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A Flawless Masterpiece of Modern Thrash - 100%

DanielG06, September 15th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Earache Records

Wow, this album goes crazy. The first time I listened to this, I was instantly hooked from the first riff of "Deathripper", which remains to this day one of my favourite songs to play on the guitar. The two opening tracks are epic in an old-school thrash sense: the riffs are badass, the drum beat is relentless, the bass is hauling ass, and the chaotic vocals match it up perfectly. Unleash the Bastards is probably my favourite Municipal Waste song, since it's built from that formula and done so well, these first two tracks are extremely important, as not only did they get me into this album, they also set the precedent for the rest of the record; which is 26 minutes of pure crossover mayhem. The lyrics really shine on every song, they're creative, imaginative, and break away from the usual party subject matter of the Waste discography. Songs like "Mind Eraser", and "Terror Shark" prove this, and they are extremely catchy with strong hooks because of the vocals and lyrics.

In addition, this is probably Ryan Waste in his absolute prime; The Art of Partying may have more hit songs and overall memorable riffs, but honestly, for the entire run time of this album, Ryan is just exploding with these creative anomalies that give the songs flavour and individuality, such as the artificial harmonics that he plays on Accelerated Vision. Also, Ryan's tone on this record is amazing, and is the schematic for bone-crushingly heavy riffs like The Thrashing of the Christ, and Set to Destruct, both of which have a very punky nature about them, whether it be the lyrics, or the speed/intensity reminiscent of D.R.I. or Cryptic Slaughter. Because of this, these songs are some of my personal favourites on the album.

In the last paragraph where I talked about Ryan's creativity, that can be said for the whole band. Dave Witte's drum sound is unique, and mixed very well. Land Phil's signature groove that is present on all of Waste's records really shines here too, and Tony Foresta's vocals are probably at his top, since he sings clearly and not too off-the-rails fast like he did on Waste 'em all, but his voice also has more substance than on albums like The Fatal Feast, or Slime and Punishment, as his voice can sound dry and strained at times on those albums.

To conclude, this is one of my all-time favourite albums, strong in all aspects and it never gets old. Some people say that Municipal Waste is boring because all of their songs sound the same and they're uninspired, this album proves that thought wrong.

"I see it, I see it all now..." - 100%

Film, June 24th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Earache Records

Among your most highly regarded albums, some of them were not instant favorites but rather grew on you, right? This was the case with my first thrash album, "Seasons in the Abyss". My first hearing didn't really compel me to like it, but nonetheless I was drawn in, and "had" to listen again and again until emerging as (sort of) a thrasher.

"Hazardous Mutation" is the polar opposite. The listener is relentlessly hooked from the first riff; if not from the very first second, then certainly within three seconds.

Nothing on here is flawed in the slightest, from the riff writing and execution to the audio mix. While this is far from technical thrash, the riffs are certainly technical enough at times to intrigue the listener. The variety is decent, tempo shifts employed in a sensible manner. All in all the record is fast and assaulting, spearheaded with a lead singer spitting it out in the style of Demolition Hammer.

The lyrics revolve around "The Thing" and similar horror concepts and B-culture. While this opens up a lot of potential for cheesiness, I actually find the vocal delivery menacing. Though singing about over-the-top topics, the singer is still credible and believeable. A secondary singer blends nicely in the mix too.

"Hazardous Mutation" came out a good 15 years ago and played a huge part in revitalizing the crossover genre. (That the innovativeness would later deteriorate quickly is an altogether different issue...) Discovering it was important for me personally at the time as I had dabbled quite a bit in punk, whereas this was punk done in a beefier, badder and better manner. I even found the band name innovative in its time - how did they even come up with it? - and the album title and cover make for a cool overall concept. The cover is drawn by none other than Ed Repka, and is excellent as usual - except for the flaw someone pointed out: The impossibly small front wheels on the garbage truck!

But when the front wheels of a garbage truck are the only bad aspects of an album, you know you have before you an absolute shredder of a record.

"We are the speed metal punks!!!" - 92%

Feast for the Damned, August 31st, 2019

A couple of releases in their career, the band made it clear that their sole purpose is to waste your ears with some extremely energetic crossover. 2 out of 4 members left the band since their debut full-length, but the two core members are still here (Tony and Ryan). Now with Land Phil and Dave Witte aboard, we got a lineup that would become their classic lineup (although at the time of writing this the only difference is that Nick Poulos joined in for guitar duties) and they are ready to unleash something wild.

The popularity of re-thrash can be traced back to this record (coincidentally got released 3 days before the first Gama Bomb record. Of course, back then the band wasn't just a Waste clone yet.) and for obvious reasons. Compared to the previous material, the style has greatly changed. They almost entirely dropped the D.R.I. style and now we got a production-wise cleaner, a lot more riff centered and shred heavy style (this would also become their signature style).

When someone mentions a "no filler, all killer" album the first album coming to my mind after the first 4 Overkill is Municipal Waste's "Radical Re-thrash Trilogy" starting from this album (Massive Aggressive being a spin-off). In the 26 minutes that this album provides there isn't a single track with any huge problems. I could use the "Not as memorable as the other tracks" card again, but even that would work this time since there is only 1 track that isn't all as good as the others (that being the 11th track, Black Ice with its 29 seconds). We got true classics here such as Unleash the Bastards which alone is enough reason for me to listen to this album over and over again, Mind Eraser which has one of the best choruses on the entire album (also the solo is super tight) and Set to Destruct which is still one of the biggest re-thrash anthems out there with the one simple line "WE ARE THE SPEED METAL PUNKS" (they only managed to out-do it on their next album, but more on that later).

Did I mention already that this album has the ultimate thrash guitar tone? Literally, every riff, every solo, every lick sounds so much better than most of the albums coming out this time in the same style. Ryan motherfucking Waste is one talented bastard for sure, but we have to mention the phenomenal bass lines delivered by non-other than the all-mighty Land Phil. They really add a lot more power to the songs. The vocals are really high quality (just what I would expect from Tony Foresta), but this time around they have more of a straight-up thrash/crossover style.

They also rerecorded Abusement Park which is a huge plus point considering it was one of the better tracks on the Crucial Unit split. This new style of the band suits the song more without a doubt. The signature crossover gang vocals are represented on the entire record with Ryan and Phil doing the backing vocals and they are on point just like everything else on this record.

Overall this album is kickstarted the re-thrash madness for the next decade or so (and if you ask me re-thrash is still alive) and for a good reason. Everything is well executed on the album, the songs are catchy and are true to the thrash/crossover genre in every single way. This is definitely a strong contender for the best album of the band's discography, but the second Earacher full-length they released somehow managed to out-do this, but I am getting ahead of myself.

There are no highlights this time because every single track is equally awesome.

Crossroad - 77%

HeavenDuff, December 14th, 2012

I went down to the crossroad and this is what I found. You know what I mean by crossroad, right? The one we see in the movies. Two roads crossing each other in a perfect perpendicular plus shaped crossroad. This is what I imagine when listening to Municipal Waste. If you asked me what crossover thrash metal is, I would answer Municipal Waste. Hazardous Mutation is the perfect example of what happens when thrash metal meets hardcore. Not only this, but these guys are talented as fuck!

Hazardous Mutation is a 15 tracks album lasting just a little longer than 25 minutes. Very short album indeed, but it's saturated with guitar riffs, angry shouts, heavy banging drums, groovy and dirty aggressive and raw bass lines. This album is absolutely relentless. Shortest track is 0:59 minutes while the lengthiest reaches 2:38 minutes. What we get here is fast-paced, aggressive crossover between thrash metal and hardcore. And like I said before the album, and every single track honestly, is saturated with everything these guys managed to pack in such short tracks. Even if the tracks are all rather short, they still manage to throw somewhere between 2 and 5 different riffs per track. Jumping from riff to riff without warning, punching you straight in the face with aggressive vocals spitted out with pure raw emotion. These guys scream, jump, shred, thrash and burn the place to the ground.

If there is something that stands out just as much as the ingenious song-writing behind what is probably the greatest form of crossover thrash ever heard it's the bass guitar. Damn this guy knows how to groove and thrash at the same time. Bass guitar player Philip Hall doubles the guitar when the deep and powerful bass sound is needed to support the thrashy and distorted riffs, and goes alone on sexy grooves all alone at other times. Proving once and for all that bass guitar players aren't just standing in the back like they used to when AC/DC was the shit. Guitar riffs and bass lines are pretty much similar, like I said. Most of the time they follow each other, but that's all that's needed. This is no prog metal and each riff is played for a very short period of time. Having the guitarist and bassist play the same line most of the time is perfectly fine when it comes to music like this.

Talking riffs. You'd expect a band like this to get boring through the album and repeat the same formula all the time. But no! Even travelling at high speed and never taking a break these guys manages to reinvent themselves through the very short length of the album. Of course some of the tracks sound like others. For one thing, there aren't much tempo variations. But again, this isn't prog metal. I didn't pick up this record hoping to hear complex Dream Theater riffs.

The drumming is a little weaker though. The patterns come repeating themselves very quickly on this record. There would have been some room for experimentation when it comes to percussions. Let's say the drumming isn't quite on par with the other musicians, and compared to great ones of the genre (dunno why but I'm thinking Nick Menza right now), I can't help but feel that there is very little personality in the drums on Hazardous Mutation.

Closing on a positive note: This is an album I recommend to thrash metal fans, and true hardcore and hardcore punk fans. If you like anything ranging from Megadeth to Kvelertak, this should please you. My personal favorite tracks are: Intro / Deathripper, Unleash The Bastards and Guilty Of Being Tight.

So don't think too much and enjoy this good shit! Because after all...

"They're all just jealous
Cause you're fucking tight!
Now sit back for a second
Just take a deep breath
From contemplating ways
To incite your early death
Instead of thinking about your problems
And all the things you lack
You gotta figure out a way to get those fuckers back!"

Shut up, stand up and mosh, bitches!!! - 91%

hells_unicorn, October 13th, 2011

Picture several massive garbage trucks shipping some of the most decrepit rubbish imaginable, being driven by a mummified zombies with an off-the-charts blood alcohol content level and several empty bottles of absinthe in the corresponding passenger seats, crashing into a nitroglycerine plant and setting off a rabid series of explosions in a massive cloud of green smoke. This is the spirit of what defines crossover brilliance; this is what can be summed up as the sophomore masterpiece in under half an hour put out by Municipal Waste in the late summer of 2005. In many ways, it is a restatement of the brilliance of “Waste ‘Em All”, but it is also the first album where these Virginians began moving away from the overt brevity of S.O.D.

While still very much the same blend of hardcore vocals and short song lengths with Bay Area oriented thrash riffs and orthodox lead guitar madness ala Hanneman and King, “Hazardous Mutation” could be summed up as a more serious effort. Most of what is heard on here clocks in between 1 and 3 minutes, essentially taking a high octane Nuclear Assault meets Slayer formula and simplifying it to one that doesn’t bother with mid tempo grooves or breakdowns. There are times where things momentarily settle into a moderately paced crunch, such as the looming intro of “Mind Eraser” with a slight bit of a Kreator feel, but even on what would assumedly be a token slower song, this band is unable to keep from thrashing up a storm for long, and that is far from a bad thing.

The overall subject of this album leans heavily towards classic horror flick subjects, with occasional nods to the occasionally political, occasionally humorous tendencies of the debut. And in similar fashion to some of the longer offerings on said first album, the riffs are both blinding and well detailed, actually coming off as modern in the sense that they are adding further detail to an existing template, yet produced through a guitar sound that is archaic and smooth. A quick listen to “Terror Shark”, “The Thing” and “Set To Destruct” will remind heavily of a number of noteworthy thrash bands circa 1987, save the D.R.I. character of the vocals. The counterpoint comes in with the brief quickie “Black Ice” and the intro of “Nailed Casket”, which chime in the bass with a raunchy tone fit for any number of NYHC outfits around the same time in the 80s.

The one trait that sums this whole album up, and the one that most of the bitches who complain that this offers nothing new, is the sheer fun of it all. The entertainment factor is so blatant to anyone who wants metal worthy of throwing his neck out to that it literally smashes them in the face like a 2 ton truck on the interstate. It is summed up best by the over-the-top quote taken from “Phantasm” at the beginning of “Guilty Of Being Tight”, let alone the beautiful madness and frenzied riff fest that follows it. Don’t listen to the Debbie Downers out there who want to be all progressive and depressive at the same time, this is the real goods. Hell, you shouldn’t even be listening to me anymore, now pop this thing in and experience the mutation, damn it!

Eeehhhhhhh.... - 35%

MikeyC, March 26th, 2009

Municipal Waste appear to be able to do no wrong amongst the metal crowd. All their albums have garnered positive reactions with everyone, and remain everyone’s designated “fun” band. I have no problems with that, as I can agree that they can be fun to listen to, but being fun is not the only prerequisite for a band to have, unfortunately.

I’m going to admit right now that Hazardous Mutation is the only Municipal Waste album I’ve heard, so I can’t compare it to other releases. Nevertheless, judging by what’s present here, I think I can guess within a certain respectable degree of what I could expect to hear…and that right there is the problem with this band. They are too predictable. Every song here is basically the same, with little to no variation between the songs. I’m well aware that each album in any genre of any band has some kind of monotony, but, personally, Municipal Waste takes that aspect to a ridiculous extreme.

This is mostly evident in the drumming. Every song contains your usual thrash beat. Every song. Come on man, I know you’re in a thrash band, but something a little different from time to time wouldn’t go astray! It makes every song much too banal and I’m not exactly looking forward to what he has up his sleeves as the album goes on. The riffs are not exactly boring, but they don’t quite catch me as much as they should, either. I can’t really remember any outstanding riffs from any song here. The bassist is a good player, and has a few shining moments, like in the title track, but most of the time, he’s buried beneath the rest of the instruments. This is a bit of a pity, because he’s perhaps the most interesting player here.

The vocals are quite nice, I will admit. I’m not a fan of total clean singing, but this guy has a nice sound to him, and I like his unorthodox style. However, he’s abused and overused, and by the end, I’ve basically seen what he can do and am no longer interested in his vocals anymore. Having said that, he’s a strong vocalist, but I’d like to see him in a more interesting band.

Everything here is just so straight-forward, it’s numbing. Every song seems to follow the same formula and it gets old, especially after 16 songs. This reminds me of a thrash version of Napalm Death, but said band is a little more interesting to me. I’m not rubbishing the musicians, as I think every member are very skilled at what they do, but their potential is never fully realised because the songwriting is so boring. A little variation would be nice, but it seems that not many others are on the same wavelength of thinking.

Honestly, I’ll admit it’s a fun album, and I could’ve given it a higher score for that reason alone. If I heard it somewhere, I wouldn’t turn it off, and they’re not an awful band by any means, but they’re simply too monotonous for my liking. Maybe another time, fellas.

Municipal Waste's Magnum Opus (So far) - 98%

wearethepolice, November 12th, 2008

I’m a sucker for 80’s thrash, so I often automatically just don’t give these neo-thrash bands a chance. Who wants to hear another Exodus or Slayer, we already have enough of them around. Enter Municipal Waste’s “Hazardous Mutation”. Was this album really released in 2005? This album sounds like it could come right out of 1987, or some other year in the golden years of thrash. When I first heard of Municipal Waste, a neo-crossover band, I thought it was doomed to sound bad. I was thinking a carbon copy of something like Cryptic Slaughter’s “Convicted” or “Money Talks”, or Wehrmacht’s “Shark Attack” or “Biermacht”. In many ways, this album is heavily influenced by Cryptic Slaughter and Wehrmacht, but you kind of have to be right? I was far wrong though – Municipal Waste sounds like many early crossover bands, but more polished and leaning much more on the thrash side than on the punk side. Early crossover records almost sounded like hardcore punk, but Municipal Waste is unmistakably thrash. (BTW I couldn’t think of anywhere else to put this but the best songs on this album are Unleash the Bastards, Bangover, and Terror Shark)

Municipal Waste definitely have a style, now anyone that listens to Municipal Waste at least a little bit will probably recognize them when they hear them. It’s like when you listen to the Beatles – even if you have only heard one or two of their songs you could probably recognize another song by them as the Beatles. The same thing I think happens with Municipal Waste. While most retro thrash bands sound like carbon copies of thrash pioneers, Municipal Waste neatly sidesteps all this and creates their own style. Now I don’t believe there are many bands out there that are truly groundbreaking, but Municipal Waste are pioneering a new style – something that could be named along the lines of retro crossover, or neo-thrash, or something like that. The influences here are pretty varied, the riffing is fast and furious thrash, similar to Megadeth, Exodus, Artillery, Sodom, etc. There are many short snippets of harmonized riffing, ex. Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden, ADX, Paradox, etc. The vocals are a great thrash yell, similar to Anthrax or Slayer.

The lyrics on this release are great, ranging from topics like being bored to shark attacks to getting wasted to political statements, this album has all the lyrical matter a thrash fan could want. For example, the fun chorus on Unleash the Bastards –

“The time has come for all your leaders to die, DIE!”

Some examples of lyrical topics
Being bored -
“The chicks are passed out
And so are the dudes
I'm sitting wide-awake
And there is nothing to do
I could steal a bike or hop on a board
But my friend left his car keys
Right next to the door
Nothing left to decide
It's time for me to take the ride
This time I'm going to cross the line
And do it going 95mph”
- Blood Drive

Being murderous -
“I got some serious troubles
I have some issues
I have a big obsession
And it's for killing you!

I want to run you over
I want to stab your throat
I want you in some cement shoes
Getting thrown off of a boat!”
- Nailed Casket

To being mutated
“A deadly reaction sets forth
A hazardous mutation to end all creation is born
Pitiless fluid corroding like acid
Flesh torn!
Whose skins unprotected will soon be infected
Be warned”
- Hazardous Mutation

Also, don’t miss the intro for “Guilty of being Tight” – It’s hilarious

Anyway, If you like good fun thrash, make sure before you get up from the computer your on you get this album!

A boatload of fun - 95%

BastardHead, February 18th, 2008

Municipal Waste... what is there to say about them? This is how crossover is supposed to sound! Long after the glory days of SOD, DRI, Suicidal Tendencies, and MOD, Municipal Waste comes thrashing out of Virginia of all places. This album is like a damn time machine back to the mid 80s when thrash was all about partying and destroying. This, being a crossover release, is bound to have some hardcore punk influence, but trust me when I say it is minute. Songs like Unleash the Bastards or Terror Shark have a bit of a punk tinge to them, but songs like Deathripper and The Thrashin' of the Christ are metal to the bone, thusly negating any negativity one could attempt to dish out on account of the punk influence.

Vocalist Tony Foresta is pretty much the perfect vocalist for the style. His quick, frenzied shouts complement the intense thrashing lunacy of the music exquisitely. Exquisite may be a tad too sophisticated of a term to use to describe something as downright dirty and raunchy as Hazardous Mutation. But by that same respect, this actually has incredible production, all of the instruments are heard crystal clear, even the bass is prominent in the mix (check out the intro to Accelerated Vision), a rarity for metal records.

It can be kind of difficult to distinguish between some of the songs, but when songs like Black Ice are only 24 seconds long, that should be expected. These songs were written with one purpose in mind, to absolutely fucking obliterate everything. Foresta and Co. did not set out to make a thought provoking record, this is not meant to provoke any deep emotions other than intense fury and the desire to throw a kegger. The lyrics range from zombie hordes (Hazardous Mutation), classic 80s horror flicks (The Thing, the opening sample of Guilty of Being Tight), partying (Blood Drive, Bangover), and even religion (The Thrashin' of the Christ (also the best song title ever)).

Again, I can't really write a lengthy review on a record like this, but trust me when I say it is worth every penny to pick this up. This may not be as tailor made for a rager as the follow up, The Art of Partying, but this is, by and large, Municipal Waste's finest hour. The riffs are sharp and precise, the drums are demolishing, the bass is audible and adds to the heaviness a lot, and the vocals are perfect crossover yells.

The top tracks here are Deathripper, The Thrashin' of the Christ, The Thing, Guilty of Being Tight, Terror Shark, and Hazardous Mutation... but you really can't find a bad track here. If anything, Mind Eraser doesn't hold my interest as well as the other ones... at least not until the chorus, but now I'm just nitpicking. If you are paying very, VERY close attention to the musical aspect, you may notice that the music doesn't vary too horribly much, but the record is only about a half hour long, so it never overstays its welcome. Definitely blast this at your next party, it is sure to compliment all of the drunk buffoons in your basement quite nicely.

Ball Thrashing Intensity - 83%

super_bum, July 11th, 2007

This album rocks, plain and simple. Simple Municipal waste is in their approach and yet of course, highly effective. Hazardous Mutation carries more visceral intensity than your average brutal band not because it strives for flashy technical showcasing or out-blasting the rest, but because it is compositionally aware. Also, the fact that this band does not relent from tearing bodies to pieces does not hurt matters one bit.

Municipal waste doesn’t seem to posses tremendous instrumental abilities, but what they do posses is the talent to craft one hell of a memorable riff. Throughout the entire album, we observe the band pumping one flesh-shredding riff after another. These riffs are indeed your typical open string to power chord relief thrash riffing, but what makes them so effective is a certain, uncanny sense for melody. What makes each riff highly addicting is in their ability to unveil attention grabbing hooks. These hooks are not delivered in the ridiculously flowery Gothenburg manner, but rather in the “grab you by the balls and slam you against the wall repeatedly “ manner. Each riff is more memorable than the last, and one will find themselves constantly returning for more thrashing.

It must be said that the greatest triumph on this album is the superb and lucid songwriting. Without a doubt, all the riffs are brilliantly executed, but ultimately it is the sequences and patterns the form to make each song a winner. Every section is cleverly arranged to maintain a strong interest until the last note. There is rarely a dull moment, only ball thrashing intensity.

This album is highly recommended. The only few flaws are perhaps the lack of variation. After fifteen songs of the similar formula it can lapse into slight tedium. There is also a certain lack of originality, all the riffs appear vaguely familiar. Also, perhaps Municipal Waste could be criticized for being nothing more than a brainless thrashing exercise; but who cares! Nevertheless, purchase this album, especially if your just getting into metal.

You Have Been Laid To Waste - 98%

DawnoftheShred, April 24th, 2007

This album requires no introduction, but I'll give it one anyway. Even with the underground success of their debut Waste 'Em All, no one could have anticipated the unprecedented amount of high-speed destruction Municipal Waste would be capable of commanding on their follow-up album, Hazardous Mutation. Signed to Earache fucking records, brandishing cover art prepared by the legendary Ed Repka, and sporting production so flawlessly brutal that anyone with ears should be envious, Municipal Waste are almost single-handedly responsible for leading the new generation of thrash bands out from the underground and back into the spotlight, themselves being the first success story.

*EDIT* Originally I gave this record a flat 100 and I still stand by the fact that the album is flat-out perfect from beginning to end as far as instrumentation, pace, songwriting, etc. are concerned. Only reason I've docked it any now is on the basis of originality. Painful as it is to admit, my beloved Municipal Waste do borrow heavily from the Bay Area riff templates on this one, particularly from Vio-lence and Slayer, with the obvious D.R.I. and C.O.C. tropes incorporated as well. And of course, Tankard will forever have the market cornered when it comes to booze-soaked brewtality. Still, whatever stark originality the band lack, they make up for with sheer bravado and the conscious effort to maximize the fun, metal-thrashing madness that should be near-paramount in one's expectations for a heavy metal band. "Fun? Fun?! We won't be having any of that! How are we supposed to support the rebirth of pagan Scandinavia if we're having fun?" Well, for starters, you could try emerging from your parent's basement in sunny SoCal from time to time to graduate high school, you malicious putz. Don't like the idea of new bands playing old thrash? Then get the fuck out. Originality is so important? I've seen its excesses (Fantomas, Sunn) and if that's what it's bringing to the table, I do not want it. Sometimes the subtle approach is not the best: in pornography, there's a reason it's called the money shot. That's what Hazardous Mutation most blatantly is: the money shot of the latter day thrash movement, and certainly one of the finest albums of its kind in its decade. Now back to your regularly scheduled review.

First things first, the production. Their first album had better production than their self-titled EP, but it was still pretty raw for 2003. Hazardous Mutation, on the other hand, is a masterpiece of metal engineering, heavier than shit and polished crystal clear, but without compromising the band's old-school credibility by coming off as overproduced. It's just fucking perfect, Reign in Blood, Rust in Peace, Among the Living: none of these match this album in terms of production. The drums sound amazing and are represented in all their fury. The bass guitar, being relevant in the band's sound, is relevant in the mix, trumping dozens of classic thrash albums that neglectfully mixed out the bass. The guitar tone is at least a thousand times more brutal than on the last album and crushes the listener proportionally. And Tony Foresta's vocals. He still rips through his lines DRI-style, but due to the elevated level and clarity of the vocal mix, you can hear every damn word he says. I really can't express my love for the production enough, but I recommend you hear it yourself rather than take my word for it.

As for the songs, the Waste crew increased the average length of their songs, but without sacrificing a shred of speed or intensity. No song even dares approach the three minute mark (the average is still less than two), but the added length allows for more riff development (and consequently, more riffage). This is even thrashier, but just as in touch with the band's hardcore punk side as ever, musically and lyrically. Though there's now longer, mosh-tastic neck-snappers such as "Mind Eraser" and "Set to Destruct," there's still the ultra-quick punky tunes in the vein of "Blood Drive" and the title track (note them blast beats in the latter). Perhaps you happen to be the type that misses those really fast speedcore numbers. "Black Ice" is only twenty seconds, included just for you. There's even a few guitar solos on here, thrown in when the moment strikes them just right. The thing that really distinguishes this band is the quality of the riffage. Most crossover bands, in order to maintain that breakneck pace, sacrifice the riffs, playing forgettable chord progressions really fast. Municipal Waste packs as much innovation in as they can, ensuring that every riff will kick your ass, no matter how fast. That is what makes them truly admirable and will make them legendary.

The band's lyrics continue in the vein of their last album, carrying on the tradition of DRI, Nuclear Assaul, SOD, etc. Clever phrasing, fun subject matter, and killer wit. Also commendable.

So every song on here is fucking sweet. Regardless, there are still a few that rise above and beyond the call of duty. "Unleash the Bastards," of which an insane video was made, showcases all the band's best riff styles: the intense double-time thrashing, the mid-paced most riffs, and the ungodly cool Maiden-esque harmony riffs that come out of nowhere. Seriously, check out the brilliant riff sequence starting at 0:59. Beautiful. "Mind Eraser" is arguably the heaviest on here and has some great lyrics on binge drinking; the spiritual successor to "Drunk as Shit" off the last album. But the true masterpiece of this album is "The Thrashin' of the Christ." Featuring the ultimate in half-time crush riffs, that divinely clever title, and a Tom Araya-approved wail from Foresta, this song is an easy contender for Best Thrash Song of '05, should such an accolade ever be given.

This album could not have been better if it tried to be, and I'm pretty sure it did. It's inhumanly heavy and lightning fast: I probably listened to the whole thing twice while writing this review. I'm usually not too critical against an album's detractors, but if you listen to this and you aren't immediately convinced that it rules, you've got to be some new breed of asshole. This is the perfect embodiment of the thrash spirit and easily one of the best albums of its kind. Really fucking recommended.

Crossover Reborn! - 89%

Erin_Fox, October 28th, 2006

In the late eighties, the hardcore/metal mixture was known as crossover, which can be directly attributed to the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles album which bore that moniker.

Municipal Waste brings this classic style back to the forefront with “Hazardous Mutation”, an album that is quite reminiscent of the sound of that exceedingly influential outfit, as well as being deserving of comparisons to early C.O.C. (back when Mike Dean was the full time singer), and early Anthrax, pre-Belladonna. There’s nothing too fancy about the music of Municipal Waste, just straight-up skank-inducing madness that’s great for headbanging.

One of the most important aspects of this energetic type of music is that it’s a lot of fun, with tracks like “Guilty Of Being Tight” and “The Thrashing Of The Christ” sure to send audiences into a moshing frenzy with a smile on their faces.

Slamming beats are the catalyst for this kind of music and the relentless pace with which these tracks are delivered. At times throughout the album, you’ll be reminded of bands like M.O.D. (old school) and Excel as well, showing that Municipal Waste have certainly done their homework. “Abusement Park” slams by like a late freight train, while “Mind Eraser” gets right down to business, thrashing substantially and possessing a sneering breakdown that is as infectious as it is energetic.

There aren’t too many bands playing this style these days, which makes Municipal Waste all the more appealing. Younger metalheads that haven't had a chance to explore the beginnings of this style will revel in this record's manical moshing chaos.

Original Album Release Date - 1985 - 95%

CrimsonKing, July 11th, 2006

Municipal Waste, hailing from Richmond, Virginia, are a band who have always attracted a cult following. With fans from punk and metal backgrounds, a Municipal Waste show would seem like a trainwreck. However, having seen the band, the bond between the fans, due to the overall fun value of the music, is quite overwhelming.

When I first heard this album the first thing I thought was "THIS band released 'Waste Em' All'!". This album was surely 100x more metal then they've ever sounded, and I couldn't have loved it any more. The enitre album is a flashback to the 80's when the predominant metal fashion was high tops, tight black jeans, and sleeveless shirts. This band is a circle-pitting assault!

With songs like "Unleash the Bastards" and "Mind Eraser", its obvious that these guys like to have fun with their music. Lyrics like "14 Shots some beers as a chaser followed it up with a mind eraser" capture the essence of partying, and just having a good time. They are the premier metal party band.

This album is an essential for fans of thrash. I have a feeling this band will not get "posed out" or lose their songwriting ability, they will forever remain true to their roots, being that they've been somewhat local for close to 10 years. Buy this album!

Fast, Entertaining Crossover Stuff. - 87%

caspian, June 27th, 2006

A lot of crossover is pretty crappy, generally combining the worst of Hardcore and the worst of Thrash into one pile of poo. But this is one of those great exceptions. The awesome riffs of Thrash with hardcore energy and conviction. As crossover (and Metalcore) should be.

This album doesn't waste any time dicking around. Abusement Park is fast, frantic and very cool. The vocals are very hardcore influenced, just straight out shouting really, but they fit well with the rest of the band. The riffs are fast and thrashy, and while there's not too many slow riffs to talk about, that's not what this band is about. This band isn't about a cerebral experience, there's not Jazz riffs or polyrythmics, there's no long droning bits, there's just straight up, fast tunes with killer riffing. Some riffing highlights include the Bang Over, Terror Shark, Mind Eraser, and the speed fest that is Blood Drive. The drums are content to hang around in the background, and while the bass isn't particularly original, it is mixed fairly loud, which is a very good thing. Indeed, the whole production is really cool. The guitars are fairly chunky, but clean enough for their riffs to be highly audible. The drums sound great, and the bass and the vocals are all really good.

Damn, there's not really much else to say about this album. It would be cool if they made some songs a bit longer, and added some solos, but if it's not broken, why fix it? All in all it's an great CD full of powerful, thrashy riffing, frantic drumming and shouted vocals.

Unleash the thrash! - 93%

cyclone, January 23rd, 2006

I'm pretty sure all of you thrashers out there know about Dark Angel's Time Does Not Heal and it's famous promo slogan »9 songs, 67 minutes, 246 riffs«. What does that have to do with this record, you say? Well, Hazardous Mutation is pretty fucking different than the 1991 classic. Even though it has 15 songs on it, Hazardous is only 26 minutes long with average song lenght at around 1:30. The riff amount though, while not quite as monstrous as on ''Time'', is still damn big, especially if you consider the year this was recorded in (2005).

Youngsters from Richmond, USA are one of those guys that have completely missed the eighties and the huge thrash scene that went on at the time. Because they are obviously quite smart, they realized that the only option they have is to revive the whole damn thing. And they have really done it. Cartoonish covers, denim jackets with patches, fun lyrics and ofcourse the kickass thrashing attitude and music – it's all here.

The before mentioned 26 minutes of thrash/crossover/whatever blaze by with great speed in no time. From the first second of the intro, one can clearly hear the main influences of this one: Nuclear Assault's Game Over, D.R.I., C.O.C. and the more hardcore influenced material of Suicidal Tendencies, because there are really so much simmilarities on here. The sound, ofcourse, is much much better on this than on those classic albums, and the cool guitar tone (crunchy and powerful) makes this record thrashier than it would be with that eighties sound. As I expected, the vocals are not even slightly technical or schooled… AND I LOVE IT! Most of the time, the vocalist spits out the words really (REALLY) damn fast and with a menacing tone. Those of you who usually whine about the lack of bass on a record (read ''bassists'') will finally get what they want on this one. The producer obviously listened to a lot of Overkill records, since the bass is very audible and even though there aren't any technical or hard lines on here it's fun to listen to. The drums are, as expected, plain and simple, but this is Municipal Waste, not Watchtower. Oh yeah, and just one more thing… I never thought you can fit a perfectly correct and asskicking thrash break into a song, that is only 1:30 minutes long. Just to let you know: I don't think that way anymore now.

If you want to have fun with lyrics about zombies, beer and thrash metal, while you're searcing a sofa suitable for ''stagediving'' off it, Hazardous Mutation is your best friend.