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Razor – Violent Restitution/Shotgun Justice/Open Hostility

album by:
Razor
Version:
Cd

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On June 27, 2015
Last modified:June 27, 2015

Summary:

Thrashing madness the old school way, forget the young pretenders and get your neck broke with this trilogy.

Violent Restitution

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Razor where one of the first true underground bands that came to my attention on the classic Under One Flag release Speed Kills 2. Imagine a world where to your knowledge the heaviest metal there is was Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer, admittedly it was not a bad world – the hammer came down and I was faced with Razor, Sodom, Bathory, Agent Steel all on one record.These reissues have been a long time coming, first up is 1988’s Violent Restitution, the last to feature vocalist Stace McLaren, the songs are fast and furious and give no room for manoeuvre, the classic thrash drumbeat with a buzzsaw guitar sound. McLaren barks the vocals out interspersed with his trademark scream. There are no breakdowns as such, straight speed with  gang backing vocals, when the songs slow down slightly it still has a solid double bass rumbling. Between the tracks there is no time to catch breath, the double whammy of “Taste the Floor” and “Behind Bars” demonstrates this whirlwind approach. “Below the Belt” gives some insight into their influences during the intro which just oozes Motorhead and Venom, before its back into the speed. Bonus tracks on this album are some live tracks recorded in 1988, they are rough and ready but hell it shows that the band were capable of smashing your face in live.

Line – up

Rob Mills – Drums
Dave Carlo – Guitar
Adam Carlo – Bass
Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren – Vocals

Tracklisting

1. The Marshall Arts
2. Hypertension
3. Taste The Floor
4. Behind Bars
5. Below The Belt
6. I’ll Only Say It Once
7. Enforcer
8. Violent Restitution
9. Out Of The Game
10. Edge Of The Razor
11. Eve Of The Storm
12. Roll Out The Barrel – Hidden Track
13. Discipline
14. Fed Up
15. Soldier Of Fortune
Bonus Tracks: (Live Feb 1988 Toronto Canada)
16. Shootout
17. Snake Eyes
18. The Marshall Arts – Hypertension

Shotgun Justice

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Shotgun Justice 1990 follows on from where violent restitution left off. A change in vocalist to Bob Reid, did not affect the overall sound of the band and it’s still fast and furious albeit with an improved production which gives the guitars more clarity in the mix. “Meaning of Pain” has a slow brooding riff intro which is a welcomed change in pace before it roars of again into full speed thrash. The title track again has a slower pace for the first part of the song which again breaks things up a bit. Putting the record into context of its time, death metal was on the rise, a more aggressive form of music had arrived and probably this sort of band was in the situation of sink or swim. Where their contemporaries had slowed down or made things that little bit more palatable for the mainstream, Razor ploughed on with flat out unapologetic thrash and for that they must be commended. Listening back now the records sound fresh and vital and will put the new thrash bands to shame with the relentless attack. Again there is a slew of extra tracks on this one, live tracks and alternative takes on songs. The most interesting are the alternate takes of tracks which are not that far removed from the final mix they just seem weaker and lacking in the bottom end of the finished product.

Line- Up

Bob Reid – Vocals
Rob Mills – Drums
Adam Carlo – Bass
Dave Carlo – Guitars

Tracklisting
1. Miami
2. United By Hatred
3. Violence Condoned
4. Electric Torture
5. Meaning Of Pain
6. Stabbed In The Back
7. Shotgun Justice
8. Parricide
9. American Luck
10. Brass Knuckles
11. Burning Bridges
12. Concussion
13. Cranial Stomp
14. The Pugilist
Bonus Tracks
15. Meaning of Pain – Show Opening Somewhere Shotgun Justice Tour 1990
16. Violence Condoned – Live August 1989 Toronto
17. Learning and Refining Cranial Stomp
18. Miami – Original Mix
19. Electric Torture – Alternate Version
20. Brass Knuckles – Alternate Version

Open Hostility

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The final album in this trilogy is “Open Hostility” from 1991 Opening track “In Protest” has taken the foot of the gas slightly and has settled into more of early Bay Area sound.”Free Lunch” is a song that diverts slightly from the overall sound of the album with a riff that is not quite as frantic as the rest of the album. Bonus tracks this time are instrumentals and demos, while interesting they do nothing to improve the overall standing of this album. This is a solid album however the same review could nearly match all three albums, whilst that could be said for other bands, in this case yes you have three similar sounding records but they are 3 solid old school thrash albums that will take some back to a place in time. For others just discovering Razor they will delight and destroy in equal measures and show up the majority of the new thrash bands as great pretenders to the likes of these old school veterans.

Line-Up
Jon Armstrong – Bass
Dave Carlo – Guitars & Drum Programming
Bob Reid – Vocals

 
Tracklisting
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
Bonus Tracks
13. Tow The Line – Unreleased Track Late 1990 (music D. Carlo, lyrics B. Reid)
14. Taking The Strain – Unreleased Track Late 1990 (music: D. Carlo, lyrics B.
Reid)
15. Violent Propensity Unreleased Track Late 1990 – No Vocal (music: D. Carlo)
16. Taking The Strain (Instrumental Version) Unreleased Track Late 1990
17. End of The War – Rehearsal with Rob Mills
18. Tow The Line – Instrumental Demo with Programmed Drums
19. Red Money – Instrumental Demo
20. Iron Legions – Instrumental Demo

Thrashing madness the old school way, forget the young pretenders and get your neck broke with this trilogy.

About Dave McCallum

Old enough to know better. I have been a metalhead for a long time, I am a lifelong collector of vinyl and cds, the more the better.
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