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Razor of Occam - Homage to Martyrs - 65%

ThrashManiacAYD, October 18th, 2009

Having attained a suitable cult rating through years of support slots to visiting bands, the odd demo and EP and some useful band-member connections, Australian-cum-British black/thrashers Razor of Occam have finally released their debut album, "Homage To Martyrs" on Metal Blade Records. An odd signing for the label when one views their more recent signings as RoO are very metal, very uncommercial and very unfashionable; nothing like the deathcore wave it is currently riding. RoO are borne of black/thrash metal royalty through the sharing of two current band members of Aussie-cum-Dutch/British/German legends Deströyer 666 and it is this connection that says it all about the band really. It also beggars the obvious question: is there much point in a side-project that sounds almost identical to the 'full-time' band? With D666's name permanently lodged in the psyche through 2000's untouchable "Phoenix Rising" and their first new album almost finally upon us after 7 years of waiting, the motivation must surely have been to utilise the vast amount of downtime to fulfill RoO's destiny to produce an album as every aspect of what makes D666 so good is hear in spades - in the vocal, riffs, leads and drumming departments.

The influence of lead guitarist Ian ('Shrapnel') in D666's work becomes apparent during "Homage To Martyrs" as the echoing spacey solos ring abound during numbers like "Shadow Of The Cross" and "Bite Of Dogmata". The croaky, spittle-drenched words of KK Warslut in that other band form the basis for the vocals of Matt (guitarist/vocalist here, otherwise bassist elsewhere) where religion takes it's usual battering as well as more conversely an element of cosmology too, just to spice things up a bit for you listener. As much to the album's benefit as its detriment, it's 8 songs and 33 minutes fly by in a consistent manner/without deviation (you decide), never quite producing the same killer riffs found in such D666 ditties as "Ghost Dance", "Lone Wolf Winter" and "Ride The Solar Winds" but being far from bad also.

You may have noticed I'm not rolling around in admiration in reviewing "Homage To Martyrs" like many others seem to have been; if this was, and could conceivably be, the new D666 album it would be virtually as expected, but being a side-project of 2 band members I was hoping for something a little more different and robust in it's own territory. Let it be shouted from the rooftops there is nothing plainly wrong in Razor of Occam's debut album as the attention to the metal cause is better than most with a passing reference to always developing the format, but ask yourself, why settle for Virgin Cola when you could get the real thing?

Originally written for Rockfreaks.net