Municipal Waste - The Fatal Feast
Nuclear Blast
Crossover Thrash
17 songs (37:44)
Release year: 2012
Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Bar

It’s pretty hard to deny that Municipal Waste have been on something of a decline since the release of their excellent sophomore album Hazardous Mutation. The two full-length releases that came afterwards failed to recapture the magic that helped these explode so prominently onto the scene. On The Art of Partying they tried to give us more of the same but the boys couldn’t muster up enough quality riffs to hold the album together. Conversely, Massive Aggressive was a conscious attempt to develop and “grow up” but a lack of the band’s trademark juvenile humour seemed to alienate a lot of fans. So, then, this album turns out to be a very pleasant surprise. It seems that with less focus on being taken seriously, their song writing has ironically exhibited some natural development. It’s no reinvention of the wheel, but the result is their most consistent effort in years.

Firstly, these songs are probably the closest they've ever come to straight-up Thrash. This album sees a subtle shift away from the punk that used to be so prevalent and for most part the material we get here is leaning closer to the Thrash side of things. Obviously, elements of Hardcore remain, particularly on such tracks as Unholy Abductor and Idiot Check, but overall it seems the track lengths have increased, the riffs have gotten more complex and for the first time some excellent lead guitar work has even crept into the mix. All of these are changes for the better. Guitarist Ryan Waste keeps his surprisingly technical solos succinct too, with most of his outbursts lasting less than 10 seconds. This adds a bit of variety to the formula without completely shifting the band’s dynamic. I’m completely sold on the approach.

Although at first listen these changes are quite subtle, they do result in some very good songs. Case in point is a track like Crushing Chest Wound. The main riff which begins at 00:21 is pleasingly complex and played at lightning speed for maximum effect while the mid-tempo bridge is a complete stomper that I couldn’t help but head bang to. Sterling drum and bass work back up the riffs – the band’s playing has really improved – and the brief chorus begs to be sung along to. It’s completely respectable, honest-to-goodness Thrash Metal. The band utilises this sort of structure that shifts from mid-tempo to high-speed to great effect across the album and there are several tracks which can challenge for the title of best on album. New Dead Masters, Standards and Practices and The Fatal Feast are all great tracks. Very moshable stuff indeed.

My biggest gripe has got to be Tony Foresta’s vocal work, which continues to be as completely one note as it ever has. He’s really just yelling, and while he can sometimes impress with the speed at which he spits his lyrics, he’s just not doing enough to maintain interest. His vocals were fine on the first couple of albums, but after a decade it’s just too much of a muchness. It’s more evident here than ever before that he’s really not developing at the same rate as his band mates. Hell, he’s not developing at all. It does unfortunately have the effect of making their sound a little stale.

Whether or not you should buy this will ultimately come down to how much you enjoy this sort of light-hearted party metal. If it’s not usually your thing, then for all the subtle developments here, this album won’t do anything to convince you. It’s not far enough removed from their old stuff. On the other hand, if you want to crush a beer can on your forehead while caught in a mosh, then you should find this to be very much to your liking. You know who you are.

Killing Songs :
New Dead Masters, Covered in Sick/The Barfer, Standards and Practices, Crushing Chest Wound, The Fatal Feast
Bar quoted 79 / 100
Koeppe quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Municipal Waste that we have reviewed:
Municipal Waste - Massive Aggressive reviewed by Kyle and quoted 72 / 100
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