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Review: Razor - Decibels

Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 1997
Duration: 45:49
Tracks: 11
Genre: Speed/Thrash

Rating: 4/5

Review online: July 21, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 3.95/5 (79%) (20 Votes)

"Decibels" was the last Razor album (at least as of this writing - rumor has it they'll release a new one) and it is one that we never hear much about, unlike some of their early classics. This album annoys me. On one side, you get (mostly) the classic Razor speed/thrash attack that made the band's name back in the 80s. A relatively clean sound that still manages not to dilute the violent atmosphere that caracterises their albums, courtesy of some crunchy and aggressive guitar riffs that, as far as I'm concerned, are Razor's trademark. I have next to nothing bad to say about most of the album, except for a couple of unremarkable songs that are still a good listen nonetheless. Where things get really bad, however, and this is what annoys me here: Two songs in particular: The opener, "Decibels" as well as the closer "Violence... Gun Control" (let's call it the closer since the last track is a remake of "Instant Death".) The vocals are particularly bad on these two, a strong reminder of the vocal style that most nu-puke bands have been annoying everyone with for several years already. Granted, that was 1997 and the world hadn't been subjected by a flood of shitty nu-puke bands yet, but I'd just have used some other comment had I reviewed it back then: Those vocals suck beyond belief. In the case of "Decibels", the music is actually alright and helps phase out the vocals a bit, but "Violence... Gun Control" is horrible - even the music is nu-pukish. Considering the overall musical quality of the album, I don't know how the hell this abomination ended up in there. There are some other songs where the vocalist reverts to crappy-style vocals, but not nearly to the extent of the aforementioned. Too bad. The remake of "Instant Death" is OK, but give me the original anytime.

Despite the shortcomings, this is actually a very good album filled mostly with material worthy of classic Razor. If you're looking at getting the band's discography, I recommend you get the other stuff first.

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