Napalm Death are a refined powerhouse of foundation-cracking grind, but this wasn't always the case. The band, which hasn't featured any original members since track 13 of their Scum debut, formed in the West Midlands in England back in 1981, initially influenced by anarcho-punk. Over time, their sound became heavier as they simultaneously extended the goal posts for unrelenting speed, helping to usher in a new wave of extreme metal and, ultimately, gave birth to grindcore.

Their lineup turned over countless times in the early stages of their professional career with notables such as Bill Steer (Carcass), Lee Dorrian (Cathedral) and Justin Broadrick (Godflesh) all passing through their ranks by the time their sophomore album, From Enslavement to Obliteration, battered the ears of headbangers looking for the most intense and aggressive music around while other acts like Hellhammer and Bathory further splintered metal into new factions. Meanwhile, Florida was bubbling with extremity as Death, Deicide, Obituary, Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel, Nocturnus and so many others began a new movement stateside — death metal.

In 1990, Napalm Death, featuring erstwhile Benediction vocalist Barney Greenway and guitarist Jesse Pintado (who would remain with the group until 2004), got in on the Florida action, heading to Morrisound Studios, which was the studio for extreme metal bands. The resulting album, Harmony Corruption found the band expanding their style, one which would go on to define their sound far more than the first pair of records.

As with seemingly every metal band born of the '80s, the mid-to-late-'90s was a difficult era when bands, including Napalm Death, bowed to the sound of the times: groove. Napalm did this with mixed results, resurrecting their grinding ethos in stride with the dawn of the new millennium and it's in this modern era where they've (mostly) thrived on consistency.

There's no real dud in this discography — it's all competent at the absolute least — and some albums fall into the "different strokes" category, but nothing has ever been outright cringe-worthy from start to finish. That makes ranking Napalm Death's catalog a challenge, one we gladly welcomed, as we count them all down to No. 1 in the gallery below.

Napalm Death Albums Ranked

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