, aggression, and intensity, “Time Waits for No Slave” might be right up your alley. Its grindcore foundation ensures a relentless auditory assault that could be appealing to fans of extreme music genres.
  • Value Lyrics with Depth and Commentary: The album is filled with sociopolitical themes, making it a good choice for those who like their music layered with intelligent and thoughtful commentary on issues like human rights, environmentalism, and societal structures.
  • Are a Fan of Napalm Death or Grindcore: Long-time fans of Napalm Death or grindcore in general will find a lot to appreciate here, as the band stays true to their roots while also exploring new musical territories​.
  • Appreciate Musical Experimentation: If you’re into bands that aren’t afraid to experiment within their genre, this album’s incorporation of semi-melodic vocals and varied song structures might intrigue you.
  • Like a Mix of Punk and Metal: The album’s sound is a robust mix of punk aggression and metal precision, making it a compelling listen for fans of both genres.

You might want to pass this one if you…

  • Prefer More Melodic or Conventional Music: If your taste leans towards melodic, traditional, or less abrasive music, the extreme nature of “Time Waits for No Slave” might not be to your liking. The album is intense and can be quite overwhelming for those not used to grindcore’s sonic assault.
  • Dislike Harsh Vocals: Barney Greenway’s vocal style is a mix of growls and shouts, which are a staple in grindcore but can be off-putting to those who prefer clean vocals or more tuneful singing.
  • Prefer Short, Snappy Songs: If you prefer the quick, concise tracks typical of classic grindcore, the longer song structures explored on this album might not hold your attention as effectively​.
  • Are Sensitive to Dark or Intense Themes: The album does not shy away from dark and intense themes both musically and lyrically. If you prefer lighter, more uplifting themes, this might not be the album for you.

Release Date

January 23, 2009