Band: Municipal Waste
Album: Slime And Punishment
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Thrash Metal, Crossover Thrash
Country: United States
Release Date: 23rd June, 2017
When the Thrash Metal movement evolved and gained notoriety in the 1980s it was a revelation. Bands were taking the beats and tempos from Hardcore Punk music and blending it with riffs that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal album. The beats were fast, the guitar riffs were more complex and intricate and the overall sound of the music that was being created was simply far more aggressive and extreme than a majority of the other sub genres that were around at the time. Certain bands such as Metallica and Megadeth would take elements of the genre and eventually graduate from the almost primitive full-on assault of Thrash and move on to a grander and epic scale. Whereas bands such as Slayer and Testament were happy to stick to the more straight forward and heavy approach of Thrash (that is not to say that one option is better than the other as all four of these examples are titans of the genre in their own rights). There are plenty of bands that have emerged from the Thrash Metal genre whilst still clinging to some of the deep seeded punk roots that were instilled in it at its inception.
Enter Municipal Waste…the band formed in Richmond, Virginia in the year 2000 and since then have worked themselves to the bone moulding together all of the best aspects of both the Thrash Metal and Hardcore Punk genre. They have spent the best part of two decades crafting a sensational discography containing a total of five studio albums, three extended plays and a number of split releases that are crammed full of blistering metallic riffs, machine gun drumming and Hardcore influenced shouting vocals that are filled to the brim with clever lyrics and word play (the kind that would make Every Time I Die’s Keith Buckley proud).
So where does this album fit in amongst the already stellar Municipal Waste catalogue?
The boys pick up exactly where they left off five years ago with the fantastic ‘Fatal Feast’ album. The opening track ‘Breathe Grease’ comes out of the gates at supersonic speed, dropkicking the listener square on the chin with its fast paced, aggressive riffing and mile-a-minute drumming. Tony Foresta is on typically excellent form, yelping away over the top of proceedings with his own brand of Hardcore-influenced vocals and ever present attitude. All of the trademarks of Municipal Waste are here from the start; the riffs, and the gang vocals and perhaps most importantly…the fun.
The next two tracks ‘Enjoy The Night’ and ‘Dingy Situations’ carry on the same fashion. The amazing level of energy that the band seem have maintained over the past two decades never seems to falter. Normally a song that is less than a minute long would only serve to irritate me, but when the song is as direct and to the point as ‘Enjoy The Night’ it is very easy to overlook it’s duration as it gets everything it needs to done in the short space of time provided. The same goes for the latter. ‘Dingy Situations’ is just under two minutes of Suicidal Tendencies tinged chaos. Municipal Waste may not be providing you with any surprises or curve balls here but is that really what you want from this band? This is not an album for dissecting and looking for a deeper meaning, just turn it up, headbang and enjoy.
The opening riff to ‘Amateur Sketch’ sounds like it could have been taken straight from an early Slayer album and in my opinion is one of the standout guitar parts on ‘Slime And Punishment’. The frantic rhythm and lightning fast drumming get your head banging away like nobody’s business and if you close your eyes you can almost picture a young Slayer playing a sweaty club show in your mind (seriously, I was expecting a high pitched Tom Araya style wail to come in when the song kicks off).
The penultimate track ‘Death Proof’ takes on a much more reserved pace and is the longest track on the album (whilst still being under the three minute mark). It’s not slow by any stretch of the imagination, but it most certainly allows some breathing space for the listener and also a chance for bassist Land Phil (fantastic stage name) to show his prowess with some wonderfully crunchy, overdriven bass riffs.
On the whole I would say that this album will fit nicely in to the Municipal Waste discography. The addition of a second guitarist Nick ‘Nikropolis’ Poulos has certainly helped to add a different dimension to the sound of the band and has given Ryan Waste a new creative mind to bounce his ideas off and interlink with, demonstrated perfectly on the instrumental track ‘Under The Waste Command’ with its harmonised lead parts and intricate fretwork. Municipal Waste are not trying to reinvent the wheel here, why would they? They are having far to much fun reviving one of the most beloved genres that has ever graced metal music and they are doing it fucking well and having a great time doing it.
‘Slime And Punishment’ is the kind of album that will sonically beat the living tar out of you and whilst you squint through your black eyes and spit out the blood you will thank them through the gaps where your teeth used to be and ask to go for another round.
No bullshit. Just Thrash Metal and a fucking good time.
1. Breathe Grease
2. Enjoy The Night
3. Dingy Situations
5. Poison The Preacher
6. Bourbon Discipline
7. Parole Violators
8. Slime And Punishment
9. Amateur Sketch
10. Excessive Celebration
11. Low Tolerance
12. Under The Waste Command
13. Death Proof
14. Think Fast
Total Playing Time: 28:44