Four years after the release of their latest studio album, CRIMINAL return with a bang: New label, new line-up, new album!
The new album is titled "Fear Itself" and was produced by CRIMINAL bassist Danny Biggin at his HVR Studios in Suffolk, UK. "Fear Itself" sounds like putting Exodus, Carcass, Napalm Death and Sick Of It All through a meat grinder, achieving the perfect mix of death metal, thrash and hardcore. The band purposely avoided the vices of modern metal production such as samples, quantising and amp simulators, creating an album that sounds fresh and brutal, yet organic and real.
"Fear Itself" marks CRIMINAL's return to Metal Blade Records, the legendary US record label that released the first recordings by Metallica and Slayer, among many others. Metal Blade had already licensed four CRIMINAL albums between 1997 and 2005, but are now adding the band to their rider as an exclusive artist.
The striking artwork by renowned Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Mayhem, etc.) perfectly represents the bleak, dystopian atmosphere of the lyrics, which denounce warmongering, misinformation, exploitation and other ills of modern society.
"Fear Itself" is CRIMINAL's eighth studio album and the first one since the addition of Berlin-based Chilean guitarist Sergio Klein to their line-up. Klein's technical abilities - he also works as a studio musician and guitar instructor - have taken CRIMINAL to a whole new level. He grew up listening to CRIMINAL as a fan, bringing this whole new perspective to the songwriting process.
"Fear Itself" will be released on vinyl, CD and as a digital download by Metal Blade Records on March 11, 2016. The album will be released in Chile on the same date, with the CD including a bonus track of Napalm Death's "Hung".