Municipal Waste - Slime and Punishment (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Municipal Waste

Slime and Punishment (2017)

Nuclear Blast

Municipal Waste’s sixth LP was definitely one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2017. There was no way that Slime and Punishment was going to meet my unreasonably high expectations. It’s always a little weird when you’re initially disappointed in a great album. What was I expecting? A perfect album? Something that would put both Master of Puppets and Thrashzone to shame? Just ignore me. Slime and Punishment is in fact a great album. They didn’t make a grand artistic statement or a career defining masterpiece, they just made a great thrash album. Deal with it.

Slime and Punishment is a 14 song, 29 minute slab of sonic aggression. It’s crammed full of thrash riffs and the band’s signature bitter humor. There are also more puns than you can shake a sharpened stick at. Of course, there are a few songs about drinking like “Enjoy the Night”, “Bourbon Discipline” and “Excessive Celebration”. Most of the rest are grimey stories about the quintet’s hazardous lifestyle and generally bad behaviour. “Breathe Grease”, “Shrednecks”, “Slime and Punishment”, “Amateur Sketch” and “Think Fast” are all standouts and personal favorites.

“Parole Violators” might be the album’s highlight. It features Agnostic Front guitarist Vinnie Stigma playing the unlikely role of a cop. The addition of a second guitarist Nick Poulos doesn’t seem to make a ton of difference on this new studio recording, but I can confirm that it’s very noticeable live. Either way, the riffs are sharp as ever and the solos unapologetically shred. Tony Foresta’s singing has the raspy, sarcastic bite that has made him one of the greatest voices in modern thrash and crossover. The lyrics are typically irreverent and very tongue in cheek.

On Slime and Punishment, Municipal Waste gives a couple of nods to the old school. The cover art by Andrei Bouzikov is reminiscent of early Slayer and SOD. The record was recorded by guitarist Ryan Waste, but mixed and mastered by Bill Metoyer. Metoyer is the former vice president/producer and current A&R Director of Metal Blade Records. He was the man behind classic albums by DRI, Armored Saint, Slayer, Cryptic Slaughter, Flotsam and Jetsam, COC and Fates Warning. The fact of the matter is, Municipal Waste now has a catalogue that rivals or even exceeds many of those bands. Slime and Punishment is another significant notch in the belt that is their discography.