Named for the drumming technique used in death metal blastbeats, Lock Up is a side project for Napalm Death's Shane Embury (bass) and Jesse Pintado (guitar), Dimmu Borgir/ex-Cradle of Filth drummer Nick Barker, and Hypocrisy mastermind/producer extraordinaire Peter Tägtgren. With the array of big-name talent here, one might expect the resulting project to turn out nothing short of brilliant, but Pleasures Pave Sewers simply wasn't set up to be that kind of album in the first place. Rather, it's about raw spontaneity, the seeming effortlessness with which a quartet of topnotch death metal veterans can enter a studio, prepare themselves only minimally, and still come up with a blistering, overpowering sonic force that distills the music down to its brutal essence. The production is intentionally not very elaborate, the lyrics a bit tossed-off, but the whole thing actually works pretty well, held together by the spectacle of these musicians throwing off the restraints and just letting fly.
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey