Napalm Death – Utopia Banished Review

Napalm Death - Utopia Banished

Napalm Death - Utopia Banished

1991’s Utopia Banished from Napalm Death was the band’s fourth full length studio album and is a very strong and fondly remembered record that contains a lot of the band’s well loved material. Utopia Banished was the second album to incorporate two guitar players and use a lot of Death Metal influences within the songwriting, following up their classic but initially maligned 1990 record Harmony Corruption which some fans criticized for its shifting from grindcore to Death Metal. Utopia Banished remedied this by mixing the two styles into a harsh and furious yet intelligent style that retained the sophistication of their third album but also tried to recreate the raw punk fury of their first two studio albums.

In addition, it was their first album to feature the complete definitive (and most common) Napalm Death line-up that (with the exception of Jesse Pintado’s tragic death) remained constant on every single Napalm Death album ever since; with Mitch Harris and Jesse Pintado on Guitars, Shane Embury on Bass, as well as Vocals from Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway and for the first time, Danny Herrera on the drums.

Everything about the album is good; the lyrics are the most developed and intelligent they have ever been up to this point, the songs mix Death and Grind well, creatively mixing groovier and thrashier moments with raw furious grinding and blast beats for heavy and fast songs that can still be memorable and catchy. Even The production is good for what it is, while not recorded at Morrisound Studios with Scott Burns like their previous effort, it is ably handled by Colin Richardson who does a great job for the time.

Album highlights include the catchy ‘I Abstain,’ as well as the famous single ‘The World Keeps Turning,’ and ‘Idiosyncratic.’

Overall; If you like the band then Utopia Banished is certainly something you should consider picking up, it has a fair amount of classic material and is definitely worth your time. It may not be the go-to album for Napalm Death beginners but anyone who is serious about the band will have positive things to say about the record, which is a fairly great recommendation in itself.


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