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Stupid and shallow - 51%

Noktorn, September 2nd, 2008

The Razorback Records releases I like most are the ones I imagine the people behind the label like least. I get the impression that the people behind Razorback love Blood Freak to death.

So there you go I guess.

Billy Nocera wrote all the lyrics to this album and that would suffice as a review on its own. I don't like a lot of Razorback releases. I don't like my extreme metal to be good-natured (generally, there's a handful of exceptions). I don't care about horror films. I don't like Impaled. I don't really care about Impetigo or Carcass. Most importantly, I don't like how all the Maniac Neil (and Razorback bands in general) tend to sound the same. As you can see, all these criteria make Blood Freak a goddamned nightmare for me.

This is the point where I say 'but this is different', but here's the twist, IT'S NOT. I still think this is dumb as shit. Let's look at the ingredients of this album from an objective point of view. The riffs are all recycled, overly bouncy crossover strumming or death/thrash tremolo, the vocals are the same high/low configuration you've heard a thousand times before, and the drums are just there not really doing anything. There are occasional wacky samples and the lyrics are overly verbose and equally wacky. It relies on its attitude to carry it. Unfortunately it's an attitude I find incredibly annoying.

One of the major issues is that all the Maniac Neil projects (and goofy death/thrash projects these days in general) sound the same. Same riffing style, same vocal styles, everything down to the last note. It all seems to be a reflexive response to Ghoul, who all these bands seem to ape without mercy, and who I happen to hate with a burning passion. It's just very stale and shallow music overall, and I don't get the impression that even if it was 'serious' it would be any more worthwhile.

Really even if I discount all the imagery, it's pretty dumb music. All the tracks sound the same (gee there's a strumming palm muted riff with open chords) and none of it is particularly well executed. It seems to be style over substance through and through and it seems that most of the people who like this are the people who are infatuated enough with '80s horror and its aesthetics to like just about anything that features them prominently enough.

The worst I can really say about this is that it's silly and unimportant but I consider that damning enough overall. The people who like Razorback stuff will buy this regardless of anything I say, so whatever. If you like Ghoul, jump off a bridge and then buy this. The order is important.