Review Summary: A heavy and aggressive death/thrash album with excellent guitar soloing. Unfortunately, this album adds nothing new to an overcrowded metal genre.
Some people are satisfied by just listening to something that grabs their attention, but there are also people who are very "locked on target" when it comes to finding specific forms of music. For example, if you like pop then you just have to flick on MTV, or the local hip-hop station. Same thing goes for blues, rock, jazz, classical anything. But some people just can't be pleased by just listening to something that has connections to the actual music genre; they want the cream of the crop. I admit that I can be one of those "gourmet" fanciers at times, especially since I love thrash metal but that doesn't mean that I enjoy every single thrash band that I listen to. My friend and I nearly grinded to a halt in other metal enjoyment when we couldn't find some new thrash, so we searched and searched. Luck was with us, and we discovered a band called Criminal
is a band from Chile and were formed around 1991. The band was actually formed by the vocalist/guitarist Anton Reisenegger
, which is a former member of Pentagram
, an American death metal band. Criminal
plays heavy and lethal death/thrash, or perhaps modern thrash. Take the Swedish death-thrashers The Crown
and mix them with the modern version of Exodus
and you will have a pretty precise picture of how this band sounds like.
, or "Hired Assassin", as the album is called is Criminal's
latest effort which was released in 2005. This album contains intense and heavy death/thrash which is pretty familiar to Exodus
and The Crown
. The members of Criminal
have a good mix of song variety; as they feature fast and heavy shredd-attacks like Rise And Fall
and Por La Fuerza De La Razón
, as well as some songs with more thrash than death structures like Time Bomb
, Touch Of Filth
and Shot In The Face
. Naturally, however, they showcase some songs with more deathlike structures as well, for example The Land God Forgot
. Finally, there's some slower songs like Sicario
and The Root Of All Evil
. But keep in mind that the songs might have a small repetitive factor; many of the songs follow similar patterns so don't expect any huge sound differences in them, just which genre they draw a stronger influence from.
does the vocals and rhythm guitars. As a vocalist, he delivers a steady vocal performance which is very typical to death/thrash metal. Loud harsh semi-growls are the main course but you can hear a few shrieks a little now and then in the material. He actually sounds like a hybrid between Rob Dukes
) and Johan Lindstrand
). He has the sharpness from Rob and the brutality from Johan. He also does a good job with his guitar, and alongside Rodrigo Contreras
they deliver a varied guitar performance. The riffs played on this album are pretty heavy but unfortunately there is a small lack of technique and innovation, although some songs actually have some impressive and well-flowing riff lines (like Por La Fuerza De La RazÃ³n
). Most of the riffs are quite catchy and headbang-able but these are standard heavy metal riffing, nothing new or highly technical or complex. While the selection of riffs might seem a bit poor the guitar solos comes to add some extra help. I was a bit surprised when I heard the guitar solos since the solos on this album are very fast, high-pitched and pretty technical. I think that most of the solos have a gentle Metallica
touch but they also sound really well in contrast to the riff work. Juan Francisco Cueto
is the bassist in this crew, and unfortunately once again we have a bassist that fades away because of the guitars; they're so loud and thick that you can hardly hear the bass. You can, however, hear some tunes a little now and then but that's it. Zac O'Neil
is the drummer and he does a solid job. Here you have a good selection of different drum patterns, as double bass kicking is mixed with other types of heavy beats. Some blast beats and mid-paced drumming is also included and there are also some "mellow" drum patterns as well.
Not a flawless album I must say. The things I enjoyed in this album were, most of all, the heaviness of the overall material. To go along with that, there was a pretty good amount of song variety and the technical/crazy guitar solos. The things I didn't liked were the guitar work (at times), as the riffs became boring with time and there were too much focus on the rhythm guitar work and not enough on the lead. In the end, it became boring, as instead of one crushing rhythm and a slicing lead there were two pounding rhythms. Other than that there was just a few songs that I didn't cared for, but the only track I didn't like at all was From The Ashes
. It sounded like a song that Damageplan
forgot to include in their album
is not a unique album in any way; it sounds like a standard death/thrash album. But if you are in search of new modern aggressive thrash or death/thrash, Sicario
will please your ears for the moment, or forever, as it depends entirely on the listener. If you enjoy bands like modern Exodus
, The Crown
, late Carnal Forge
or perhaps late Pantera
, you will probably like this album.
+ Heavy overall material
+ Impressive solo skills
+ Aggressive and suitable vocals
+ Good song variety (referring to the genres which each song seemed to lean to, as all were different in that sense).
- The album can get repetitive with time
- The guitar work needed some more technique, or at least more variety (riff structure)
-- Time Bomb
-- Rise And Fall
-- Por La Fuerza De La Razón
This album will be given a strong 4/5.