CRIMINAL
"Sicario"

(Metal Blade Europe)

01. Rise and Fall
02. Time Bomb
03. Walking Dead
04. The Root of All Evil
05. Shot In The Face
06. Sicario
07. The Land God Forgot
08. Preacher of Hate
09. Touch of Filth
10. From the Ashes
11. Por la Fuerza de la Razon
12. Self Destruction

RATING: 6/10

The last time CRIMINAL surfaced on U.S. shores (and the only time I've heard them before this) was on 1999's "Dead Soul", a solid if rather derivative slab of South American metal with a good bit of SEPULTURA influence. The good news was, it was more "Chaos A.D". and "Arise" (though simplified considerably) than played-out "Roots" nu-metal worship. The bad news? Repeated listens left little impression, and the record gathered dust on the shelves.

Perhaps this is why "Sicario", like 2001's "Cancer" and 2004's "No Gods No Masters", was not released in the States, but left to the much more forgiving European continent. "Sicario" finds CRIMINAL peddling the same basically charismatic metal as before, influenced by thrash and inflected with mainman Anton Reisenegger's accented vocals. CRIMINAL are no newcomers — their thrash influences run back to the classic era (listen to "Root of All Evil" — substitute a Germanic shriek for Reisenegger's hoarser bark, and you'd have a KREATOR single, with some CARCASS-style melodies in the solo).

When "Sicario" is at its most intense, as on "Time Bomb" or the punishing "Shot in the Face", it's easier to overlook the band's basic lack of personality. But the title track sounds like a SEPULTURA throwaway, while "Preacher of Hate" and "From the Ashes" are full of generic riffs, grooves that just don't grab ya. Reisenegger's monotone vocals and plodding vocal patterns do little to distinguish songs, even when he switches languages on "Por la Fuerza de la Razon", one of the album's most bland moments. Nothing here is terrible, but again, it's hard to imagine remembering too much of this six months from now, or feeling the urge to pull it back out for another listen.

Bottom line: basically decent, strangely dated-sounding third-tier thrash with a few enjoyable moments that rise above the mundane.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to block users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.