Live Review: Municipal Waste – Manchester

Live Review: Municipal Waste - Rebellion, Manchester
Support: Undeath, GEL
Words: Matthew Williams
Photos: Tom Atkin (London)

I’m not sure whether it was warmer outside or inside the venue, but this promised to be a very entertaining gig for all the right reasons. Rebellion in Manchester was Sold Out for Municipal Waste, and the assembled masses inside, were treated to one hell of a gig.

First up was Undeath, the five piece death metallers from Rochester, New York, and with frontman Alex Jones, prowling the stage, they begin a vicious onslaught with `Rise From the Grave` with the double bass of drummer Matt Browning getting an early workout. After urging the crowd forward, and wanting to “see the dance floor go right now”, the crowd duly obliges and we are off.

Photo Credit: Tom Atkin

The music is unrelenting, heavy, fast, and yet it some parts, they go for the traditional death metal slow and heavy sections, which are met with rapturous applause. They played a couple of new songs they are writing for next year, one was called `Brandish the Blade` I think, and with Jones, working the crowd, they go down extremely well.

They end their short, but very sweet set, with the brutal 'Lesions of a Different Kind' which is a truly brilliant song, heavy, fast, everything you can wish for in a death metal song. Undeath are definitely a band worth keeping an eye on, and if you can catch them when they are near you, then go as you won’t be disappointed. My next fix of them will be at Damnation Festival in November, and I can’t wait.

Photo Credit: Tom Atkin

Now, I must confess, that what I had briefly heard of GEL beforehand, I wasn’t really that impressed with, so I wasn’t really expecting much from the 5 piece hardcore punk band from New Jersey. But with a big drum intro, they kicked off with some decent hardcore beats and I was intrigued.

The crowd were really into them, with a few stage divers beginning to emerge, and their fast and furious beats were kicking into action. The rhythm section was tight, and singer Sami Kaiser was like a little ball of energy, bouncing non-stop across the small stage. The middle few songs were short and sharp, elements of Minor Threat, with a frenetic Alex Salter pounding his kit keeping the tempo fast and furious.

There was little or no interaction with the crowd, apart from `we’ve got two more songs left` but one earlier song had a sort of weird Sonic Youth vibe to it, which was surprising to hear, but they have that quintessential hardcore/punk sound which went down well with the enthusiastic crowd and with the final song having an excellent fast riff, the pit goes mad and they certainly won me over.

Photo Credit: Tom Atkin

And then the band that everyone had come to see. It was packed to the rafters, with the crowd eagerly anticipating Municipal Waste. An 80`s electronic song was playing on the PA, and the crowd knew what was about to happen. As they arrived on stage, the nose was deafening, and from the opening bars of `Deathhripper` it was just pure chaos. The stage was being infested, though some of the dives were a bit lame.

You know exactly what you are getting with Municipal Waste these days, and that’s fast and furious riffs for thrash fans young and old, but people forget how many `big` songs they have. With `Breathe Grease`, `Grave Dive` and `You’re Cut Off` coming so early in the set, it highlights what great songs these guys write, and with singer Tony Foresta grinning like a Cheshire Cat all night long, they are clearly enjoying themselves. Less so their roadie, who had a encourage lots of lingering people to jump off, and protect the mic stands, several times.

Photo Credit: Tom Atkin

The crowd are part of the show, and when songs 'The Thrashin of the Christ' and 'Headbanger Face Rip' are played with such ferocity, they bombard the stage and the pit is absolutely mental. But the band just keep on delivering. After they finish the awesome 'High Speed Steel', which is met with the first chant of “Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up” from the crowd, they keep the tempo high with a few songs off their 2003 record 'Waste `Em All' notably 'Toxic Revolution' and 'Substitute Creature' which seems to give the crowd a new lease of life. Foresta makes the comment of the joys of doing headlining shows means that they can play “whatever the hell we like” and the crowd love it.

With one stage diver getting caught out, and being left on stage as they finish a song, Foresta laughs at him by saying “nobody paid to see you buddy” and this leads to more mayhem with crowd favourites 'Wave of Death', `Slime and Punishment` and the stunning `Sadistic Magician` being played at break neck speed, with the added bonus of cardboard boxes being thrown into the crowd by Foresta, which just adds to the chaos.

Photo Credit: Tom Atkin

They treat to crowd to 'Mind Eraser' which is only played at “really good shows” and then 'Crank the Heat' which sees GEL lead singer Kaiser stage diving, and with 'Born to Party' bringing the house down the stage is besieged by fans all diving off into the massive circle pit, before the crowd take a collective breath of the stale, sweaty air, with the thrashtastic 'Demoralizer' finishing off a truly wonderful night of chaos and mayhem at Rebellion in Manchester.

Municipal Waste really do know how to fuck you up!!

Photo Credit: Tom Atkin
Photo Credit: Tom Atkin

Photo credits: Tom Atkin

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