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Born in Chile, despite having moved to England later because of economic difficulties, Criminal were formed in the beginning of the 90’s by Anton Reisenegger (vocals and rhythm guitar) and Rodrigo Contreras (lead guitar). “White Hell” is their new album, where they offer us twelve songs full of intensity and contagious hatred.
In this sixth record, Criminal shows us a mixture of Thrash Metal and Swedish Death Metal, where there’s still space for some modern Metal influences. So it’ll be normal if bands like Slayer, The Haunted, The Crown and even Lamb Of God come up to our memory during the listening of this full-length.
“White Hell” starts in a demolishing way. The opening track “21st Century Paranoia” is fast, heavy and enough appellative to make us headbang. Like on many other songs that compose this album, the down-tuned guitars influenced in Swedish Death Metal are mixed with the hatred from the South American Metal, resulting in something even more interesting when we listen to Rodrigo Contreras’ solos.
However, this Criminal’s record is much more than a simple Thrash/Death Metal album. Firstly, this band is very competent technically. If you doubt it, check the awesome and varied drums work done by Zac O’Neill or the appellative and virtuosos solos played by Rodrigo Contreras. Secondly, “White Hell” is varied enough to avoid becoming monotonous. If tracks like “21st Century Paranoia” or “Black Light” remind us of The Crown, some melodies from “Strange Ways” remind us of Slayer.
In spite of these qualities, “White Hell” lacks moments able to make it special and that can be seen as a disadvantage. It’s not that kind of albums that when they stop playing, our will is to push the Play button again to listen to this or that song.
In conclusion, this new Criminal’s record has enough qualities to please Thrash/Death Metal fans, thanks to its variety and competence. Even though, it lacks something able to make it reach a higher level, despite being a good album.