ALBUM REVIEW: Cycle Of Contempt – Razor

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Canada’s RAZOR are another one of those bands who never quite got over the 80s. The four-piece once counted ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT and EXODUS as contemporaries, but have largely disappeared from the public consciousness since their heyday. Diehard thrash fans still adore them, but the wider world hasn’t exactly been clamouring for new RAZOR material and there’s not much expectation for their first full-length in 25 years.

And true to form, Cycle Of Contempt feels like an album out of time. This could very easily have been recorded in 1989, locked in a vault and only just let out. It’s fast and aggressive, pure-blooded thrash from start to finish. It’s the very definition of old-school metal, unaffected by trends and recorded on a threadbare budget. There’s no glossy polish to be had, Cycle Of Contempt sounds rough and raw and it’s itching for a scrap. They’ve battled tragedy, bad luck and indifference to get this out; RAZOR are underdogs who are easy to cheer on.

This is why it’s so depressing to say that it’s not very good. We’d love to tell you that Cycle Of Contempt is a barnstorming classic that shows all the young upstarts how it’s done and reasserts their seat at the table, but it isn’t. It’s monochromatic and juvenile, full of cringeworthy lyrics that only get worse when you realise they’re performed by guys who are over 50 years old.

Punch Your Face In, for instance, is painfully embarrassing. It’s an obnoxious, violent song with a chorus that’s reminiscent of 13-year-old boys bragging about how tough they are, and it’s not the only awkward track on here. All Fist Fighting is an idiotic hard-man anthem, while King Shit comes across like MUNICIPAL WASTE with the sense of humour switched off. It has a terrible hook and the poor production values don’t do it any favours either.

It’s not all awful and RAZOR don’t do a bad job at writing meat and potatoes thrash songs. The first half of Cycle Of Contempt has a couple of decent tracks, but they’re rarely more than average. Flames Of Hatred is fine, Off My Meds isn’t bad and the title track just about holds itself together, but none of them will appeal to anyone but the most dedicated thrasher. The speed is unrelenting and they’re nasty as a pack of hellhounds, but they’re also dull and forgettable.

Which is a real shame because after 25 years in the wilderness, there’s nothing we want more than to cheer RAZOR on as they make a triumphant comeback. Unfortunately, Cycle Of Contempt is a disappointment. You could play these tracks in any order and it would make no difference. The likes of OVERKILL and ANNIHILATOR have written B-sides better than what’s on offer here, so unless you’re already a firm believer in RAZOR, there’s little to recommend.

Rating: 4/10

Cycle Of Contempt - Razor

Cycle Of Contempt is set for release on September 23rd via Relapse Records.

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The post ALBUM REVIEW: Cycle Of Contempt – Razor appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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