Sunday, August 26, 2012
The Doomsayer’s Call
When Swedish (Örebro based) death metal act Coldworker released their debut full-length effort ‘The Contaminated Void’ in 2006, the album was met with a largely positive response, with many hailing the band’s hybrid mix of old school grindcore and modern day death metal sounds. Not surprisingly, the band was one to keep an eye on in the future. With the release of their second full-length effort ‘Rotting Paradise’ two years later, Coldworker more than managed to deliver on their initial promise, with almost all hailing the album as a huge leap above and beyond what they presented on their debut. Four years on, and Coldworker (Who comprise of vocalist Joel Fornbrant, ex- The Project Hate MCMXCIX guitarist Anders Bertilsson, guitarist Daniel Schröder, bassist Oskar Pålsson and ex-Necrony/Nasum drummer Anders Jakobson) are back with their long awaited third full-length effort ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’ – their first release for Listenable Records after parting ways with Relapse Records.
Given the progression Coldworker had shown between the release of ‘The Contaminated Void’ and ‘Rotting Paradise’, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’ taking another large step forward. Unfortunately, the band’s evolutionary path is a short one this time around, with much of their latest album maintaining familiar traits to those heard on ‘Rotting Paradise’. But while the lack of progression is a bit of a disappointment, there’s still a whole lot to enjoy within ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’.
Coldworker open up their latest release in a decidedly groovy and slower paced fashion with ‘A New Era’, which interestingly enough reveals a slight thrash-like influence. Dan Swanö’s mix helps give everyone within the band enough space to stand out, while the overall recorded sound (Handled by Johan Berglund) is clear and detailed enough to sound sharper and heavy in the right measure.
After holding back on the opener, Coldworker unleash a full on assault with ‘The Reprobate’ (Which features a guest vocal performance from Ex-Dying Fetus/Misery Index vocalist Jason Netherton), ‘The Glass Envelope’ and ‘Flesh World’. But while all three tracks contain the familiar Coldworker extreme sound, there’s enough variation within the songs in terms of tempo changes and brief passages of groove and melody to keep things interesting throughout.
In terms of really pushing things to the extreme, tracks such as ‘Murderous’, ‘Pessimist’, ‘Vacuum Fields’ and ‘Violent Society’ are sure to keep fans of the band’s grindcore-influenced brand of modern death metal pleased to no end, while those looking for a slight departure from the band’s familiar trademark aggressive sound will revel in the hint of punk within ‘Monochrome Existence’ and the groovier and more rhythmic based ‘The Walls Of Eryx’.
While I’m reluctant to say that ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’ made an impression on me quite the same way that ‘Rotting Paradise’ did when it was released, I will admit that as a whole, this new release still manages to impress enough to maintain Coldworker’s place amongst today’s death metal elite.
For more information on Coldworker, check out – http://www.coldworker.com/
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 4:26 PM
Shake It Til You Break It
Independent Release/Remedy Music
Despite the success of their two full-length releases and their reputation as one of the underground indie-rock scene’s best live outfits, Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) outfit Little Red officially announced their split earlier in the year. There’s no doubt that the news was disappointing, but as the saying goes, when one door closes – another is bound to open. And from out of the ashes of Little Red, we can now celebrate the formation of Major Tom And The Atoms.
Fronted by former Little Red baritone crooner ‘Major’ Tom Hartney, Major Tom And The Atoms (Who also comprise of guitarist/backing vocalist Simon Tait, bassist/backing vocalist Simon Lawrie, saxophonist/Theremin/backing vocalist Sean Vagg, pianist/backing vocalist Ben Huisman and drummer/backing vocalist Adam Swoboda) have been performing together for the last year, and have within that time been praised by fans and critics alike for their lively and infectious shows.
With a growing following and acclaim for their presence on stage, the six piece act soon made a move towards the recording studio, and with the assistance of producer/mixer Tony Buchen (Who’s worked with the likes of Tim Finn, Phrase, Wim, John Butler Trio, Andy Bull, Gin Wigmore, Blue King Brown, Dereb The Ambassador, Washington and Old Man River), the band have released their debut E.P. ‘Shake It Til You Break It’.
The opening track ‘The House That Love Built’ (The first single released from the E.P.) is a rocking effort that oozes plenty of saxophone based rhythm and blues mixed with a touch of old-school funk that is sure to get any audience moving in no time at all. Hartney’s familiar deep vocals add plenty of soul to the tune, while the remainder of the group prove how tight knit they’ve become after a little more than a year together.
‘Rolling Stone’ is another firm favourite with its big band/piano based framework, while ‘Last Dance Of The Lizard King’ sees the band channelling the spirit of Jim Morrison and The Doors – albeit filtered through the band’s own hybrid mix of blues, soul and indie-rock.
A real stand out is the rather straight forward blues like and rocking ‘Merri Creek (Dead & Gone)’, which boasts some great piano and lead guitar work and soulful backing vocals, while ‘Mockingbird’ brings to mind The Strangeloves’ ‘I Want Candy’ in terms of its riffs and tempo, but rocking and enjoyable enough to overlook the obvious comparisons.
‘Shake It Til You Break It’ is a great little E.P., and a worthy indication of what Major Tom And The Atoms has to offer. Sure, this release doesn’t capture the band quite in the same way as their live performances, but it’s enough to get the idea.
Little Red may be done and dusted, but at least we have Major Tom And The Atoms to help fill the void.
For more information on Major Tom And The Atoms, check out - http://www.majortomandtheatoms.com/
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 4:25 PM
Friday, August 24, 2012
I Am Anonymous
Inside Out Music/Century Media Records/E.M.I. Music Australia
When Threshold vocalist Damian Wilson and keyboardist Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath keyboardist, and son of Yes’ Rick Wakeman) announced a joint venture under the name of Headspace, the news had many within the progressive rock scene eager to hear what the pair would come up with. And sure enough, with the release of their debut E.P. ‘I Am’ in 2007, the London (U.K.) based outfit lived up to expectations with the four tracks offered up. Timing issues and commitments to their various other projects slowed down Headspace’s progress towards the completion of a full-length effort for some years. But after a five year wait, the band (Who also comprise of guitarist Pete Rinaldi, Rick Wakeman/It Bites bassist Lee Pomeroy and drummer Richard Brook) have finally returned with ‘I Am Anonymous’.
Unlike a lot of progressive rock outfits, Headspace focus more on putting feeling and emotion into their music rather than relying solely on their technical prowess and wizardry, and that’s immediately evident with the album’s opening track ‘Stalled Armageddon’. ‘Stalled Armageddon’ has plenty of metallic passages that bring to mind Tool and Dream Theater in places, but it’s Wakeman’s masterful keyboard presence and Wilson’s passionate and emotive vocals that help give Headspace a sound that steers away from sounding like more of the same.
The follow-up track ‘Fall Of America’ is undoubtedly one of the album’s heavier and aggressive offerings, with Wilson alternating between anger driven passages, near on whispered passages and multi-layered harmony lines, while the diversity of sounds offered from the band on this track bring to mind Sieges Even in places.
The slow piano based ‘Soldier’ is a real stand out track that allows Wilson to showcase his delicate and emotion laden vocals while telling a story (This track kind of outlays the theme running throughout the album), while the straight forward drive of ‘Die With A Bullet’ is another stand out with its simplified structures and mix of musical aggression and vocal melody.
The church organ/choral introduction on the first three minutes of ‘In Hell’s Name’ is incredibly well done, while the subtle sitar effects (Which are most likely played through the keyboard) and the percussive dominated/jazz-like experimentation in the latter half of the song work well at show the band’s willingness to experiment within the confines of the tried and true progressive rock sound.
Despite the terrible title (Which in all honesty is – until you understand what the song is about), ‘Daddy Fucking Loves You’ is a great track that really does take the listener all over the place throughout its epic fifteen minute running time. Passages of particular note are the fragile/gentle acoustic start, the riff/keyboard heavy middle section and Rinaldi’s shredding towards the tail end.
Finishing up the album is the melodic, tense and darker edged ‘Invasion’ and the diverse progressive rock finale ‘The Big Day’.
Unlike a lot of progressive rock acts in today’s scene, Headspace has a sound that stands out from most. ‘I Am Anonymous’ does take time to fully understand and appreciate, but is well worth the time invested. This album is highly recommended for fans of Threshold, Dream Theater and quality progressive rock in general.
For more information on Headspace, check out - http://www.headspaceonline.com/
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 2:49 PM
Koloss (Deluxe Edition)
Nuclear Blast Records
I really have to be in the mood to listen to Swedish (Umeå based) outfit Meshuggah at the best of times. When I’m in the right frame of mind, their brand of technical post-thrash metal (Which has since been coined ‘Djent’) can totally blow me away - keeping me enthralled. But when I’m not in the mood, their repetitive grooves and off-kilter timed riff structures and monotone growled vocals can really rub me the wrong way. Although some of the band’s earlier albums have garnished the highest praise from diehard fans, it was 2002’s ‘Nothing’ and 2005’s ‘Catch Thirtythree’ where I believe the band really hit their creative peak (Despite the simplistic nature of the former, and the programmed drums on the latter), with both of the album’s seeing the band remain true to their original sound, but with an added sense of experimentation necessary to keep them from sounding stale and overly repetitive.
Following on from their impressive ‘ObZen’ release from 2008 (Excluding 2010’s live effort ‘Alive’), Meshuggah (Who comprise of vocalist/guitarist Jens Kidman, guitarist/backing vocalist/keyboardist Fredrik Thordendal, guitarist/backing vocalist Mårten Hagström, bassist Dick Lövgren and drummer/spoken word vocalist Tomas Haake) are back with their highly anticipated seventh full-length effort ‘Koloss’.
Given the band’s lengthy existence and vast body of work to date, nobody would be expecting Meshuggah to stray too far from what they’ve always done in the past on ‘Koloss’. And sure enough, the Swede’s latest effort remains true to the familiar template of old. The only real question is whether or not the songs themselves are strong enough to make the album stand out as a whole.
In answer to that question, ‘Koloss’ is a worthy follow-up to ‘ObZen’, and one of the band’s more consistent and enjoyable efforts.
The album opens up with ‘I Am Colossus’ (The first single from the album), which is a track that relies heavily on the band’s trademark strong stop/start groove patterns delivered in a slower brooding pace. The production is notably more organic sounding than some of the band’s former albums (Which is something the band was clearly aiming for with this album), which undoubtedly allows the song to sound a little more open and spacious than anything from ‘ObZen’.
The faster paced ‘The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance’ rivals the speed and intensity of ‘Bleed’ (From ‘ObZen’), and takes the aggression another notch up through Haake’s relentless drum work, while on ‘Do Not Look Down’, the band have managed to turn out a track that’s surprisingly stripped back and infectious, without losing any of their trademark sound.
The slow and calculated groove of ‘Behind The Sun’, ‘Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion’ and ‘Marrow’ boast the kind of sound and direction Meshuggah have been mastering for the better part of the last twenty years, and they’re the kind of songs that will either have you sucked in with their ongoing repetitive groove, or switching off midway through in sheer boredom.
‘The Hurt That Finds You First’ is another fast paced effort that easily stands out amongst the album’s ten tracks, with the catchy guitar riffs and Haake’s onslaught on the drums bringing to mind the band’s pseudo-thrash sound on ‘Chaosphere’ (1998).
‘Swarm’ is quite a dynamic track that combines the band’s strong groove delivered with plenty of menacing aggression and passages of pure experimentation (Especially throughout the solos), while the keyboards within ‘Demiurge’ add a haunting atmosphere to the track that overall gives the song a completely new angle. Finishing up the album is the instrumental piece ‘The Last Vigil’, which closes the album on a somewhat ambient note.
The deluxe edition of ‘Koloss’ comes with a bonus D.V.D., which comprises of a twenty-five minute ‘Konstrukting The Koloss’ and a twenty-six minute documentary of ‘Meshuggah In India’.
The documentary (Put together by At The Gates/The Haunted guitarist Anders Björler and Nocturnal Rites drummer Owe Lingvall) is a fascinating insight into the making of ‘Koloss’, as well as revealing a side to the individual members of Meshuggah that has otherwise been rarely seen before. Much like The Haunted’s ‘Road Kill’ film, the documentary is quite stark and sparse, which only emphasises the story being told that much more.
As ‘Meshuggah In India’ (Which was again put together by Björler for his At The Gates Films production company), the documentary follows the band’s short stopover in India in December 2010 while in support of ‘ObZen’. Again, Björler’s approach is stripped back and minimalistic, but incredibly well done. Although various bits of live footage of the band performing can been seen throughout the film (Including ‘Rational Gaze’, ‘Mind’s Mirrors’, Sum’, ‘Electric Red’, ‘Bleed’), there are sadly no complete live tracks. Despite this, the D.V.D. is a worthy addition to the deluxe package.
Meshuggah haven’t reinvented themselves one bit on this album, but if you liked the direction the band were heading on ‘ObZen’, then you’ll definitely enjoy this latest effort. Overall, ‘Koloss’ is another solid Meshuggah album.
For more information on Meshuggah, check out - http://www.meshuggah.net/
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 2:46 PM
Within the technical death metal realm, Swedish (Kalmar based) outfit Spawn Of Possession may not be the most well known or prolific of acts, but they have earned the respect of followers with their two full-length efforts to date. It’s been six long years since the release of their critically acclaimed ‘Noctambulant’ (Neurotic Records) effort, but after several line-up changes and move to a new label, Spawn Of Possession are back with their long awaited third album ‘Incurso’.
Given how strong their last album was, the six years in-between then and now and the band’s revamped line-up (Now comprising of vocalist Dennis Röndum, new lead guitarist Christian Münzner (Ex-Necrophagist/Obscura), rhythm guitarist Jonas Bryssling, new bassist Erlend Caspersen (Ex-Blood Red Throne/Deeds Of Flesh) and new/Incapacity drummer Henrik Schönström), there was some concern that the band would have changed somewhere along the way, and that their latest studio effort would inevitably disappoint. But contrary to my initial reservations, Spawn Of Possession have returned in a major way, and delivered an album that surpasses anything the band has delivered before.
The album starts out with a very foreboding and slow paced instrumental piece entitled ‘Abodement’, which eventually bleeds into the follow-up track ‘Where Angels Go Demons Follow’. It becomes immediately clear that Spawn Of Possession have lost none of their firepower or technical finesse. If anything, the band have stepped everything up another rung, with the vast array of stellar guitar riffs and solos from the Münzner/Bryssling partnership delivered throughout the song, and Röndum sounding as brutal as ever with his combined growls and scream/growl harmonies.
In retaliation to the brutality of the former track, ‘Bodiless Sleeper’ sees the band slowing things down a touch by focussing more on grooves and melody (Without forsaking any of the relentless aggression the band are known for), while on the epic ten minute ‘The Evangelist’ sees the band throw everything at the listener, with only the last couple of minutes of the song offering anything in the way of a respite from the onslaught of fast paced death metal carnage.
‘Servitude Of Souls’ and ‘Spiritual Deception’ maintain a strong sense of groove and melody, while tracks such as ‘Deus Avertat’, ‘No Light Spared’ (Which features a guest solo from former guitarist Jonas Karlsson) and the fantastic closer ‘Apparition’ (Which features some fantastic orchestrated keyboards throughout to give it a huge sound) are a blur of technical flash and pure venom.
Spawn Of Possession has never been the most prolific of acts, but they’ve always been highly regarded with what they’ve offered. And while the band has undergone some major changes in the last few years, they’ve come out the other side to emerge with ‘Incurso’ – which alongside Obscura’s ‘Omnivium’ from earlier in the year, will easily stand as one of 2012’s best death metal releases.
For more information on Spawn Of Possession, check out - http://spawnofpossession.bandcamp.com/
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 2:42 PM
There’s a fine line between paying tribute to a hugely influential act, and blatantly ripping them off. And if there’s a perfect example of a band that lies right on that fine line, it’s Spanish act ’77.
Although elements of the worship of all things Bon Scott era AC/DC could be heard on their debut full-length effort ‘21st Century Rock’ (Which was independently released in 2009, before being re-released by Listenable Records in 2010), it’s nothing compared to what can be heard on their second studio effort ‘High Decibels’. Essentially, ’77 (Who comprise of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Armand Valeta, lead guitarist LG Valeta, bassist Rob ‘Raw’ Janssen and drummer Johnnie Dolphin) have become the ultimate AC/DC clone on their latest release.
The opening title track ‘High Decibels’ gives you a clear idea of what to expect from most of the album. Armand Valeta’s vocals are a spitting image of Bon Scott when he was in his prime, while LG Valeta’s arsenal of riff sounds as close to the early/vintage AC/DC (I’m thinking anywhere from 1975’s ‘High Voltage’ through to 1977’s ‘Let There Be Rock’) as you can get without being the real thing. Nicke ‘Royale’ Andersson (Ex-Entombed/The Hellacopters) should be handed due credit for capturing an authentic sound for the band through his mixing and producing of the album as well.
From here, it’s pretty much all been heard before from AC/DC, only with a slight twist on the familiar classic sound, with tracks such as ‘(Gotta Go) Gotta Hit The Road’, ‘Let’s Beat It Up’, the blues-like swagger of ‘Backdoor Man’, the easy rocking vibe of ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and the energetic ‘Meltin’ In A Spoon’ standing out as the strongest cuts.
Another track worthy of singling out is the bonus closing track ‘Things You Can’t Talk About’. With additional vocals from Michael Monroe/Backyard Babies/The Hellacopters’ Dregen, Andersson and Imperial State Electric’s Tobias Egge, the song is a real highlight on the album.
Unfortunately, not every track is a winner, with the lengthy eight minute mini-epic ‘Promised Land’ sounding far too ambitious for the band to really pull it off convincingly, and therefore drags. Elsewhere, some of the lyrics come across as too cliché on some of the tracks, which is also disappointing.
Overall, ‘77 is a good band – provided of course that you think all music begins and ends with AC/DC. If however you have a broader taste in music, then perhaps you’ll find ‘High Decibels’ limited in its originality and style.
For more information on ‘77, check out – http://www.facebook.com/bigsmokerpig
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 2:39 PM
Monday, August 6, 2012
Live At Wembley
The Dude Films/Alter Bridge Recordings/Via Vision Entertainment
Florida based outfit Alter Bridge are without a doubt one of the biggest acts within today’s modern rock scene, with the band’s three full-length releases all garnishing overwhelming critical acclaim and going on to become huge commercial successes. Given the band’s ongoing success both on the studio front and on the road, Alter Bridge have decided the time was right to put together another long awaited second live D.V.D. release to showcase just how far the band have come since the release of ‘Live From Amsterdam’ way back in 2009.
Recorded at the band’s largest headlining show at Wembley Arena in London (U.K.) on November 29th 2011, ‘Live At Wembley’ lives up to Alter Bridge’s reputation as a must see live act.
With virtually no fanfare, the concert immediately gets underway with the excellent ‘Slip To The Void’ – the opening track from their last studio effort ‘ABIII’ (2010). Vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy delivers the song’s moody introduction with perfection, while the rest of the band (Comprising of guitarist/backing vocalist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips) sound damn near flawless when they eventually kick in on the heavier body of the track. Right from the start, it’s clear that Alter Bridge is in top form with their performance throughout the twenty-two track set-list (Running for a touch under two hours in total), which isn’t all that surprising given the band had spent five weeks leading up to this performance playing throughout Europe.
In terms of the visuals, director Daniel E. Catullo III (Who has previously helmed live D.V.D.’s for Rush, The Smashing Pumpkins, Chickenfoot, Creed, The Cult, Godsmack and Alter Bridge’s ‘Live From Amsterdam’) has really put together something special, with the sixteen high definition cameras, the laser lightshow and sparingly used pyrotechnics used to great effect. And when you couple that with a killer live performance from the band and a very vocal ten-thousand strong audience made of fans, it’s hard to find any serious faults with ‘Live At Wembley’.
In terms of highlights, again it’s hard to find a song throughout the show that doesn’t stand up to expectations, but numbers that do stand out include ‘Ghost Of Days Gone By’, ‘Metalingus’, crowd favourite ‘Blackbird’ (Which is ingeniously introduced via a brief cover of the Beatles track by the same name), Kennedy’s acoustic performances of ‘Wonderful Life’ and ‘Watch Over You’ and the hard and fast ‘Ties That Bind’.
Also worthy of a mention is the brief jazz/rock ‘n’ roll intro that eventually leads into the heavy ‘Isolation’ (Which showcases the band’s sense of humour, and Kennedy’s own skills as guitarist) and the shredding duelling trade off guitar solos between Kennedy and Tremonti that precede the closer ‘Rise Today’.
In terms of extras, ‘Live At Wembley’ also comes with the sound track of the show on C.D., which unfortunately only features fourteen cuts from the show rather than the whole thing.
Faring better is the accompanying D.V.D., which features the fifty-five minute long documentary ‘Road To Wembley’. Through interviews with all band members and various members of their crew and management, the documentary quickly covers the history of the band before settling on detailing the events taking place on their tour of Europe, through to the grand finale – a headlining show at Wembley Arena. The interviews are insightful, humorous and informative (Especially those of Kennedy’s), and the footage is fast moving, making it a real bonus worth watching. Aside from the documentary, there’s the obligatory photo gallery (Featuring around one hundred and ten shots) and a two minute preview of the upcoming 3D version of ‘Live At Wembley’ (Which really is filler).
As mentioned earlier, it’s hard to find any serious faults with ‘Live At Wembley’. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some niggling issues.
Kennedy’s not partial to the odd use of profanity onstage, as evident on the D.V.D. I generally don’t have an issue with that, but there are times when it sounds a little too forced and out of place, which is a real shame.
Another issue I have is the set-list. Given it was only three years since their last D.V.D., it would have been great to see a track selection that focussed more on different tracks/b-sides to separate the two releases a little more, and to make the set-list a little more interesting for fans. And as for the speeding up of tempos on some of the tracks, sometimes it’s hardly noticeable – but when it is, it makes the songs sound unnecessarily rushed.
Aside from some small quibbles, ‘Live At Wembley’ is a great live release, and one that reaffirms Alter Bridge’s place as one of hard rock’s undisputed kings at the top of their game.
For more information on Alter Bridge, check out - http://www.alterbridge.com/
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 8:21 PM
Sunday, August 5, 2012
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.
For more information on Municipal Waste, check out – http://www.facethewaste.com/
© Justin Donnelly
Posted by Justin Donnelly at 4:27 PM