After releasing two demos that created a buzz in the South American and worldwide metal underground and supporting bands such as Kreator and Sepultura, Criminal signed a deal with major label bmg. Their first two albums, “Victimized” (1994) and “Dead Soul” (1996), went on to sell in excess of 10,000 copies each in their home country alone whilst the band enjoyed extensive video airplay on MTV Latino, touring most of the subcontinent including support slots with heavyweights such as Slayer, Exodus, Motörhead and Bruce Dickinson. The video clip for the song “Collide” (off the album “Dead Soul”) was nominated in the “Best Rock Video” category for the MTV Latino Video Music Awards, and Criminal played in front of over 50,000 people at Colombia’s prestigious Rock al Parque festival.
In 1998 Criminal embarked on their first ever US tour, taking part in the famed Milwaukee Metal Fest as well as supporting the likes of Testament, The Haunted and Overkill at selected club shows.
Upon their return from the US and being forced to part ways with the semi-bankrupt Chilean bmg branch, Criminal took matters into their own hands releasing the self-produced “Cancer” album (1999). Just like their previous output “Dead Soul”, “Cancer” was snapped up for the European market by Metal Blade Records, being greeted with an overwhelming response from both metal press and fans.
Frustrated with the state of the South American music scene, the creative core of the band (guitarist/vocalist Anton Reisenegger and guitarist Rodrigo Contreras) relocated to Europe in 2001, soon regrouping in a half-Chilean, half-British line-up with drummer Zac O’Neil (ex-Extreme Noise Terror) and Robin Eaglestone (ex-Cradle of Filth). The line-up also featured additional keyboards by Mark Royce. One of the band’s first live appearances on European soil was at Wacken Open Air, where they played one of the main stages to an enthusiastic crowd despite the early hour.
Criminal soon released the album “No Gods No Masters” (2004), a boldly experimental affair which reflected changes the band had been through in recent times, resulting in extreme, genre-bending songs. Bass duties on “No Gods” were handled by both guitarists, as Eaglestone had been ousted due to personal and business differences.
After touring Europe supporting Six Feet Under, Criminal returned to the four-piece format and the visceral thrash riffs of their early days to release “Sicario” (2005), their most accomplished piece of work to date, only a year after “No Gods”. Featuring original bass player Juan Cueto to temporarily replace the departed Eaglestone, “Sicario” was hailed by the metal press as one of the year’s top thrash albums, being voted by the readers of Terrorizer magazine into the Top Ten Albums of the Year. Criminal played successful shows in support of their new release, opening shows for acts like Chimaira, Brujeria and Lamb of God, as well as taking part in several festivals in Mainland Europe.
With a new line-up featuring Reisenegger, Contreras, O’Neil and new addition Dan Biggin (bass), Criminal released their new album ‘White Hell’ on 27th February 2009.
Edited by [deleted user] on 8 Aug 2010, 17:32
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