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Girlfriend, Who Does Your Nails?! - 80%

Metal_Jaw, November 15th, 2012

They are just delicious! And the way you file them down with that grinder? Just fabulous! Heh, but seriously that's a pretty cool cover. Too bad the music within doesn't fit quite as well. Razor 3rd studio album, "Malicious Intent", is a few steps down from the greatness of their first two efforts. Admittedly there are a few cool moments to be had, and at the end of the day fun times by all, but it seriously lacks in the staying power and overall entertainment value of "Executioner's Song" and "Evil Invaders".

A major problem I see with this album, one I usually don't have with most metal albums, is consistency. But that's actually a big deal with "Malicious Intent". You see the band sounds tome like they're really just going through the motions here, rarely ever changing things up and keeping a too-similar feel to most of the songs. Consistent? Yes. Repetitive? Definitely.

The only bandmember who really keeps his shit together is Dave Carlo, who still manages to fire up some quality solos and a spitfire selection of good riffage. Sheepdog still goes on strong but never really changes it up; he just growls, shrieks, and that's it. Mike's bass isn't a notable as the last album either, basically just following along with the guitar again. Easily the worst offender here is M-Bro's drumming skills, which have devolved to such a point from "Evil Invaders" that I can't even call them "skills" anymore. His work on here is lazy and takes "painfully repetitive" to another level entirely; his drumming consists of the same fucking double bass pattern over and over and over and OVER in EVERY fucking song, with the same damn 3 to 5 note cymbal-tapping tossed around to use as a fill or something! The only thing good I can say for this guy is that some of his drum fills are actually solid and lightning fast, but that's not nearly enough to excuse his lazy and frankly amateur work.

As for "Malicious Intent's" eleven songs, twelve if you have the CD reissue, most just come and go in a flurry of somewhat uninteresting ideas and repetitive songwriting. Weaker moments: Well, I don't terribly recommend the bonus track "Mosh"; it's basically just Sheepdog ranting at the nonexistent audience around him while the rest of the group noodles on their instruments. Last official track "K.M.A." is kinda fun but really repetitive (now I"M starting to sound it!) and just leaves one wanting more. "Challenge The Eagles" certainly isn't bad, but for me personally it fails to get the blood pumping as much as some of the other tracks; same goes with "Night Attack", which is basically a less enthusiastic knock-off of "Iron Hammer" from the last album.

Even still, we are lucky the good outnumber the bad on "Malicious Intent". The title track was one of the first Razor songs I ever heard, and still it remains a favorite for it's semi-clean speed metal intro, aggressive solo and the ungodly-catchy chorus. I also really dig "Rebel Onslaught" for it's short but enthusiastic, shredding solo, as well as the main riff and a squealing little verse riff. "High Speed Metal" really kicks ass too; Sheepdogs screams are particularly awesome on this track and the series of riff attacks are quite infectious. Then we have "A.O.D.", another favorite for it's wicked speed-thrash riffage and the memorable chorus backed by punishing gang vocals. "KILL! Sent to die! KILL! No reason why!"

Overall, "Malicious Intent" is not a bad album, but suffers from quite the flaws. Run-of-the-mill musicianship, some of which is downright sloppy, a bland though thankfully reverb-free production, and a number of uninteresting songs. Luckily guitarist Dave Carlo still gives it his all, and at least more than a few tracks still kick your ass good 'n' hard. I only lightly recommend this one; if you're gonna pick a fight with Razor, pick a fight with "Evil Invaders" or "Violent Restitution" first, then deal with "Malicious Intent" another day.