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Criminal Element - Crime And Punishment Pt. 1 (7/10) - USA - 2010

Genre: Thrash Metal / Grindcore / Death Metal
Label: Relapse Records
Playing time: 15:23
Band homepage: Criminal Element


  1. Backstabber
  2. Fake And A Fraud
  3. Crime And Punishment
  4. Fading Survival
  5. Personal Demons
Criminal Element - Crime And Punishment Pt. 1

Gang way, CRIMINAL ELEMENT’s third EP, “Crime And Punishment Pt. 1” is in a rush.


No need for reasoning. No cause for excuses. This Washington D.C. quintet are playing Thrashy-as-hell Grind-Death with no regard for time, life, or law. That’s how it is, how they like it, and it’s all manifested in a five-song shitstorm that may be the new electric chair anthem. Comprised of former members of DYING FETUS and current members of MISERY INDEX and SUFFOCATION, the first segment of CRIMINAL ELEMENT’s “Crime And Punishment” project is really a hard-boiled case of “what you see is what you get.”


Completely setting the jail cell-stage for a whole slew of black market head-banging, “Backstabber” begins with a gun-dealer snippet that breaks into a blood-boiling, Thrashing-ass guitar riff. “Fake And A Fraud” follows suit in relentless fashion, and drummer Adam Jarvis keeps things evenly hectic as the pace streamlines like a sniper rifle, popping away until things break down into a slamfest mid-section. The title track allows the band to aim and shoot with a jarring jam-session halfway through; “Fading Survival” is the album’s chunkiest three minutes, and “Personal Demons” is just a CRIMINAL ELEMENT riff-melee.


Nary adding anything to an already hydrated genre, nay-sayers may tout the band as unoriginal. And they may be right. But it’s really no matter. What CRIMINAL ELEMENT lack in innovation, they more than make up for in attitude and adrenaline.


Never a dry spell, “Crime And Punishment” is a constant spring of aggressive tempo-changes, pissed-off vocals via Vince Matthews, and just pure rabid Thrash. It’s short, it’s sour, and it’s a bottle-bashing EP by a clusterfuck of Metal maestros.


Fans of furious-style Thrash and audible Grindcore should get a kick out of it.

(Online August 11, 2010)

Evan Mugford

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