Metal kids and punk kids spent a couple decades eying each other warily, but lately, those differences seem to have melted away, as bands have crossed the mosh pit mixing liberally from hardcore's adrenalized rhythms and metal's bottom-end breakdowns.
Municipal Waste is hardly a product of these slackening "standards." Founded in 2000 in Richmond, Va., the quartet's combination of steely, hard-racing riffs and machine-gun drumming harkens back to thrash's earliest days and bands like Suicidal Tendencies, Pantera and Slayer. But while singer Tony Foresta recognizes the growing comity between camps, he's also seen the ugly underside of that coin while touring with Lamb of God.
"There were those who were stoked we were on that tour and then there's young kids who are screaming, 'This isn't metalcore.' Yes it is," he said. "It's what metalcore used to be called, when you were in diapers or didn't even exist. Now it's swoopy hair, shitty band ex-screamo-core."
DELIVERY IS ESSENTIAL
Younger metal audiences aren't familiar with clean vocal leads like Municipal Waste's, Foresta said, and clearer delivery is essential if fans can hope to understand his over-the-top sensibility, which has moved away from the party anthems of recent albums for a more varied approach on its latest, "Massive Aggressive."
"Our older stuff was kind of a hilarious take on getting everyone riled up into destroying something in a good way where it was like 'Woo!'," Foresta said. "We would come up with ridiculous things, but it seemed like so many bands started doing what we do and cheapening it to where I was sick of hearing it. It made it cheesy, but in a good way, because it inspired me to write about something different."
Municipal's new material draws fresh blood as well. Over the course of the new album, the group maintains an even flow that manages to avoid the droning common on many metal/hardcore albums.
"We usually try to kick you in the balls right off the bat, and this one kind of builds up. Honestly, I like the second side of the record more than the first side. It hits a pace and just goes," Foresta said. "The metalheads like the first side; hardcore kids like the second side."
Municipal might be too old to find passage on any bandwagons, and all the musicians expect are opportunities they open on their own.
"We come from the punk, DIY ethos side of things," Foresta said. "For us, it was like we're going to start playing music and if we get noticed, cool. If not, we don't really care. We're just going to do what we do, anyway."
Municipal Waste with Goatwhore, Phobia and Cauldron perform at 8 p.m. Friday at Tthe Conservatory, 8911 N. Western. "Chris Parker