Municipal Waste: The Last Rager (Nuclear Blast) [Paul Hutchings]
Four tracks, ten minutes and a smack on the chops. That’s about the size of this mini blast of speed punk and thrash from the Virginian legends whose first output since June 2017 and Slime And Punishment maintains the insane assault that comes with every mention of their name. Car Nivore (Street Meat) is probably the standout track, hugely fast and punchy whilst the title track and Rum For Your Life both contain a classic thrash chug which will get those pits churning on their forthcoming UK tour in December. Little more to say here. It’s as anarchic and crazy as always. It’s Municipal Waste. What more do you want? 7/10
Brutality Will Prevail: Misery Sequence (BDHW REC) [Liam True]
I have a little history with Brutality Will Prevail. As I caught them supporting Cancer Bats back in 2013 and had a passionate headbutt from vocalist Louis Gautheir (Thanks for that Louis) and that insane 30 minutes was my introduction to the band. And I've been following them since. Fast forward 6 years and the Cardiff native’s have just dropped Misery Sequence. And it is their most aggressive, filthiest and bare-knuckle album to date. Title track and opener Misery Sequence is a deceiving song as it’s a slow paced Hardcore slab of epic proportions. With the disgusting gurgles from Gauthier to the tectonic plate shattering drums of Marc Richards the opener is an appetizer of what’s to come. As soon as Slither kicks in it’s time to move.
It’s time to start your own mosh pit no matter where you are. And the album doesn't let up from there. It becomes more aggressive. More heavy. And most of all, it becomes catchy with the riffs and vocals blending beautifully. Being more groove orientated instead of straight up Hardcore gives the band a huge advantage to reach out to a wider audience. And with a small tour coming this November/December, including an intimate home-town show in Cardiff’s beautiful Clwb Ifor Bach, this album has proved one thing once and for all. Brutallity, has fucking prevailed. 10/10
Grief Ritual: Moments Of Suffering (Self Released) [Paul Hutchings]
One of the many highlights at Bloodstock 2019, Cheltenham South West winners and bruisers Grief Ritual have moved fast to capitalise on their appearance with their second EP, the spine busting Moments Of Suffering. Having been in existence for less than a year, this is a phenomenal output and within seconds of the explosive opening track Avulsion you appreciate that there may just be something a bit special going on here. Avulsion pulverises, hitting 100mph immediately before slowing to a maniacal and menacing crushing stomp which trades heaviness for speed. It segues neatly into Soma, which denies any opportunity for breath, the ferocity and brutal grooves intent on flattening everything in its path. Dark mutterings cast a sinister shadow over Anhedonia, evil background roars chill the bones further before one of the biggest riffs I’ve heard for many years, kicks in. This is the bulldozer of the heavy metal plant world and god it batters.
I still don’t believe this band is a four piece such is the punishment they dish out. Dysphoria maintains the onslaught, and if anything increases the intensity and sheer poundage. Their combination of styles works brilliantly, massive thrashing riffs, woundingly heavy with elements of doom as well as black and death metal and blackened core. Eosphobic which closes this excellent EP is vibrant and painful at the same time, deafening noise, like a slab dragged by a ten-ton truck but intricacies that are often dismissed from those outside our world. Grief Ritual have produced a fine follow up to Life Is A Phase. The EP is well produced, recorded and mixed with Joe Clayton (Pijn, Leeched and Curse These Metal Hands) and mastered by Brad Boatright. If you fancy music that not only caves the cranium but also makes you think, then allow yourself a moment of suffering. It’s blisteringly good. 8/10
Spoil Engine: Renaissance Noire (Arising Empire) [Liam True]
I’m not sure where to put this album in terms of genre, as it borders on Metalcore, Groove Metal straight up Heavy Metal. But either way you look at the album, there’s no doubt it’s a colossal effort from the Belgian based metallers. And on their fifth full length album, you can tell the band isn’t messing around this time. Straight from the opener R!OT it’s full of hooks, riffs and anthems destined to fill empty arenas all over the world. And the album just keeps getting better with each progressing song, each getting bigger and bigger. Whether it’s by the destructive riffs of Steven ‘Gaze’ Sanders. The dominating drumbeats of Dave De Loco. Or the wonderfully nightmare inducing vocals of Iris Goessens. Throughout the album there’s one thing that you’ll notice. It’s that it all sounds like standard Groove/Thrash Metal, but it’s done so well that it sounds like a new sound. Bravo. And while the album is just bursting with a new sense of direction for the band, it’s great to see that they’ve kept true to their roots and are still producing amazing music that they’re enjoying. And I for one, am going to put this album on replay. 9/10