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Their thrashiest, but kinda repetitive - 77%

TrooperEd, January 14th, 2018
Written based on this version: 1988, CD, Steamhammer

Many a Razor fan, as well as thrash fan are willing to say that this is Razor's finest work. While it's a solid Canadian thrash LP, I'm afraid have to disagree simply because it just seems to run on forever, despite a very reasonable 40 minute run time.

Violent Restitution starts off strong enough with an absolutely unholy scream from vocalist Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren at the beginning of Marshall Arts. The song is an instrumental after that but it's probably better for the rest of us (and Sheepdog's throat) that it stayed that way. That bleeds into a highlight of the album, Hypertension, where we get even more screechy madness from the vocalist (inflicting these deadly ATTACKS!). After that, the next few songs become a bit interchangeable. Most of them are at rapid speed (the exact same speed, to be honest) and feature lethal riffs any guitarist should be proud to have come up with, but when I'm not listening to the album I honestly couldn't tell you any difference between Below The Belt and I'll Only Say It Once. Much as I prefer to use my track by track analysis for these reviews, the fact is by untrained ear standards, every single song is a short but powerful blast of punkish-thrash. But to be fair, with this collection of songs, Dave Carlo (assuming he made final say on the track order) made the right choice in placing all these intense, but indistinguishable songs at the first half, because the second half of the album is more exciting and features (slightly) more variation then the first. Starting with the title track this album really grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. The thrash break in particular is one of the finest in the subgenre's history (so much so Quorthon would unintentionally pilfer it for the Nordland albums), before giving way to the same riff being played at Ludicrous Speed.

I never thought I'd say this, but I actually have to give credit to Reign In Blood for being so concise. I will concede that unlike RiB, this does not have the underdevelopment problem. Short songs do not equal underdeveloped songs. With that said, 14 songs of any length is a chore to get through. Again, the second half is better than the first but I still find myself looking at my watch on bad days. I also think it would have behooved Carlo to vary the fast tempos abit to keep the album compelling. But I guess that's the reason why Darkness Descends usually makes most thrasher's top 3 lists and this album only makes top 30 lists, if that.

If you must make a Razor album part of your collection, this is by no means a bad choice, but I personally find Evil Invaders a stronger work. Seek that one out first.


Recommended songs:

Violent Restitution
Marshall Arts
Out of the Game
Fed Up