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Razor - Open Hostility (Reissue)

Razor
Open Hostility (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 04 May 2015, 1:45 AM

The deep rooted anger that will never cease, going strong and beyond control. Society needs a hard kick in the ass in order to start looking of what is going around it, unless appealing for a massive stroke. Bold words, yet easily manifested through another RAZOR album, “Open Hostility”, reissued via Relapse Records. Actually this album was the last release before a hiatus from the studio till 1997, as the band’s first breakup began eating its way into completion. Less than a year since “Shotgun Justice” and another shakedown for the lineup ending up with the recruitment of Jon Armstrong for the bass. As for the drums, after Rob Mills closed up shop, guitarist Dave Carlo took it upon himself, just this once, to program drums. Probably less a position to worry about. Honestly, as much as I didn’t want to admit it, more or less it fairly paid off. Generally, “Open Hostility”, still keeping it immensely social, a step up from the previous album, showing a better side of RAZOR’s Speed / Thrash Metal assaults.

On my early review of “Shotgun Justice”, I argued that on some point Carlo simply had no more ideas regarding riffs and arrangements. Unknown if he was suddenly struck by the hammer of muse, but his guitar work, both technically and composing, somewhat abolished a shard of my older opinion regarding the recurring material coming back to haunt. Other than hand, “Open Hostility” had its recursive elements that were part of the former album, and those mainly lasted throughout the second half of the album right into the pit of the demos that summed it up. Furthermore, also connected to my previous review, Bob Reid appeared to fit right in the scenery of RAZOR quite smoothly, back then with a second album to his belt. Regarding Carlo’s drum programming, as I was saying I was rather surprised that it went well. Though RAZOR’s Speed Metal drumming ends up with rather simple kind of skin bashing, there were turnouts that sounded rich enough to cross the banal line of fire.

Songwriting and arrangements wise, here and there a few changes were implemented like slightly differential in the riffs, taking bits of groove into the music though still heavily dosed by easy living Punk anarchy supreme. RAZOR shooting tracks like a blitzkrieg attack, barely crossing the threshold of three minutes. However, their points are well noted and understood. There are areas where the music would abandoned the fast pace menace that out rightly ruled the album, as it was throughout the band’s career, and linger in mid-tempo. “Sucker For Punishment” for instance, one of my album’s greatest, sucked in a lot of heaviness, well done singing and sheer excitement, a true kind of headbanger. “Bad Vibrations”, “Road Gunner” and “Mental Torture” cleared up the smoke of the previous punishment, back into the saddle of full throttle invasion. “In Protest” and “End Of The War” rallied in heaviness to scream in the name of those who died and dying merely for the purpose of too talkative folks to keep their jobs.

Not a giant step in comparison to the previous album, but close enough to be reckoned as progress. RAZOR were angry with that album, probably than ever before, and rather mature as well. Musically, most of the way that kept what they knew best, how to rattle the cage with furious Speed and traditional Thrash Metal riffery. Be sure to embrace yourself with a few past notes like unreleased tracks and a few demos, all installed right here on this very reissue. Do yourself a favor and purchase this one.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In Protest
2. Sucker for Punishment
3. Bad Vibrations
4. Road Gunner
5. Cheers
6. Red Money
7. Free Lunch
8. Iron Legions
9. Mental Torture
10. Psychopath
11. I Disagree
12. End of the War
13. Tow The Line
14. Taking The Strain
15. Violent Propensity
16. Taking The Strain (Instrumental Version)
17. End Of The War (Rehearsal)
18. Tow The Line (Instrumental)
19. Red Money (Demo)
20. Iron Legions (Demo)
Lineup:
Bob Reid - Vocals
Dave Carlo – Guitars / Drum Programming
Jon Armstrong - Bass
Record Label: Relapse Records
     


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