Slime and Punishment is the name of the latest album by Richmond, Virginia based metal band, Municipal Waste. Released on June 23rd via Nuclear Blast Records, Slime and Punishment is the crossover thrash band’s sixth full length studio album.
Municipal Waste formed back in 2001 and have released three EPs and four split albums alongside their six studio albums. They have had a couple line up changes but two of the founding members are still in the band. Municipal Waste are frontman and lead vocalist Nick Foresta and guitarist Ryan Waste. They are joined by Dave Witte on drums, Philip “Landphil” Hall on bass and Nick “Nikropolis” Poulos on guitar.
Municipal Waste are classed as a crossover thrash band but have also been labelled as being “Party Thrash” due to the tongue in cheek topics they throw into their albums. Dealing with space, mutants, alcoholism and their love of thrash, Municipal Waste have a unique edge to them. In their own words, musically, “they have the utmost respect for head bang-inducing riffs, add their trademarked aggression, their tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, and their talent for extracting meaning out of the absurd”.
Slime and Punishment has 14 tracks on it and comes in at just 28 minutes and 44 seconds long. Most of the songs are below 2 and a half minutes long with just one being 2 minutes and 31 seconds and the other being 2 minutes and 52 seconds. The songs are designed to pummel you with short blasts of thrashy riffage and that is exactly what they do.
With song titles like Shrednecks and Parole Violators, you already know the guys are still not taking themselves overly seriously. Musically, they are as tight and able as they have ever been. The riffs and leads are crisp and tight at times, loose and sludgy at others. The drum rhythms from Dave Whitte are precise and creative mixing through fast blasts and strong groove whenever called for.
The vocals are shouted throughout and kind of remind me of Tom Araya from Slayer. They are mixed in with loads of gang vocals, especially in the choruses, to add extra strength. Intro track Breathe Grease uses them heavily, mixed in with a fast and furious thrash riff. Enjoy the Night, a 50 second blast of thrash metal, is another fun track with gang vocals used for the whole one verse.
It’s not all about furious thrash though. Most of it is, yes, but there is a whole load of creativity on show. The more rhythmic number, Dingy Situations, forces you to bang your head and whip out the air guitar for a great little solo. Enjoy the Night has a cool bass intro, as does Think Fast, before jumping into crazy heavy thrash and gang vocals. It slips into a groove laden rhythm with hypnotic blast beats before a sudden stop.
Slime and Punishment, the title track, has probably my favourite riff over all. Again it is more rhythmic thrash with quickly spat vocals and a shredding guitar over a fast paced drum rhythm. It ends with a fantastic high toned solo and is a song that showcases how tight the band are. Under the Waste Command is probably my favourite song on this album though. The heavy intro with ascending dual guitars in the riff is the stuff of dreams. The 2 guitarists are really showcased here with dual guitar solo leading into dual guitar solo, all over a fast drum and bass rhythm.
Municipal Waste sound like a band having a blast. The music on Slime and Punishment is fast, heavy but rhythmic. There are some fantastic solos and the riffs will have your head banging on almost every track. The drumming really stands out though – Witte is a beast at the kit. With two lead guitarists, I would have liked a bit more of the dual guitar present on Under the Waste Command. A minor infringement though. Slime and Punishment should push Municipal Waste back to the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Brilliant thrash metal and great fun – what more could you ask for.
Be sure to check Municipal Waste out at Bloodstock Open Air, if you are going. They are on the main stage on Saturday and are sure to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
You can pick up Slime and Punishment for yourself at the band’s own website or over at Nuclear Blast. You can also grab it from the Amazon and Apple links below. Look up Municipal Waste on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and give them a like and a follow while you are there too.
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Slime and Punishment by Municipal Waste (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 9/10