Municipal Waste

Massive Aggressive


In the much-discussed thrash revival, no band sound more authentic, more old-school, more 1988 than Municipal Waste. The Virginia quartet play 100 percent reverent crossover, wielding distinct elements from either side of the metal/’core divide: anthemic punk riffs, spastic whammy-bar solos, gang choruses, blackbelt chops and political lyrics–all of it hell-bent for leather and denim.

Like its three predecessors, Massive Aggressive could be a lost album by hybrid pioneers D.R.I. The longhairs’ 12 songs whiz past in 29 minutes that feel like 15. If you don’t already know that drummer Dave Witte (who’s widely worshipped for playing blazing beats in Melt-Banana and Burnt By The Sun) runs triathlons to build his conditioning, you might guess it after “Acid Sentence,” a hardcore blitzkrieg played with death-metal tenacity. Whiplash workouts like “Relentless Threat” jettison metalcore’s formulaic breakdowns in favor of locked-in grooves. Waste IV is less homage, more heshing.

On Massive, the Waste drop their party-thrash shtick and get (relatively) serious. In the title track, frontman Tony Foresta fights a schizophrenic war inside his head. The band’s sense of humor is still present, but puns like “Thrashin’ Of The Christ” are gone, replaced by over-the-top metal-culture in-jokes like the sociopolitical screed “Upside Down Church” and “The Wrath Of The Severed Head,” a hellride about undead vengeance. “Mech-Cannibal” adds a dash of melody, and “Divine Blasphemer” one-ups it with guitar harmonies. Producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Unearth) keeps the mix stripped-down and bone-dry, and the band’s sound is finally its own. (EARACHE) D.X. Ferris

GO DOWNLOAD: "Wrong Answer"