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I got the feeling that most people were disappointed with Municipal Waste's 2009 effort, Massive Aggressive. It seemed like the general consensus was that the album was too serious lyrically and too "accomplished" musically. I was among the minority who loved Massive Aggressive, and I have been anxious to hear what would come next.
Municipal Waste's follow up to Massive Aggressive has just arrived in the form of The Fatal Feast. Overall the new album is more simplified, and the humor is more prominent than on its predecessor. Musically, The Fatal Feast has a more crossover sound than a straight-up thrash sound. That is to say, the new album has more hardcore punk in the equation than metal. Many of the songs remind me of D.R.I. and the first Suicidal Tendencies album. There are more hardcore barre chord riffs than metallic thrash attacks. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a different balance than on Municipal Waste's other recent releases. Still, there's plenty of metal present. Sweet shredding leads in "Repossession" and "Authority Complex" contribute to the metal vibe, and there are some huge drum fills in "Crushing Chest Wound" and "Death Tax." The bass playing in "Idiot Check," "Crushing Chest Wound," and "The Fatal Feast" also helps add a little flash to the album. (The bass tone is consistently awesome throughout The Fatal Feast too.) The more flashy moments of these instruments unite in the album's final, strongest, and most metal song, "Residential Disaster." However as mentioned earlier, the dominant vibe of The Fatal Feast is a more straight-forward hardcore feel. Perhaps the music is being downplayed slightly to put more focus on the lyrics. The humor is definitely more dominant here than on Massive Aggressive. Drinking, zombies, space, and religion are all covered with great results. Many fans will be pleased with the more overtly humorous approach.
Municipal Waste has always had hardcore punk and metal in its sound. That's the true definition of "crossover" after all. However, on The Fatal Feast the balance has shifted more toward the hardcore end of the spectrum. The band has traded some of the metal and seriousness from the previous album for more punk and humor. The Fatal Feast is a satisfying Municipal Waste album, but it may sound a little half-assed to people who prefer the more musically accomplished sound of the previous albums, especially Massive Aggressive. Any fan of the crossover genre should dig this though. The super-catchy punk riffs and the hilarious lyrics virtually dare you not to bang your head and sing along. The Fatal Feast is a mandatory purchase for any Municipal Waste die-hard.
Originally written for http://www.metalpsalter.com