Chilean / UK death thrashers Criminal have been on the scene for a long ol’ while, effortlessly churning out slightly above average extremity since 1991. While never setting the world afire they’ve been remorselessly reliable and with 8 albums already under their belt, it’s reassuring to encounter 9th album, Sacrificio, and find them still going strong!
Heavy on groove and chest-beating bravado, Criminal are as riled up as ever and while Sepultura circa Chaos AD /Roots touchstones are still evident, this is now definitively Criminal’s sound.
Whether you salute their wilful determination or not, Criminal do not change for no man or beast. They just don’t. So while Sacrificio sounds achingly similar to everything that’s come before that’s just because this is solid stuff….and Criminal are not about to fuck with the formula that has served them so well in the past.
Opener “Live On Your Knees” is as bullish and defiant as its title suggests and the chugging, groove-orientated onslaught seldom relents from then on in with “After Me, The Flood” proving particularly effective. Fuelled by hatred, these are angry, angry songs with erstwhile frontman Anton Reisenegger snarling and spitting his way to infamy; just try listening to the incendiary “Zealots” without frothing at the mouth.
As intimated, you have heard this a million times before but that’s not a negative here. Sacrificio will take you back to the good old days; those innocent, misspent hours cranking up your latest purchase and simply headbanging to your hearts content. A time when music didn’t have to be ground-breaking it just had to make you move and roar your throat raw. Sacrificio will do that for you. 7/10
Criminal’s Sacrificio is due for release on September 17th, 2021 via Metal Blade Records