Fear, Emptiness, Despair

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Fear, Emptiness, Despair
Fear, Emptiness, Despair.jpg
Studio album by Napalm Death
Released 31 May 1994 (1994-05-31)
Recorded October 1993 (1993-10)–November 1993 (1993-11) at Parr St. Studios, Liverpool, England and November 1993 (1993-11)–December 1993 (1993-12) at Jacob Studios, Surrey, England
Genre Grindcore, death metal[1]
Length 45:38
Label Earache, Columbia
Producer Pete Coleman, Napalm Death
Napalm Death chronology
Nazi Punks Fuck Off
(1993)Nazi Punks Fuck Off1993
Fear, Emptiness, Despair
Greed Killing
(1995)Greed Killing1995
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
MetalReviews 86/100[2]

Fear, Emptiness, Despair is the fifth album by British grindcore band Napalm Death, released on 31 May 1994. The album is notable for its complex song structures, midpaced tempo and the influence of Helmet's stop-time guitar riffs. Napalm Death's inclusion on Mortal Kombat soundtrack brought further exposure to the band. RAW magazine listed Fear, Emptiness, Despair as one of the essential album of the 1990s.

Musical style[edit]

Originally titled Under Rule,[3] the album marked the start of a transitional phase for Napalm Death.[4] Fear, Emptiness, Despair maintaned the elaborate music structures of previous albums Utopia Banished and Harmony Corruption,[1] but notable is the extensive use of midpaced songs, something new for the band.[5] Bassist Shane Embury claims that Helmet's sound, especially the Strap It On album, was incorporated into Napalm Death's musical palette, something common in the heavy metal scene of the early to mid-nineties.[6]


In its first week of release Fear, Emptiness, Despair reached #22 in Billboard's Heatseekers chart.[7] The inclusion of "Twist the Knife (Slowly)" in the Mortal Kombat soundtrack brought the band further acclaim.[8] The soundtrack scored a Top 10 position on the Billboard 200 chart,[9] and went platinum in less than a year.[10] In the August 1995 edition of RAW Fear, Emptiness, Despair was featured in the magazine's 90 essential albums of the nineties.[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Twist the Knife (Slowly)" Shane Embury Mitch Harris 2:52
2. "Hung" Embury, Mark Greenway Harris, Embury 3:49
3. "Remain Nameless" Embury Jesse Pintado 3:33
4. "Plague Rages" Embury Embury 3:51
5. "More than Meets the Eye" Greenway Embury 3:55
6. "Primed Time" Greenway Harris, Embury 3:28
7. "State of Mind" Embury Embury 3:32
8. "Armageddon X 7" Greenway Harris 3:16
9. "Retching on the Dirt" Greenway Embury, Harris 2:59
10. "Fasting on Deception" Embury Pintado 3:48
11. "Throwaway" Greenway Pintado 3:42
Digipak CD bonus tracks
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
12. "Truth Drug" Greenway Embury 3:51
13. "Living in Denial" Embury Pintado 3:02


Napalm Death[edit]

Production personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak position
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[12] 78


  1. ^ a b c Birchmeier, Jason. "((( Fear Emptiness Despair > Overview )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 October 2008. 
  2. ^ Goat. "Napalm Death - Fear, Emptiness, Despair". MetalReviews. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "NAPALM DEATH". Earache Records. Retrieved 13 October 2008. 
  4. ^ "Decibrity Playlist: Shane Embury (Napalm Death)". Decibel Magazine. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2017-06-24.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ Mudrian, Albert (2004). Choosing Death: the Improbable History of Death Metal and Grincore. Los Angeles, CA: Feral House. Page 194.
  6. ^ "Decibrity Playlist: Shane Embury (Napalm Death)". Decibel Magazine. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2017-06-24.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ Billboard's Heatseekers Album Chart. Billboard, June 18 1994. Page 20.
  8. ^ "Artists :: NAPALM DEATH". MusicMight. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2008. 
  9. ^ "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 14 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Search Results for Mortal Kombat". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ "RAW's 90 Essential Albums For The 90s". RAW. August 1995. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Napalm Death - Fear, Emptiness, Despair". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Germany. Retrieved 24 September 2015.