Municipal Waste, for the uninitiated, are a raucous crossover thrash metal band from Richmond, VA. Their first five albums covered topics ranging from chemical disasters to food fights, sadistic magicians to A.D.D. and even a trip to outer space to top it all off.
Slime and Punishment is album number six and it shows that the band’s subject matter has matured a bit and is more focused than in the past, resulting in the band’s best output since The Art of Partying.
Invariably, Municipal Waste get lumped into the myriad of re-thrash bands for their contributions to a genre that was well established 15 to 20 years before Waste’s inception. However, this band is much better than the vast majority of those, and their longevity is a testament to that.
Five years between albums is a long while for the metal scene these days and various other bands that exist within Municipal Waste have taken form or continued in their stead (Cannabis Corpse, Bat and Iron Reagan to name just a few).
Slime and Punishment is a relatively bite sized affair, clocking in just under half an hour, leading to multiple plays within an hour and multiple neck strains from tracks such as “Shrednecks,” “Parole Violators” and “Poison the Preacher,” whose ending has some of the best riffs the band has ever recorded. “Parole Violators” revisits the humorous side of the band, especially with the fake arrest at the end of the song featuring an overzealous cop abusing his authority.
There is a lot to like about this album, whether it be for fans of crossover, or for those looking to listen to an absolute romp of a record. Municipal Waste are back with a vengeance. For the best experience see them live, because that Decibel Beer and Metal Fest set they played showed a band on the top of its game. Slime and Punishment is proof too, that these boys can mature a bit and not sacrifice one iota of their intensity.
(released June 23, 2017 on Nuclear Blast Records)