Review Summary: Added dynamics make for a reinvigorated, albeit straight-faced, Municipal Waste.Massive Aggressive
is Municipal Waste's masquerade into supposed maturity. Yep, the band that recently burned down a cardboard church on-stage (thus pissing of Norwegian authorities) is trying to veer away from 'party metal'. I guess it kind of worked, as tonally speaking Massive Aggressive
is a little more straightfaced. Musically things aren't much different. While the band has certainly upped their production values and added a few more dynamics to their otherwise straightforward brand of crossover, this is more or less the same Waste.
Of course 'more or less' still comes with the less, and this time around Municipal Waste have added a newfound sense of moderation into the mix, occasionally slowing things down to a (gasp!) mid-tempo. Problem is sometimes the songs just don't warrant any recession. The title track, for example, meanders longer than necessary and ends up going nowhere as a result. The band's other changes actually do an excellent job of adding to their sound. Their newfound sheen actually makes their blend of thrash and hardcore more distinctive, with tracks like “The Wrath Of The Severed Head” and “Media Skeptic” exploring their punk roots perhaps more definitively than ever before. Conversely speaking, “Upside Down Church” is arguably as incendiary and aggressive as anything the band has previously done, with its Testament influenced lyrics (“do you practise the things you preach, and never question anything, or are you blinded by what you teach?”) making for a much darker aesthetic than its cardboard burning would have you believe.
In the end, Massive Aggressive
is another Municipal Waste album and for that fans can be thankful. But the band has thrown a marginal curveball into their sound and with added catchiness they've successfully re-invigorated themselves after the somewhat lacklustre Art of Partying
. To many, the differences may be negligible, since the upgrade is akin to crushing a tallcan of Guinness on your forehead rather than the more traditional lager; either way, it's still going to leave a mark and hopefully it'll leave you a little drunker than when you started. And deny it all they want, when it comes to Municipal Waste, that'll always kind of be the point.