Criminal: Fear Itself

Chile’s death metal standard bearer finds a new lease of life

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Chile’s death metal standard bearer finds a new lease of life In the mid-90s metal scene dominated by Pantera and Machine Head, Criminal were, at best, perceived at the outlet for Anton Reisenegger to join the modern age after pioneering the death metal genre in South America in the late 80s with Pentagram (renamed later Pentagram Chile to avoid confusion).

But with the latter now back for good and Anton joining Lock Up in 2009, could there be any space left for Criminal? Hell yes, as Fear Itself not only sweeps clean its seven predecessors but actually manages to represent a whole fresh, and far more efficient, start.

Armed with what is by far their most aggressive offering to date, Criminal now lean closer to death metal (there are even a few scattered blastbeats) than ever, yet manage to sustain their own identity with their dystopian lyrics and almost hardcore-style attitude.

Recorded in Suffolk at their bass player’s own studio, Fear Itself benefits both from the arrival of their new killer lead guitarist and from a renewed sense of purpose. As Dark Angel once said: they have arrived!