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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!"