Napalm Death: Words from the Exit Wound (1998)

Released in 1998 on Earache Records, Napalm Death’s “Words from the Exit Wound” marked a departure from their traditional grindcore sound, incorporating elements of death metal and experimental song structures. The album features twelve tracks addressing socio-political themes with the band’s signature aggressive vocals and instrumentation.

Track Listing

  1. The Infiltraitor
  2. Repression out of Uniform
  3. Next of Kin to Chaos
  4. Trio-Degradable / Affixed by Disconcern
  5. Cleanse Impure
  6. Devouring Depraved
  7. Ulterior Exterior
  8. None the Wiser?
  9. Clutching at Barbs
  10. Incendiary Incoming
  11. Thrown Down a Rope
  12. Sceptic in Perspective

Length: 41:08


Death metal, grindcore

Release Date

October 26th, 1998

Record Label

Earache Records

The Lineup for the Album

  • Mark “Barney” Greenway – vocals
  • Jesse Pintado – guitars
  • Mitch Harris – guitars
  • Shane Embury – bass
  • Danny Herrera – drums

Recording Date

June, 1998

Recording Studio

Chapel Studios (South Thoresby, Lincolnshire, England)

Produced by

Colin Richardson

Album Themes/Concept

Political corruption and societal decay: Songs like “The Infiltraitor” and “Repression out of Uniform” criticize oppressive systems and the abuse of power.

Social injustice and inequality: The album addresses the suffering caused by social injustices and the struggles of marginalized groups.

Psychological turmoil and personal struggles: Tracks like “Next of Kin to Chaos” and “Cleanse Impure” explore themes of inner conflict, mental instability, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world.

Violence and brutality: The lyrics often contain graphic imagery and violent metaphors, reflecting the harsh realities of the world and the band’s visceral response to them.

Album Mood

Aggressive and intense: The album relentlessly assaults the listener with a barrage of blast beats, distorted guitars, and guttural vocals. It’s a full-throttle sonic experience that leaves little room for respite.

Chaotic and unpredictable: The song structures are often fragmented and disjointed, with sudden shifts in tempo and mood. This creates a sense of instability and disorientation that mirrors the chaotic nature of the lyrical themes.

Raw and unpolished: The production is deliberately raw and abrasive, emphasizing the visceral power of the music and the band’s uncompromising attitude.

Angry and frustrated: The lyrics seethe with rage and disillusionment towards political corruption, social injustice,and the general state of the world.

Bleak and pessimistic: The album paints a dark and despairing picture of the human condition, exploring themes of violence, suffering, and existential angst.

Cathartic and empowering: Despite its bleakness, the album also offers a sense of catharsis and empowerment. It provides an outlet for anger and frustration, and a rallying cry for those who feel alienated and disillusioned.

Album Trivia

Final Earache Release: “Words from the Exit Wound” was Napalm Death’s final album released on Earache Records, marking the end of a long and often contentious relationship with the label.

Reception Over Time: Initially met with mixed reviews due to its experimental nature, the album has grown in esteem among fans and critics alike. Its complex sound and thematic depth have been reevaluated, leading to a greater appreciation in subsequent years

Listen or Pass

This album might be for you if you…

  • Grindcore/Death Metal Enthusiast: You crave the relentless aggression, blast beats, and guttural vocals that define these genres. This album delivers all that and more.
  • Socially Conscious Listener: You want your music to address real-world issues and challenge the status quo. “Words from the Exit Wound” tackles political corruption, social injustice, and other pressing themes head-on.
  • Open-minded Metalhead: You’re willing to explore different sounds within the metal spectrum. While rooted in grindcore, this album incorporates experimental elements and diverse song structures.
  • Catharsis Seeker: You use music as an outlet for anger and frustration. The raw intensity and visceral energy of this album can provide a cathartic release.
  • Napalm Death Fan: You’re already familiar with the band and appreciate their evolution over time. This album showcases a slightly different side of Napalm Death, with more diverse songwriting and experimentation.

You might want to pass this one if you…

  • Melodic Music Lover: You prefer music with catchy melodies, singable choruses, and a sense of harmony. “Words from the Exit Wound” is intentionally abrasive and dissonant, prioritizing aggression over melody.
  • Sensitive Ears: You’re easily overwhelmed by harsh vocals, distorted guitars, and blast beats. This album is sonically extreme and not for the faint of heart.
  • Apolitical Listener: You prefer to keep politics out of your music. “Words from the Exit Wound” is explicitly political,with lyrics that critique power structures and advocate for social change.
  • Relaxation Seeker: You’re looking for music to unwind and de-stress. This album is the opposite of relaxing, with its high energy and intense subject matter.
  • Grindcore Purist: You exclusively enjoy Napalm Death’s early, raw grindcore sound. This album showcases a more experimental and diverse approach, incorporating elements of death metal and other genres.

Release Date

October 26, 1998