From Enslavement to Obliteration

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From Enslavement to Obliteration
From Enslavement to Obliteration.jpg
Studio album by
Released16 September 1988
RecordedJuly 1988
StudioBirdsong Studios, Worcester, England
ProducerNapalm Death and Dig
Napalm Death chronology
From Enslavement to Obliteration
Mentally Murdered

From Enslavement to Obliteration is the second studio album by English grindcore band Napalm Death, released in 1988. It is the final studio album with vocalist Lee Dorrian and guitarist Bill Steer, and the first to feature bassist Shane Embury, the band's longest-tenured member. A remastered version was released on 2 April 2012.


The album's lyrical themes cover a variety of social and political topics, including misogyny/sexism ("It's a M.A.N.S World" and "Inconceivable?"), animal rights ("Display to Me…"), racism ("Unchallenged Hate" and "From Enslavement to Obliteration"), materialism ("Private Death"), and anti-capitalism ("Make Way!"). The album calls for social change, as seen in the song "Uncertainty Blurs the Vision," quoting Rudimentary Peni at the song's conclusion.

Shane Embury retrospectively commented on the band's progression up until From Enslavement to Obliteration in Kerrang! magazine:

It was a good experience but it was a brief one. Back in those days albums were recorded very quickly – we recorded the album in about six days and I think it cost about £800. In the early days in the very beginning before I joined, it was more of a crust punk band really but it was a natural progression, I think, to get faster and faster. Scum created a buzz and by the time we did FETO, we just wanted to push it as far as we could and as fast as possible. We weren't really consciously trying to break any rules but we weren't paying any attention to them either. If we wanted to do a song that was going to be 20 seconds long then we'd do it – we didn't think there was any reason not to. The vocals for us went hand-in-hand with the distorted bass guitar, distorted guitars and hyper-fast drumming".[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Classic Rock8/10 stars[3]

In 2009 From Enslavement to Obliteration was ranked number 1 in Terrorizer's list of essential European grindcore albums.[4] Writer Jonathan Horsley described it as marking "the genre's perilous rite of passage through Britain's post-industrial urban landscape."[4] Classic Rock reviewer remarked how the stable line-up brought "new maturity and coherence" and reminded that "for an all-too-brief moment in time, this album could lay claim to being the most extreme collection of songs ever recorded".[3]

In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked From Enslavement to Obliteration as 59th on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.'[5]

Track listing[]

Side one
1."Evolved as One"3:13
2."It's a M.A.N.S World!"0:54
3."Lucid Fairytale"1:02
4."Private Death"0:35
6."Unchallenged Hate"2:07
7."Uncertainty Blurs the Vision"0:40
8."Cock-Rock Alienation"1:20
9."Retreat to Nowhere"0:30
10."Think for a Minute"1:42
11."Display to Me…"2:43
Side two
12."From Enslavement to Obliteration"1:35
13."Blind to the Truth"0:21
14."Social Sterility"1:03
15."Emotional Suffocation"1:06
16."Practice What You Preach"1:23
18."Worlds Apart"1:24
19."Obstinate Direction"1:01
20."Mentally Murdered"2:13
22."Make Way!"1:36

The Curse[]

The Curse
Napalm TheCurse.gif
EP by
ReleasedSeptember 1988
LabelEarache (7MOSH 8)

The Curse is a free 7-inch extended play by the grindcore band Napalm Death, included in the initial copies of the From Enslavement to Obliteration LP, which was released through Earache Records in September 1988.[6]

The cover uses the famous photograph of Phan Thi Kim Phuc fleeing a napalm attack, taken by Nick Ut.

Track listing[]

Side one
1."The Curse"3:17
Side two
2."Your Achievement?"0:06
4."Morbid Deceiver"0:45
  • The song "Morbid Deceiver" is a re-recording of the song "Deceiver", originally on the album Scum.


Napalm Death
  • Steve Bird – engineering
  • Mark Sikora – cover art
  • Mike Marsh – mastering


Some LPs had a sticker with the following line printed on it: "We wanted to be the biggest rock band in the world and you don't do that sounding like Napalm Death" Joe Elliot (Def Leppard)[7]

Grindcore band Sore Throat included a track called "From Off License to Obliteration" on their 101-track 1988 album , also released on Earache Records.


Chart (1988) Peak
UK Indie Chart[8] 1


  1. ^ Travers, Paul (1 May 2010). "Albums: Treasure Chest - Shane Embury". Kerrang!. No. 1310. p. 54.
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Napalm Death - From Enslavement to Obliteration review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b Delaney, Roy (July 2012). "Napalm Death - From Enslavement to Obliteration". Classic Rock. No. 172. p. 106.
  4. ^ Jump up to: a b Horsley, Jonathan (2009). "Essential Albums - Europe". Terrorizer. No. 180. p. 54.
  5. ^ "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Napalm Death, From Enslavement to Obliteration". Earache Records. Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Napalm Death - From Enslavement To Obliteration". Discogs.
  8. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
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