Sunday, August 5, 2012

Municipal Waste - The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space) (Limited Edition)

Municipal Waste
The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space) (Limited Edition)
Nuclear Blast Records

Over the course of three full-length albums (2003’s ‘Waste ‘Em All’, 2005’s ‘Hazardous Mutation’ and 2007’s ‘The Art Of Partying’), Municipal Waste made their way up from the underground scene to become the undisputed leader in the resurrected thrash metal/crossover genre. But despite their impressive track record, the band faltered a little with the release of their fourth full-length effort ‘Massive Aggressive’ in 2009. The band’s trademark humour was largely absent on the album, and the punk/hardcore sound was replaced by a decidedly more metallic thrash based sound. Needless to say, even though the album was solid in its own right, many considered the release a bit of a letdown when compared to the band’s earlier efforts.
It’s been a long three years since then, and after a change in labels (The band parted ways with Earache Records to sign up with Nuclear Blast Records), the Richmond (Virginia, U.S.) based act are back with their eagerly anticipated fifth full-length effort ‘The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space)’.
The album is opened with ‘Waste In Space (Main Title)’, which is a spaced themed/John Carpenter like instrumental (Performed by Zombi’s Steve Moore) that ties in perfectly with the album’s cover art. As soon as the track fades out with its cheesy horror film scream, the band quickly rip into ‘Repossession’ – a track that well and truly announces the band’s return to form in true thrashing form.
‘New Dead Masters’ is classic Municipal Waste, with the band’s trademark humour and thrashing crossover sound delivered with everything the band has got to give. Tony Foresta is sounding better than ever here, while Ryan Waste’s guitar riffs are delivered with style and with renewed aggression. Another noteworthy point too is the production, which finally allows Philip ‘Land Phil’ Hall’s bass playing and Dave Witte’s drumming to be heard with clarity.
‘Unholy Abductor’ ‘You’re Cut Off’ and ‘Idiot Check’ are violent thrash metal numbers that are fairly straight forward and brutal, while ‘Covered In Sick/The Barfer’ and ‘Crushing Chest Wound’ are real thrash highlights with their diverse array of killer riffs and various tempo changes.
‘Authority Complex’ is a surprisingly mid-paced and catchy number that also has some great riffs and lead breaks to make it stand-out, while ex-Avail vocalist Tim Barry makes a memorable guest appearance on the impressive ‘Standards And Practices’.
In the latter half of the album, tracks such as the scathing ‘Jesus Freaks’, the humorous title track ‘The Fatal Feast’ (Which is introduced once again by Moore’s cheesy sci-fi keyboards, and features a guest vocal appearance from Nuclear Assault’s John Connelly), the speeding thrash of the limited edition bonus track ‘Eviction Party’ and the somewhat more serious ‘Death Tax’ are the definite stand outs.
Given the lacklustre response to ‘Massive Aggressive’, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if most fans were a little reluctant to let go of their hard earned cash for ‘The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space)’. But they needn’t fear. ‘The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space)’ isn’t Municipal Waste’s best work (It’s hard to top those first two releases), but it’s at least a far stronger album than their last effort, and should appeal to those who thought the band’s strengths lie in humour and in the crossover style of their earlier releases.

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© Justin Donnelly

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