Hard Reviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Lock Up - Pleasures Pave Sewers
(Nuclear Blast)

It's sideproject time for Napalm Death's Shane Embury and Jesse Pintado, along with Cradle/Dimmu drum tornado Nick Barker and the esteemed Peter Tagtgren, who is curiously on board only as lead vocalist and producer/host studio death maniac. What Lock Up achieves is a compact black ball of energy that speaks to each of the participants' variances within the tight spectrum of extreme metal, resulting in an arresting and invigorating amalgam of old school thrash, death metal, grindcore and black blastbeats, all captured in stunning hi-fidelity at Pete's Abyss Studios, despite the reportedly small budget thrown at this posse of harsh rock royalty. Actually, it sounds most like breakneck Hypocrisy, with a slash 'n' burn slice of Slayer and a dose of Destruction, or conversely, Napalm Death turned Scandinavian ice factory, no hardcore, few of the band's melodic starbursts, just sawed-off shotgun speed metal down yer gullet, modernized only by advancements within the hard, hard end of metal, no trend-guessing, no window-dressing, impressive but not innovative. Note: in what is perhaps a nod to Slayer's brevity, Pleasures Pave Sewers (would have looked better as Pleasure's Paved Sewers, no?) is only 27 minutes long.
Rating 8