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Review: Razor - Escape the Fire
Escape the Fire

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2021
Originally released in: 1984
Duration: 40:46
Tracks: 11
Genre: Speed Metal


Review online: July 3, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

Anyone that was around in the "80s knew that when it came to metal from Canada, it started with Anvil, Exciter and Razor. Escape the Fire is Razor's 1984 demo, though with 11 songs and over 40 minutes of music it could easily have been their debut, but when they signed with Viper Records (a division of Canadian giant Attic Records), the label took some songs from here and some from their earlier EP, Armed and Dangerous, and put that out as Executioner's Song, a classic of early speed/thrash metal. What is interesting about Escape the Fire is that seven tracks ended up on Executioner's Song, speed metal gold like "City of Damnation", "Escape the Fire," "March of Death" and "Gatecrasher." Machine Gun riffing, squealing solos and barking vocals combined to create a sound not far removed from Slayer and Exciter, yet uniquely Razor. But where Executioner's Song is all speed and thrash, Escape the Fire has cuts like "Ready for Action" and "Frostbite" that have both a traditional metal songwriting style, with somewhat slower tempos and chugging riffs, and less dark and violent lyrics. They still sound like Razor, but this album shows a band that hadn't quite settled on a particular direction or had decided to simply let the music go where it wanted to go until the label said, "all speed/thrash please." Obviously, with so many songs from Escape the Fire ending up on Executioner's Song, if you like the latter, it is hard to imagine you not liking the former. Even the more traditional songs are still metal and still Razor, just not as fast as you might expect. Thanks to High Roller Records, we get to hear what the debut by Razor might have been and as the promotional material says, who knows what direction their career would have taken? Regardless, fans should get their hands on a copy without question.

More about Razor...
Review: Cycle of Contempt (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Cycle of Contempt (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Decibels (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Evil Invaders (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Executioner's Song (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Violent Restitution (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with guitarist Dave Carlo on May 11, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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