First and foremost, Municipal Waste's new album functions best as a punk album more than a metal album. It is filled with simple chords, thrashing rhythms, wild riffs and short, very short songs. It is entirely possible that it will take me longer to pen, read, edit, correct, and post this review than it did to listen to the album beginning to end. At count, I think there are only three or four songs that crest three minutes, and an equal number that come in under two.
"Massive Aggressive" is good for what it is, but it seems less visceral and insistent than its predecessors. Municipal Waste seemed content on this work to lay back a little bit and not push the throttle as hard as they've been known to. The riffs are fast but inconsistent; they come and go seemingly without particular direction. The album features (comparatively) long sections that lack what might be called Municipal Waste's signature breakneck style.
I know I could (and possibly should) get beaten up in certain circles for saying this, but tracks like "Divine Blasphemer" and "Mech-Cannibal" remind me eerily of the Voodoo Glow Skulls album "Symbollic," just without the brass section. I can't explain it, it just seems like "Massive Aggressive" leans that way. Other than that, it's very easy to see the clear parallels between Municipal Waste and the classic thrash style of Anthrax. Their punk influences are evident and thorough.
To that end, there are a number of enjoyable songs, and many that have great lead-ins which are so critical to quality punk/thrash. "Relentless Threat" is a song that shows the kind of thrashing good time that Municipal Waste is capable of. "Shredded Offering" and "Media Skeptic" fall into the latter category; they have great openings which lead into the usual tents of this genre of music. The great news is that the leads can carry the rest of the song, since within three minutes, the band and the listener have moved onto another idea. The bad news is that the leads are what primarily make the songs at all different.
It's really tough to have a lot more to say than that. With a total run time of about half an hour, "Massive Agressive" doesn't really have time to be exploratory or especially innovative. It doesn't have any new ideas, and doesn't really push the envelope. Municipal Waste has produced a very listenable, solid album, but don't expect to hear anything you're not familar with already. It's not bad, it's just not special.