RAZOR

Thrash Metal / Speed Metal • Canada
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Razor is a Canadian speed/thrash metal band formed in 1984 at Guelph, Ontario. The group shot music videos for songs such as "Evil Invaders", "Shotgun Justice", "American Luck", and "Sucker for Punishment". The band dissolved in 1992, but reformed in the late 1990s to record another album, titled "Decibels", in 1997. The band dissolved again, and reformed in 2005, and are currently planning to record another studio album. They were featured on the 2005 "The Gates of Hell Tour". In the United States and Canada they have toured with well known acts such as Slayer, Motörhead and Venom. Guitarist and primary lyricist Dave Carlo has been the only permanent member in the band's 20-year history.
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RAZOR Discography

RAZOR albums / top albums

RAZOR Executioner's Song album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Executioner's Song
Thrash Metal 1985
RAZOR Evil Invaders album cover 3.90 | 6 ratings
Evil Invaders
Thrash Metal 1985
RAZOR Malicious Intent album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Malicious Intent
Thrash Metal 1986
RAZOR Custom Killing album cover 4.54 | 4 ratings
Custom Killing
Thrash Metal 1987
RAZOR Violent Restitution album cover 4.89 | 5 ratings
Violent Restitution
Thrash Metal 1988
RAZOR Shotgun Justice album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
Shotgun Justice
Thrash Metal 1990
RAZOR Open Hostility album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Open Hostility
Thrash Metal 1991
RAZOR Decibels album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Decibels
Thrash Metal 1997

RAZOR EPs & splits

RAZOR Armed and Dangerous album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Armed and Dangerous
Speed Metal 1984

RAZOR live albums

RAZOR Live! Osaka Saikou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live! Osaka Saikou
Thrash Metal 2016

RAZOR demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

RAZOR Demo 84 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 84
Thrash Metal 1984
RAZOR Escape the Fire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Escape the Fire
Thrash Metal 1984
RAZOR Decibels album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Decibels
Thrash Metal 1992

RAZOR re-issues & compilations

RAZOR Exhumed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Exhumed
Thrash Metal 1994

RAZOR singles (0)

RAZOR movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

RAZOR Reviews

RAZOR Custom Killing

Album · 1987 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
It's easy to think that this was Razor going prog going in blind just looking at those two 11-minute long songs, but there's none of that here. Survival of the Fittest and Last Rites are just hook after hook as with the rest of the album. This is actually Razor at their most aggressive, humorous, and attitude-filled. Everything that makes thrash great.

Funnily enough, despite being the frontman, guitarist Dave Carlo is the least important thing to what carries this album. He's a good guitarist and the riffs are great, but the vocals and rhythm section is what takes this to new levels. Sheepdog is either almost out-sneering Dave Mustaine or screeching like a madman. Mike Campagnolo's bass is either rumbling in the background or grooving up front and personal, while M-Bro drums with pure force. His cymbal work gives some real texture that isn't common, while the production brings so much more impact by accentuating certain drum parts. Just listen to Shootout for this and the epitome of thrash metal.

While often considered Razor's worst album for some bizarre reason, Custom Killing presents Razor at their best. Violent Restitution is close, but this album has the edge. The production is one of the best in thrash, especially with bringing the bass and drums to the forefront. If Dave Carlo can't stand this album, maybe Sheepdog should just get with Campagnolo and M-Bro then find another guitarist and get back to this pure attitude and aggression.

RAZOR Violent Restitution

Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
"All the pool hall, hustling dough. I'll beat the panzies and then I'll go."

Searing through the listener's skin just like the sharp blade that the band gets their namesake, Razor certainly performs all the violence they describe with their high-tension lightning speed thrash assault. Violent Restitution is the final Razor album to feature original vocalist Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren, due to inner conflicts within the band.

Ah, but what a swansong for one of the most underrated vocalists in thrash. As soon as you turn the album on, the first thing you hear is the piercing hell-scream of McLaren that opens up the mainly instrumental opener "The Marshall Arts". This long scream carries the song into the rapid-fire rampage that sets the tone and sound for the rest of the album. McLaren's high-pitched screeches rival the likes of Tom Araya on "Angel of Death" and his dirty fast-spitting vocals rival those of Cronos of Venom.

Of course, the vocals need to be spit out in order to catch up with the insane speeds of the instruments. Razor may very well be able to claim the spot as fastest thrash band around, as your head will be torn right from your neck if you try to headbang to the majority of these killer shredders. Occasionally the band slows it down to a fast catchy groove such as with the stomp of "Enforcer", but slow for Razor is still pretty damn fast. Apart from those occasional grooves, this is mostly pure grinding frantic thrash. The gang vocals during the choruses are perfect and act as a bit of a hook to compliment the blinding speeds of the riffs and jack-hammer drums. Just check out "Out of the Game" for an example of this.

Razor takes the stage as one of the best and most underrated of the Canadian thrash scene, which also housed such classic bands like Annihilator and Voivod. Compared to Violent Restitution, when it comes to speed and brutality, everything else is Out of the Game while the listener is left Tasting the Floor. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

RAZOR Evil Invaders

Album · 1985 · Thrash Metal
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voila_la_scorie
I'll confess that I'm a little torn between rating this album three stars or four. Back in 1985, when I was totally embracing the thrash and speed metal scene, I was thrilled to hear of a Canadian band that were so heavy and fast. Of course the Big Four were American and there were also Exodus, Nuclear Assault and others, and over in Europe there were some awesome bands like Celtic Frost, Kreator, and Bathory. But what about my home country? Fortunately, there was a Canadian metal magazine called "Metallion" that introduced new homegrown bands and always featured an interview with at least one Canuck band per issue. (It also had women of metal centerfolds featuring Lee Aaron - mmm, Lita Ford - nice, and Wendy-O-Williams - get back!) So I learned about Voivod, Sacrifice, and Razor.

To describe Razor's music on "Evil Invaders" simply would be to say that it sounds like some massive piston in the engine of some huge machine and that piston is working full tilt. Most of the songs drive for speed, especially the guitar playing. When the opening instrumental blasts through the speakers, you get a clear idea of what the whole album is going to sound like with regards to the music. There are ripping riffs, machinegun-speed chords, and a steady speedy drum beat. Once you add the vocals of Sheepdog in the second track, "Cross Me Fool" and you know that these guys are not going to sing you any acoustic lullabies.

And what about this Sheepdog dude? His vocals are gruff and from the back of the throat. He sounds like Hell's Angels biker shouting death threats. That is until he lets loose with one of his screams. Incredible! Now he sounds like a Nazgûl from Lord of the Rings. The vocals certainly suit the speed and aggression of the music and the rage in some of the lyrics. The thing I always liked back in the mid-eighties was that I could actually understand most of what Sheepdog was singing. Or shouting. Or screaming.

Track after track, this album continues to be like a steam locomotive from hell blasting through everything. The guitar solos typically don't shred but go for a bit of style (i.e. note cluster bursts followed by bending strings followed by some tradition metal soloing), something that sounds tough to do in a short time - short because that train is not slowing down and the next verse is coming up soon!

Some of my old favourites were and still are "Legacy of Doom", "Evil Invaders" (which is one of the slower songs and sounds very much classic Judas Priest-inspired), "Instant Death" for its cool opening riff, and "Tortured Skull" for some more cool riffing and a bucket load of those hellish screams. Jeez, dude. Bust a vocal chord lately?

I recently picked up this old album because I was curious about the Canadian bands I used to listen to in the eighties and I found that this album which I had much love for once was not so easy to find for a reasonable price. Fortunately Amazon Canada had it in stock for almost half of what other places were listing it for. Listening to it again, I still remember the fun of this album and the great energy and aggression that went into the music. But if I may say anything against it now - 30 years later - is that the similarity of the songs drags the album down a little. The beat is mostly the same - fast but not as fast as future bands would deliver and rarely deviating. The drums don't do much to be memorable either. The real speed comes from the guitars which deliver some great riffs but also tend to speed burn their way through almost every track. What I'm saying is a little more variety would have been appreciated, at least by me. It's what I loved about Metallica and some of early Slayer stuff: they could deliver slow and heavy riffs in between the charging machine gun blasts. And that's why I am uncertain if the album is really worth 4 stars or three. It's a great thrash album that sounds like Anvil and Motorhead in fifth gear. It's just that it stays in fifth for nearly all of the 38 minutes.

One thing that's funny to see now is the Terminator album cover. The movie came out in 1984 and this album in 1985. Did anyone cry "ripoff!" or was there some deal worked out? It's also kinda funny to see the band photos now. Oh, yeah! That was like some wicked cool metal band image in 1985. Heh, heh.

I bought the next album, too, back in the day. "Malicious Intent" was, as I recall, similar to "Evil Invaders" but not as impressive and included a song called "KMA", which stood for "kiss my ass". And that's exactly what the lyrics were about: "Kiss. My ass. (come on, pucker up baby!)" When I checked out that album on Amazon I noticed that the re-issue excludes that particular song. Too bad. It's the only one I remember now from that album.

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