by Dethtrasher USER (232 Reviews)
April 13th, 2007 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

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. 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 or Pantera and you will have a pretty precise picture of how this band sounds like.

Sicario, 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.

Anton Reisenegger 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 (Exodus) and Johan Lindstrand (The Crown). 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 Razón). 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

Sicario 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)

Recommended Favourites
-- Sicario
-- Time Bomb
-- Rise And Fall
-- Por La Fuerza De La Razón

This album will be given a strong 4/5.

Recent reviews by this author
Opeth DamnationFleshcrawl Made of Flesh
Sear Lamentations of DestructionTormented Rotten Death
War (swe) We Are...Total WarCrucified Barbara Til Death Do Us Party
user ratings (8)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 13th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Special thanks to South_Of _Heaven_11 for recommending me this album.

April 13th 2007


Good Review!

Death/Thrash you say? I may have to check this out!

south_of_heaven 11
April 13th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=Robin]My friend and I nearly grinded to a halt in other metal enjoyment when we couldn't find some new thrash[/quote]

Oh snap, that's me

Good, good review. You nailed it; this album is great to take in small doses.


Digging: RAM - Rod

April 13th 2007


you have good taste in metal Deth so ill check this out. good review, this sounds promising

April 13th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

you have good taste in metal Deth so ill check this out.

Appreciate it jrowa001. Btw, I recommended some death-metal as you asked. Look at South's ''M-16'' and check the latest comments.

April 13th 2007


thanks for the recommendations, i commented back on the m-16 review

April 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Perhaps you could recommend you some progressive metal then jrowa001? That would be awesome!

April 14th 2007


to deth:

first of all to really appreciate prog metal you have to listen to some early 70's prog. for example these are must haves
King Crimson - Red (their most riff oriented album, a great listen, Fripp is a legend on the guitar)

King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King (their most popular album)

Camel - Moonmadness (jazz driven prog, great atmosphere, this band is one of Mikael of opeth's favorite bands)

Camel - Rajaz (same as above)

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (a must listen, not as boring as The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon)

for modern day prog metal, these are my favorites and they display what prog is all about

porcupine tree - deadwing (prog with hints of heavy riffs, Wilson is an excellent songwriter and a huge influence to Mikael)

riverside - second-life syndrome (prog. with hints of heavy riffs, theyre similar to porcupine tree)

orphaned land - mabool (arabic prog. power/death metal. they mix death vocals with clean like opeth but are more on the prog side)

outworld - outworld (power prog metal, just listen to the shredding and soloing by Rusty Cooley)

symphony x - the odyssey (power prog metal, vocals are top notch and michael romeo is an insane guitarists)

dream theater - metropolis part 2 (the defining prog metal band, this is my fav of theirs...may take some time getting into)

ayreon - the human equation (prog supergroup led by a guy named arjen feat the vocalists from dream theater, opeth, devin townsend, shaddow gallery and some more. its a bit cheesy but its great)

April 14th 2007


sorry for such a long comment lol, i forgot to mention:
pain of salvation (weird prog, sounds celtic at times), rush (one of the best prog bands, great drumming), cog (new prog band, unique) and maudlin of the well (who are more on the death metal side)

April 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Jesus what a list! Anyhow, I will try to find at least one or of the bands that you recommended, thanks.

May 4th 2007


an other trash/death metal band to explore

and good review always

May 4th 2007


still cant find this anywhere, guess ill have to order it online to see if i even like it haha

May 20th 2008


Criminal has been a good band since they began pleaying here in Chile, but true, they arent anything new. Anyway nice review

January 7th 2011


Album Rating: 5.0

Well written review, but I disagree with the rating; I would give this a 5. This album is their best release, and probably one of the best death metal albums I've heard in years...highly recommended.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy