By Keith Carman
Although the thrash scene has come back into vogue over the past few years, there are still a very select number of acts that stay true to its essence and perform the style out of sincere passion as opposed to an attempt to be cool. And once again, as Richmond, Virginia-based New Wave Of Thrash Metal spearheads Municipal Waste prove with fourth effort Massive Aggressive, they are at the forefront of this movement particularly because while they live and breathe the thrash, they also know how crucial aspects of punk and hardcore are to the mix. At that, with Massive Aggressive the quartet has finally stabilized the balance of all three extreme sub-categories, creating an effort so powerful it eliminates all traces of their already-formidable past. Where previous albums maintained an expedient pace coupled with lyrical hilarity, Massive Aggressive ventures into darker, more hostile territory yet still embraces the formative elements that define their style: parties, horror flicks and general trouble-making. Factor in that the band’s penchant for staccato riffing offset by relentless, raging verses has never been as bold or imposing and the affair is enthralling and enduring. Delving even further into the apocalyptic fury of mid-’80s thrash coupled with DRI-esque hardcore, Massive Aggressive finds Municipal Waste’s raw power becoming even stronger and more refined.