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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!