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The Crossover Thrash Metal act Municipal Waste has been a group on the lips of many in the Metal community. The group has had four full-length offerings already, but I only really had the time and money to pick up their The Art of Partying album so far. I wasn’t too moved by it, but clearly the masses were, especially compared to Massive Aggressive which found plenty of varied responses from the press and fans. But, even with a less-than-warm reception, that album drew the attention of Century Media Records, and here we are staring at their fifth album, The Fatal Feast. This has been one of the most anxiously awaited recordings for the band so far, especially from the new fans who jumped in on their previous release. So, naturally, I gave a few songs off this one a quick spin.

The Fatal Feast clocks in around thirty eight minutes. Sadly, or perhaps thankfully as I learned later on, I didn’t have that much time to spare. So, I just stuck to some tracks from the first half of the album. “Waste in Space” was actually a rather impressive ambient piece one might expect from an eighties Science Fiction film that slowly built up in richness before bleeding into “Repossession,” concluding this passage with a scream in the background and the most generic laser guns ever being shot at that person. The actual music of wasn’t too bad, sticking to the traditional Punk attitude of cleaner shouting vocals. There definitely was a bit of an angsty atmosphere amid the Thrash heavy faster material and the Punk/Hardcore chorus that did have me itching to try and dance along to it. The energy was definitely ample, there were plenty of smooth transitions between styles and sounds, the solos were short and sweet, but I was greatly disappointed by the down-to-earth lyrics and how they, as well as the music, didn’t play off such a great introductory track, making it feel completely out of place.

And, in pretty much no time, “New Dead Masters” kicked in, and the Suicidal Tendencies/similar band influences began to really show through. The lyrics of the main verse against a rather upbeat, yet slower pace was met with a crashing of fast-paced Hardcore and Thrash Metal material past the section about medications not working, and it just doesn’t let up from there. The addition of gang chants helped to feed the adrenaline the group put into the song, and I found myself bobbing my head along at some points, though it wound up being a conscious, voluntary movement. The music was good, but it still didn’t really stir me much. “Unholy Abductor” kicked in next, and with its one-minute and nineteen second length I didn’t really expect the world, but overall it had some catchy chords in a faster pace that did rival “New Dead Masters” after the shift in material. It was enjoyable for what it was, and that’s about to positively say since there wasn’t much to it to begin with. Municipal Waste just stuck with two differing sections, and both felt drug along shortly after they started.

“Idiot Check” wasn’t too bad, and definitely offered up more variety. I really got behind the bass-heavy introduction that felt more like a solo, but it was too quick and never came back. This honestly pissed me off because I thought it meant this song would be somewhat different, but in the end it really wasn’t. Some of the stricter Thrash elements sound great, and the transitions work out well, especially considering how many times this song jumps around, and the solo once again was short and sweet. It clearly fed into the angsty, rebellious sound “Repossession” started the album off with. Once that ended, “Covered in Sick – The Barfer” started in with a pretty washed out, low volume audio sample of two guys trying to get a beer at a bar after last call. Again, the cocking of a shot gun effect sounds as generic as possible, as if ripped from the PC game Doom. It’s a terrible sound bite all around, but the more aggressive Thrash Metal sound with harsher Punk vocals mixed with the cleaner shouting approach worked out well and made a lot more solid than when it started, all the way to the end. “You’re Cut Off” seemed to try and capitalize off that with a shorter length than “Unholy Abductor,” but again, it just felt insanely unoriginal to the point where I just completely lost interest and hit the stop button. I quit caring.

Municipal Waste may be pretty big right now, but honestly I don’t see the attraction. All this band makes me want to do, back in 2007 when I first heard them, and moreso today, is break out early Suicidal Tendencies albums and revisit them. On top of that, the insanely crisp and clean digital audio quality just left this rather unoriginal release without any sort of kick. The material clearly has some rebellious energy coupled with angsty, aggressive attitudes, but it all just feels sterile. Having a dirtier sound to at least the guitars, if not the overall production of the release, would have greatly saved it. With only a few tracks I liked, and only one that made me want to start learning how to Hardcore dance, I really just did not like the album. On top of that, just seven songs in it felt like the band only knew a handful of chords and played the same song a few times over with slight alterations. I really have no desire to hear anything more off The Fatal Feast, and had I bought this album I would have turned right around and taken it directly back to the store I acquired it from, demanding some kind of refund. But, I have to give it another few spins for a critical review at some point. So, who knows, maybe I’ll find a hidden gem or two later on with it. I definitely am hoping so, because “Repossession” and “Covered in Sick – The Barfer” are good, but just not good enough.

Article based on digital review material provided by Nuclear Blast Records.