Review Summary: Good but not great Thrash/crossover
When you think of Municipal Waste, think of every thrash band from the 80's, mix them together, and this is probably what you would get. Now I don't mean just the gems of Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer, I also mean all the trash thrash bands have put out over the years. Fast riffs, Loud vocals, and stupid lyrics all make up Municipal Waste. I mean just look at the song titles “Bang over”, “The Thrashin' of the Christ”" This may be meant as humor but it comes across flat.
As far as musicianship goes they are spot on. The vocals in particular are good, shouts are delivered well and remind me of Tom Araya from Slayer a bit. As mentioned before, the guitarists shred the fretboard, and the bassist is also quite good, creating a good foundation for the guitars to work on. Strangely there are only a few solos on Hazardous Mutation, which is too bad because I think that the solos these guys do are formidable, and they should expand on that. Other then the guitars, bass and drums, there really are not many other instruments, no keyboard, no synthesizers, nothing else, and I personally think that works in post metal, but not in thrash, and I'm glad they stick to that.
Unfortunately the lyrics are just plain awful. If you hadn't already guessed 70% of the time the lyrics are incredibly juvenile. For awhile it's mildly entertaining, but after hearing the 10th “lets get those ***ers BAAACCCKKK!!!!” every song deserves many a huge groan of disgust. Some great examples are “Jesus Christ you're out of luck, Let's thrash that ***!” and, “Feels like I stage dove on my head, I think I polished off a keg” ugg... They constantly rhyme metal with metal, yup really, and many times shout “We will smash your BALLS!” It's not all bad though, the 30% of the time their not forcing rotten trash lyrics down your throat they prove they might be competent at song writing. Unleash the Bastards shows they can at least create semi-good lyrics. The song has to do with war and is admittedly well portrayed. Although I know all of this crude 80's thrash humor is probably on purpose it does not excuse the God-awful lyrics. Normally I don't mind if a band's lyrics aren't as poetic or fluent as Pig Destroyer's, but if they sink to this garbage level then I count it as a huge detractor form the album.
The playing time for this album is only 26 minutes long and “Black Ice” is the shortest song I have ever heard, its only 0:24! This does not make it bad, in fact like Slayer, their short length makes them more intense because they didn't have to stretch out the song to 3 of four minutes and dull it down with unneeded versus or choruses.
Apart from high-lights (HA!) such as Mind Eraser, Unleash The Bastards, Hazardous Mutation, and Nailed Casket, most of the songs are either forgettable or eerily similar to the one just played before. Not to say that their bad, just not as memorable. Also the song structures are nothing advanced, pretty basic stuff here.
Now most people at this point may think I don't like this album, but it's just not true. I find that it's good thrash/crossover metal, and that really strikes a chord with me. I also like that along with Municipal Waste, other bands are forming and sticking to old-school thrash like Lich King, and am really glad this is happening and hope it sticks around. Well not exactly, I hope that really good thrash sticks around, and this isn't it. While it's good, it's rarely great. I feel that while this sometimes may inspire a head bang or two, a lot of it is unoriginal, and some tracks get just plain boring.
I think that Municipal waste are a good band that can definitely improve. If they get rid of the stale “hey were 80's ha thats funny” lyrics and spice things up a little then they may go from good to great.