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Municipal Waste – Electrified Brain Award winner

Municipal Waste
Electrified Brain
by Thomas Kumke at 07 July 2022, 5:54 AM

MUNICIPAL WASTE hailing from Richmond, Virginia were formed in 2001. The Thrash Metal/Crossover icons release in the meantime their 7th full-length album. In addition, they never stopped releasing music during the last 20 years as four EPs, one live album, and eight splits stand to their name. “Electrified Brain” was produced by Arthur Rizk (KREATOR, SOULFLY, CRYPTA) and it has a length of almost 34 minutes. The album was released via Germany’s iconic Metal label Nuclear Blast.

Electrified Brain” opens with the title song and with frantic speed, aggression, traditional staccato type of Thrash Metal riffing, and the trademark Tony Foresta, overly hectic and highly pitched vocals. While the lead guitar solo is played at breakneck speed, the song has a short, but cool mid-tempo break towards the end, with powerful riffing and crunching bass lines. The title song is the official video release with the YouTube link given below.

Demoralizer” starts more towards mid-tempo with catchy riffing, before it transitions into a fast part with plenty of EXODUS inspirations in the riffing and lead guitars. Tony Foresta has background vocal support, which introduces some Crossover vibes. The Crossover vibes are intensified in “Last Crawl” with the vocals. Highlight of “Last Crawl” is the extended lead guitar solo. While “Grave Dive” is the first mid-tempo track with heavy guitar riffing driving the track forward, “The Bite” is changing pace and rhythm frequently between mid-tempo and insane speed. The high-speed parts of “The Bite” are leading the track and introduce the bits of chaos it needs given the length of about 90 seconds. “High Speed Steel” is more a classical Thrash Metal song at an up-tempo pace. During the last third of the song, the rhythm breaks completely but maintains the pace. MUNICIPAL WASTE keep changing things on the album, “Thermonuclear Protection” is a mix of being hectic and chaotic produced by the guitar riffing and the vocals, and having a clean mid-tempo part introduced by the lead guitars. The mid-tempo part is a head-banger with catchy riffing.

Blood Vessel – Boat Jail” maintains the mid-tempo riffing from “Thermonuclear Protection” for the first minute, before the track goes insane during the final minute in terms of speed, riffing, drumming, and vocals. It is clearly the fun part of the track and shows the two sides and versatility of the band. “Crank The Heat” is another track played at crazy speed with fast and aggressive riffing. It includes typical Crossover patterns in the background vocals and those are leading the track forward. Highlight of “Crank The Heat” is the contributing lead guitar solo.

Restless And Wicked” is a mix between Thrash Metal and Hardcore. In fact, the song has a few AGNOSTIC FRONT as well as EXODUS features for me. “Restless And Wicked” is one of the very few songs on the album with the classical two verse/chorus, break, verse/chorus structure, since most songs finish with the break. The “Ten Cent Beer Night” is fast and chaotic with great riffing, the trademark vocals including the background vocals, and a cool lead guitar solo. For me, it is one of the album highlights.

As MUNICIPAL WASTE smartly mix up pace and textures, “Barreled Rage” is more a traditional Thrash oriented song with classical Thrash riffing and lead guitar parts at fast, but not at very fast pace. The Crossover vibes come in through the vocals, especially the chorus background vocals. The lead guitar solo is a highlight of the track. With “Putting On Errors” and “Paranormal Janitor”, the album closes frantic and chaotic, in particular “Putting On Errors”. “Paranormal Janitor” includes an extended mid-tempo part at the end of the track, where I felt the track should better finish with a bang.

MUNICIPAL WASTE albums are fun to listen to and “Electrified Brain” is no exception. Either you take it or leave it. “Electrified Brain” is an album to take. It sounds fresh, dynamic, aggressive, and it has all the classical Thrash Metal and Crossover ingredients the listener would expect from such album. MUNICIPAL WASTE do not do something groundbreaking new. They have their own niche, they stick to it, and that makes them unique and gives them their very own character. The album is well produced. Thrash Metal fans who are ready to cross borders, will love the album and look forward to crazy MUNICIPAL WASTE live shows.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Electrified Brain
2. Demoralizer
3. Last Crawl
4. Grave Dive
5. The Bite
6. High Speed Steel
7. Thermonuclear Protection
8. Blood Vessel – Boat Jail
9. Crank The Heat
10. Restless And Wicked
11. Ten Cent Beer Night
12. Barreled Rage
13. Putting On Errors
14. Paranormal Janitor
Tony Foresta – Vocals
Ryan Waste – Guitars, Vocals
Nick Poulus ­ Guitars
Dave Witte – Drums
Land Phil – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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