Mr. Anton Reissenegger is doubtless the most important Chilean Metal musician (as I don't consider Tom Araya to be actually Chilean). His long Thrasher career began in the early 80s when he founded the legendary PENTAGRAM and after that he began with this new project CRIMINAL, with great success and media diffusion in the mid 90s. The specialized press began to talk about the "new SEPULTURA" after the extraordinary "Dead Soul" was released in 1997 and then they adopted a much modern sound, keeping their base in SEPULTURA-inspired straight-to-vein Thrash but adopting the controversial influences of new SLAYER and NAPALM DEATH.
I have to say CRIMINAL lost much of their strength with the years. "Cancer" and "No Gods No Masters" were good albums but not worthy of the most important band of one's country. Besides that, they moved to Europe and I confess that I lost their footsteps for a while and only got interested in buying "Sicario" when I noted the praise it received by the international media. What I got is a far better album than what I expected, a mindblowing piece of modern Thrash that makes me want to headbang for ages, well played, perfectly produced and with a new bliss injected.
First of all, if you're conservative and despise any sign of modernism in Thrash, stop reading this review. Modern repetitive riffs a la GODSMACK and a superclean drumlines can scare many of you, but if you don't have problems with the natural progression of the genre you'll find here an awesome album. The rhythm is fast, the guitar work corrosive, great solos and in my humble opinion Mr Reissenegger's best vocal work so far. On the other hand don't expect any mellow chorus or softer part, CRIMINAL makes Metal with guts and their music is so damn heavy played loud.
Conceptually, this is also a very interesting album. For those who do not know, sicario is the name given to proffesional killers and a specially requested "job" in a few South American countries.. lyrics deal then with the violence and margination on this God-forsaken continent that give place to that kind of social prolems. CRIMINAL makes protest music, an angry band that has something to say that the way to proclame it is through Metal. Absolutely recommended. (Online June 13, 2006)