Who is the biggest and best modern Metal band? You could ask this question and get so many different answers. For one the camps of Metal are now so divided that those whom hate for example Metalcore are never going to say Lamb Of God and those who are into Disturbed are more likely to say Five Finger Death Punch than perhaps Gojira. The fact of the matter is that the genre and all genres for that fact are flooded. Also no one really seems to be taking the cake, personally I’m not really that bothered, I’d rather see the scene become more inclusive and underground, as to me that’s Metals beating heart and indeed its home.
Perhaps one of the more successful bands and one whom I would hail as one of the best modern Metal acts about would be the Richmond, Virginia US Thrashers Municipal Waste. Formed in 2001 their brand of toxic Crossover carnage inspired a whole generation of Thrash revival and out of all the bands that revival gave us Waste are still at the top and the ones still smashing out record after record. That said their last album 2017’s Slime And Punishment didn’t do a lot for me, although as time has passed I’ve grown to enjoy it more. So we come to 2019 and a new EP The Last Rager released fittingly through Nuclear Blast.
The opening song Wave Of Death is sadly perhaps Wastes laziest song to date, good riffs and energy but literally just one line of lyrical content. It promises so much and gives us so little, adding more to this it could have been a real Thrash pleaser. Even if it were used as an opener for an album it would have been better, but for an EP it’s a complete waste of time (no pun intended). Thankfully Car-Nivore (Street Meat) gives us the much needed fast paced vocals of Tony Foresta that we so crave along with atypical Waste riffs and speed, a solid all round track that of course meets the calibre of the bands discography.
Rum For Your Life is another crazy fast blasting of expected proportions a good bit of fun as Waste so often are that really gets you headbanging and wanting so much more. Luckily the titular track is there to satisfy our urges and is also probably the best track on this speedy little EP. If nothing else this EP serves to make us want so much more Waste. In contrast to a lot of EPs as well I feel that it is perhaps the most accessible EP I’ve heard in some time for those new to Waste or even the whole Crossover/ Thrash genre.
The Last Rager does exactly what any good EP should do, it makes you want more. If this is the level to which these legends are currently working at then a new album should be absolutely fantastic. This is a band whom have never given into trend and if you think they have then that’s because they were the ones to set it. Waste will never tone down, never change and always be there to provide some of the finest modern Thrash around. As we sadly say farewell to so many titans of the genre we can rest assured that its future is in safe hands.
(8/10 George Caley)