Municipal Waste: Slime And Punishment (Nuclear Blast)
Municipal Waste have always been one of the best loved bands of the thrash metal revival and their sixth album Slime And Punishment shows just why. It's been a five year wait since previous album The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space) and anticipation for this record is very high amongst thrashers like myself. Thankfully with Slime And Punishment Municipal Waste have not let us down. If you've heard previous Muncipal Waste albums then you know exactly what you're getting and that is a blast of short, sharp punked up thrash anthems.
The main difference on Slime And Punishment is the addition of Nick Poulos as second guitarist which has upped the musical prowess on display with exceptional performances all round. Muncipal Waste have never taken themselves seriously and this attitude is still evident especially on songs such as Breathe Grease, Shrednecks and Bourbon Discipline. Slime And Punishment is probably the strongest album Municipal Waste have released since The Art Of Partying and whilst it doesn't deviate from the formula laid down on previous albums it is 29 minutes of damn good thrashing fun. 8/10
Secret Sphere: The Nature Of Time (Frontiers Records)
Secret Sphere are an Italian progressive power metal band who formed back in 1997 and latest release The Nature Of Time is their eighth album. Secret Sphere are a band I have heard of but despite their longevity and lengthy discography I have yet to hear them until now. The music on The Nature Of Time is melodic power metal with progressive and symphonic influences. The performances on the album are fantastic with some jaw dropping lead guitar work from Aldo Lonobile, impressive keyboard work by Gabriele Ciaccia and truly outstanding vocals by frontman Michele Luppi. If you enjoy clean vocals in metal then this guy has to be heard as his vocals are out of this world and one of the strongest aspects of this album.
The songwriting is fairly good throughout the album with things starting very strong with songs such as lead single The Calling, the power metal leaning Courage and semi-ballad Kindness before the album takes a midway dip in quality with a bunch of forgettable and disposable songs. Things do pick up once again with the lengthy and epic The Awakening and impressive closer The New Beginning. The Nature Of Time is a very enjoyable melodic metal album though the midway slump does affect the flow of the album and the album does tend to have a few too many gentle moments for my liking. Despite these criticisms this is a worth checking out if you are a fan of melodic metal. 7/10
Anasarca: Survival Mode (Sevared Records)
The joy of reviewing is the discovery of new bands and especially the discovery of bands who play the sort of music that you absolutely love. Anasarca are my latest discovery - they are a death metal band from Germany and Survival Mode is their fourth album. The album is a re-recording of the 2015 demo of the same name but with an additional five new songs on there. Survival Mode is an all out old school death metal feast with a sound very reminiscent of the US scene in the early to mid nineties with influence coming from some of the greats of the genre such as Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation and Suffocation.
The band put in a extremely tight performance and very much know the art of good death metal which is violence, aggression and a certain degree of catchiness. If you like your death metal the old way then these riffs will be causing you neck injury. With Survival Mode Anasarca have put together a fine album of old school death metal worship which while lacking in originality is more than made up for in quality. Who needs originality in death metal when it sounds as good as this? If it ain't broke don't fix it. 8/10