Coming in hot after Iron Reagan’s newest release, Crossover Ministry, just a few months back, members Tony Foresta and Phil Hall gathered the rest of Municipal Waste’s lineup to release Slime And Punishment, the group’s first album in five years. And with the addition of a second guitarist, Nick Poulos, I was excited to see what he would bring to the table. After all, double the guitarists means double the riffage, right?
If you’re a fan of the group’s work already, the album delivers on everything you would expect it t; high-speed riff after high-speed riff layered under Foresta’s signature yelling timbre, and no song lasting longer than three minutes. It’s an octane-fueled selection of songs that never stop to take a break. The record burns through its fourteen tracks pretty quickly because of this, but thankfully, Slime And Punishment’s replay value is strong, and the album is a little better with each listen.
It’s so consistent, but its standout moments shine through in the killer guitar work. “Poison The Preacher,” “Parole Violators,” and “Think Fast” are among my favourite tracks thanks to the riffs alone. The only sub-par aspects of Slime And Punishment that I can pick out are in Foresta’s performance. Although it doesn’t happen often, whenever he tries a more melodic approach to his lines, like in the chorus of “Parole Violators,” it simply falls flat especially when he tries to follow the song’s key change. Granted, it would sound a lot worse if he didn’t get by on his adrenaline-filled, half-screaming tone.
Despite the fact that half the songs on Slime And Punishment’s can be taken right out without affecting any aspect of the album aside from its length, this release doesn’t have a weak song on it. It provides a healthy dose of crossover thrash that, though sometimes feels like filler, is sure to please fans of the good shit.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy