Album Review – Municipal Waste / Electrified Brain (2022)

Richmond, Virginia’s most insane thrashing squad is back in action with a new album of 14 balls-to-the-wall tracks of ripping Thrash Metal at its finest.

In case you’re not yet acquainted, Richmond, Virginia-based Thrash Metal/Crossover squad Municipal Waste was formed back in 2001 and has been considered by many as the torchbearers for Thrash Metal for the last two decades. Now in 2022 it’s time for Tony Foresta on vocals, Ryan Waste and Nick Poulos on the guitars, Landphil on bass and Dave Witte on drums to kick some ass once again with their newborn opus, entitled Electrified Brain, highly recommended for admirers of the music by Suicidal Tendencies, Nuclear Assault and Toxic Holocaust, among others. Produced by Arthur Rizk and featuring an old school artwork by James Bousema, Electrified Brain will offer your thrashing ears 14 balls-to-the-wall tracks of ripping Thrash Metal at its finest infused with Hardcore and Punk Metal, inviting you to slam into the circle pit like a true metalhead this summer.

Sit down on the electric chair and get ready for the thrashing title-track Electrified Brain, where Tony roars manically supported by the frantic riffs and beats by his bandmates, and Ryan and Nick keep slashing their stringed axes mercilessly in Demoralizer, another classic Thrash Metal tune where Landphil and Dave also make the earth shake with their straightforward kitchen. It’s time to bang your head nonstop to the sound of Last Crawl, a beer drinking, hard hitting Thrash Metal composition where Tony sounds even more demented on vocals, followed by Grave Dive, reminding me of “Toxic Waltz” by Exodus and, therefore, inspiring us to “dance like a money” to the old school riffage by the band’s guitar duo. There’s no time to breathe as the circle pit keeps moving fast in The Bite, spearheaded by Dave’s frantic drumming and with guest vocalist Blaine Cook of The Accüsed adding his touch of insanity to their music, whereas in High Speed Steel the lyrics couldn’t have been more metal (“Born from iron / Strong as steel / Faster than all hell on wheels / Reaching speeds from the unknown / Racing to the terror zone”) while the music is simply awesome and insane. Then more of their incendiary riffs and blast beats are offered to our ears in Thermonuclear Protection, with Tony roaring and barking like there’s no tomorrow.

A jammin’ first half morphs into sheer adrenaline and violence in Blood Vessel / Boat Jail, where their Crossover vein pulses stronger than ever, whereas Crank the Heat is the perfect example of how Thrash Metal should be, which is fast, furious and absolutely fun, with Tony’s raspy screams being flawlessly supported by his bandmates’ backing vocals. Then putting the pedal to the metal it’s time to crush our skulls into the circle pit in Restless and Wicked, showcasing another amazing job done by Ryan and Nick on the guitars, while Ten Cent Beer Night makes me wonder where I could find beer that cheap. Anyway, musically speaking it’s more of their ass-kicking Thrash Metal with all backing vocals adding a Punk Rock-ish vibe to the overall result; and enhancing their animosity and speed the quintet offers us all Barreled Rage, with Landphil’s rumbling bass punching us hard in the head. In Putting on Errors the band needs less than two minutes to demolish everything and everyone that crosses their path, sounding bestial and infernal from start to finish in the name of Thrash Metal, and last but not least, be prepared for one final thrashing attack by Municipal Waste titled Paranormal Janitor, with Ryan and Nick being on fire with their wicked riffs and solos.

Having said all that, what are you waiting for to join Municipal Waste in their quest for Thrash Metal? You can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their rebellious music, and of course purchase your copy of the excellent Electrified Brain (which is by the way available for a full listen anytime you want on Spotify) by visiting the band’s own webstore or by clicking HERE. Your  metallic brain will certainly melt to the sound of the new album by those American rebels, and I’m saying that in the best way possible because, as you know, we’re all born to thrash until we drop dead, and the music by Municipal Waste is an awesome, more-than recommended soundtrack for that.

Best moments of the album: The Bite, High Speed Steel, Crank the Heat and Restless and Wicked.

Worst moments of the album: Blood Vessel / Boat Jail.

Released in 2022 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Electrified Brain 2:45
2. Demoralizer 2:55
3. Last Crawl 2:28
4. Grave Dive 2:31
5. The Bite 1:37
6. High Speed Steel 2:31
7. Thermonuclear Protection 3:02
8. Blood Vessel / Boat Jail 1:55
9. Crank the Heat 2:42
10. Restless and Wicked 2:24
11. Ten Cent Beer Night 2:15
12. Barreled Rage 2:22
13. Putting on Errors 1:30
14. Paranormal Janitor 2:55

Band members
Tony Foresta – vocals
Ryan Waste – guitars, backing vocals
Nick Poulos – guitars
Landphil – bass, backing vocals
Dave Witte – drums

Guest musician
Blaine Cook – additional vocals on “The Bite”

Album Review – Kreator / Hate Über Alles (2022)

Let the hate flow through you to the sound of the magnificent new opus by one of the trailblazers of the German Thrash Metal scene.

Recorded at Hansa Studios and Studio Wong, both located in Berlin, Germany, produced by Arthur Rizk, and displaying a classy, demonic artwork by renowned Israeli artist Eliran Kantor, Hate Über Alles is not just the fifteenth studio album by German Thrash Metal masters Kreator, but the band’s first studio album since their 2017 opus Gods of Violence, marking the longest gap between studio albums in their career, and the first to feature former DragonForce bassist Frédéric Leclercq, who replaced longtime band member Christian “Speesy” Giesler in 2019. And what do I think about the album? Well, let’s say Kreator more than nailed it once again, with the iconic Miland “Mille” Petrozza on vocals and guitar, Sami Yli-Sirniö also on the guitar, the aforementioned Frédéric Leclercq on bass, and Jürgen “Ventor” Reil on drums delivering sheer violence, blasphemy and hatred with a welcome dosage of progressiveness and experimentations throughout the entire album, therefore keeping the fires of German thrash burning bright for our total delight.

Sergio Corbucci was an Italian film director, screenwriter and producer who directed both very violent Spaghetti Westerns and bloodless Bud Spencer and Terence Hill action comedies, and there’s nothing better than the Spaghetti Western intro Sergio Corbucci Is Dead to set the stage for Kreator to kill in Hate Über Alles, with both Mille and Sami kicking some fuckin’ ass with their undisputed thrashing riffage. Put differently, a new metal anthem is born overflowing fury and hatred, and of course without a single second of boredom. Then in Killer Of Jesus we face an endless amount of brutality spiced up by absolutely austere lyrics (“Tell the hordes / I’ve come to save them all / Could their souls be dead / Or why can’t I hear their words? / Goddess of time / Always by my side / Faithless redemption / Is this what they have been praying for?”), with Ventor sounding demented behind his drums in another must-listen to any fan of our good old Thrash Metal, whereas the tribal beats by Ventor ignite the neck-breaking Crush The Tyrants, with Mille flawlessly vociferating the song’s visceral words. Strongest Of The Strong is very exciting from start to finish, with Mille and Sami delivering first-class riffs and solos throughout the entire song, resulting in another serious candidate to be part of their live performances, followed by Become Immortal, where I must say I love how Kreator are honoring all metal legends (including themselves) in their past few albums, with the song’s  galloping pace inviting us all to raise our horns together with one of the most important Thrash Metal bands of all time.

Conquer And Destroy brings forward old school Kreator for diehard fans of the band, and it will surely ignite some amazing circle pits if played live while Mille leads his horde with both his piercing vocals and melodic but razor-edged riffs and solos; and featuring guest vocalist Sofia Portanet, the hypnotizing Midnight Sun is by far the most experimental of all songs, with the final result being utterly captivating as if we were part of an uncanny, bloodthirsty Scandinavian midsummer festival. Demonic Future offers us all another round of wicked lyrics roared by Mille (“In terror, in riots in war / Just when you thought that you’ve seen it all / Awareness turns to repulsion / From everywhere, echoing chants / A requiem for their bitter lands / Just when you thought a sick society / Died in their final convulsions / Fantasies of omnipotence / Erased they’ll become aware”) while the music is that beautiful Thrash Metal we love so much, with Frédéric and Ventor making the earth tremble with their respective bass and drums, and when the entire album is awesome a song like Pride Comes Before The Fall that’s “just” very good becomes the “worst” one, albeit still showcasing of course Kreator’s unique thrashing sounds. And last but not least, Kreator darken the skies and send an apocalyptic message to everyone in Dying Planet, presenting hints of Doom Metal in their core sonority and, consequently, inspiring us to break our necks headbanging in the name of darkness together with Mille and his crew.

Kreator Hate Über Alles Deluxe Box

It’s time to let the hate blasted by Kreator in their outstanding new album flow through you, and you can do that by streaming it in full on YouTube and on Spotify, and obviously by purchasing it from the band’s own webstore or by clicking HERE or HERE, where you can by the way find the limited deluxe box including the red and black splatter double vinyl with etching on side D in trifold cover, a digibook CD, a digipack live CD, a photobook, the artprint and a pin. Furthermore, Kreator are waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube for news, tour dates and more of their flammable music. Because in the end as you might already know it’s hate above all, as long as it’s blasted by an undisputed thrashing institution like Kreator.

Best moments of the album: Hate Über Alles, Killer Of Jesus, Strongest Of The Strong, Conquer And Destroy and Demonic Future.

Worst moments of the album: Pride Comes Before The Fall.

Released in 2022 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Sergio Corbucci Is Dead 0:58
2. Hate Über Alles 3:48
3. Killer Of Jesus 4:05
4. Crush The Tyrants 4:10
5. Strongest Of The Strong 4:01
6. Become Immortal 4:23
7. Conquer And Destroy 4:45
8. Midnight Sun (feat. Sofia Portanet) 3:38
9. Demonic Future 4:43
10. Pride Comes Before The Fall 4:48
11. Dying Planet 6:52

Band members
Miland “Mille” Petrozza – vocals, guitar
Sami Yli-Sirniö – guitar
Frédéric Leclercq – bass
Jürgen “Ventor” Reil – drums

Guest musician
Sofia Portanet – female vocals on “Midnight Sun”

Album Review – Crypts of Despair / All Light Swallowed (2021)

Behold the breathtaking sophomore opus by a ruthless Death Metal unity from Lithuania, embodying the perfect combination of face-melting aggression and electrifying atmosphere.

3.5rating

crypts-of-despair-all-light swallowed-2021Formed in 2009 in Kaunas, a city in south-central Lithuania, the ruthless Death Metal band known as Crypts of Despair has made a quantum leap from their well-received debut full-length opus The Stench of the Earth, released in 2017, to their brand new one, entitled All Light Swallowed. Produced by the band itself, recorded at Lapės Records, mixed and engineered by Alexander Sarychev at DTH Studios, mastered by Arthur Rizk, and featuring a classic, somber artwork by Néstor Avalos, All Light Swallowed is at once ferocious, rife with unearthly and dissonant sounds, and punctuated by hair-raising, eerie ambience, embodying the perfect combination of face-melting aggression and electrifying atmosphere, with song structures remaining unpredictable and yet strangely coherent, all carefully brought into being by vocalist and guitarist Dovydas Auglys, guitarist Benas Juskus, bassist and vocalist Simonas Jurkevicius, and drummer Henri Mall. Put differently, if you’re an admirer of the music by bands the likes of Incantation, Anaal Nathrakh and Morbid Angel, this album is a must-have in your personal collection.

Get ready for total annihilation to the sound of the pulverizing opening track Being – Erased, a lecture in modern-day Death Metal led by the blast beast by Henri while Dovydas and Benas extract piercing, sulfurous Black Metal-inspired riffs from their guitars, and there’s no sign of slowing down as the quartet continues their path of devastation in Anguished Exhale, even more brutal and infernal than the opening tune with Dovydas and Simonas roaring manically nonstop. In Choked By The Void a cryptic start morphs into another visceral Death Metal feast led by the strident riffage by the band’s guitar duo, smashing our cranial skulls and dragging us into eternal darkness, and more of their furious sounds comes in the form of Condemned To Life, where Henri pounds and crushes his drums in great fashion, sounding very violent but at the same time technical and melodic and, therefore, resulting into sheer Death Metal awesomeness.

crypts-of-despair-all-light-swallowed-black-coffin-shaped-wooden-cd-box-set

Crypts of Despair All Light Swallowed Black Coffin-Shaped Wooden CD Box Set with Engraving

Living up to the legacy of renowned acts such as Incantation and Immolation, the quartet fires the visceral Synergy Of Suffering, once again presenting the dynamic (and bestial) vocal duet between Dovydas and Simonas, and if you thought those Lithuanian metallers couldn’t sound more demonic you better get ready for The Great End, a sinister, neck-breaking tune that blends their trademark Death Metal with Black Metal nuances. Then venturing through more obscure lands we’re treated to the venomous Disgust, a beautiful Death, Black and (even) Doom Metal creation by Crypts of Despair where the vocal lines sound and feel utterly satanic, not to mention the thunderous drums by Henri. Dovydas and Benas definitely know how to send shivers down our spines with their wicked riffs, generating a menacing ambience in Excruciating Weight, putting a grim smile on the faces of the damned and flowing into the Stygian instrumental outro Bleak View, sounding as if it was taken from the most horrifying psychological thriller you can imagine.

crypts-of-despair-2021It’s quite easy to put your hands on such amazing album of Baltic Death Metal, as All Light Swallowed (which you can by the way stream in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify) is available for purchase from the band’s own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon, but if I were you I would definitely go for the ass-kicking, limited Black Coffin-Shaped Wooden CD Box Set with Engraving by clicking HERE, HERE or HERE (depending on where in the world you are), containing an 8-panel digipak CD with sandalwood scent, an autographed card, a shaped silver sigil patch, a keychain with bottle opener, an album artwork badge, a beer coaster and a metallic sticker. Also, don’t forget to give the guys from Crypts of Despair a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, showing your support to such incredible band from the Baltics. And you better hurry, before all light is finally swallowed and you’re trapped in eternal Death Metal darkness.

Best moments of the album: Being – Erased, Condemned To Life and Disgust.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing   
1. Being – Erased 4:33
2. Anguished Exhale 4:13
3. Choked By The Void 5:17
4. Condemned To Life 3:27
5. Synergy Of Suffering 2:57
6. The Great End 5:32
7. Disgust 4:23
8. Excruciating Weight 3:57
9. Bleak View 3:37

Band members
Dovydas Auglys – vocals, guitar
Benas Juskus – guitar
Simonas Jurkevicius – bass, vocals
Henri Mall – drums