Saturday, July 13, 2013

Razormaze - Annihilatia

I’m somewhat of a thrash freak. I consume all things thrash, and it’s pretty difficult for me to find some thrash I don’t really like. With that said, when I first discovered Boston’s Razormaze on their “Miseries” EP, I had a big problem with them. The vocals just didn’t work. It was unfortunate, because the music was great, but I still don't find myself revisiting that EP. One look at the album artwork for “Annihilatia”, however, meant I had to give the band another shot, and that turned out to be a great decision.

If you haven’t already guessed it, the vocals on this record are much improved. Singer Alex Citrone doesn’t do anything fancy, but he provides a solid thrash bark to accompany the music. A close comparison might be Matt Drake from Evile. Both singers definitely have the capacity to hold notes and reach more than a few pitches, but are also at their best when they keep it simple. Musically, “Annihilatia” follows the cover art in that things are getting much more complex. The band doesn’t change time signatures or tempos like some of the more technical thrash bands do, but they use very intricate riffing, not unlike the riffs on a record like “…And Justice For All”. “Annihilatia” is going to be an album that will take more than a few listens to get into. The complexity of the song structures and lack of clear repetition (compared to a more straightforward thrash band) means that not much will stick in your head when the album ends. On the production side of things, this is a great sounding record. The bass might be a bit low, but otherwise, everything sounds very clear. You can really tell when the guitarists are using a heavy palm mute (see: “Worshipping the Void”), as there is a great chunky sound, and all other moments feature an overdriven crunchy tone. The leads are exceptional, both from a production standpoint and based on the quality of them. It isn’t an all-out shredfest, but the playing very much matches the style of the riffs. Overall, everything comes together very nicely on “Annihilatia” to create a solid thrash record.

With this new album, Razormaze has taken a huge step up for me. It’s a record that will be revisited by many people for a long time, especially as getting a feel for the songwriting becomes clearer. Even if you aren’t a fan of more technical thrash (Coroner, Voivod, etc.), you will still like “Annihilatia” as the band doesn’t do anything weird at all, they just play more complicated riffs.

Be sure to check out and like Razormaze on Facebook!

"Something Like A War"
"Worshipping The Void"
"Terminal Escape"

Final Rating
4.2/5 or 84%. 

Written by Scott