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Razormaze - "Miseries" (CD/EP)

Razormaze - "Miseries" CD/EP cover image

"Miseries" track listing:

1. Karma In/Karma Out
2. Creed Of Absolution
3. Miseries Of The Flesh

Reviewed by on May 31, 2010

"'Karma In/Karma Out' firmly establishes the vibe of the EP, with a sound that mixes the speedy, chunky riffs of Anthrax with the dual-guitar shredding of Megadeth."

When I reviewed Razormaze's last album, "The True Speed Of Steel," I praised the band for its technical ability, but noted that the band was "intentionally over-the-top" when it came to a shredding-over-all-else mentality. With the band's next release, the free EP "Miseries," the band has largely dialed down the aspects of their sound that flirted with self-parody, and come up with three tight tunes that still show off the band's incredible technical skills.

"Karma In/Karma Out" firmly establishes the vibe of the EP, with a sound that mixes the speedy, chunky riffs of Anthrax with the dual-guitar shredding of Megadeth. Singer/guitarist Alex Citrone has changed his singing style a little bit for this one, and is less likely to go into the cartoonish shrieks he employed on "The True Speed Of Steel." And, of course, Citrone and Dave Carlino tear up the fretboard.

"Creed Of Absolution" ratchets up the speed even further, with some growled vocals and a groovy slow section heading into a lightning-fast solo. It's also drummer Nick Lazzaro's finest performance on the EP.

"Miseries Of The Flesh," the closer, slows things up in the intro, with the Anthrax feel really prevalent. Then, it's back to warp speed, and I'm glad that the band, at least momentarily, resists the urge to fill every "empty space" with a solo, and lets the riff breathe a little before a surprisingly tasteful solo.

The production on this EP is spot-on, with a superb balance between the solos and rhythm guitars. Additionally, Sam Nevin's excellent bass lines are quite prevalent in the mix.

The only bad thing I really have to say about this EP is that I wish it was longer. It's such a pleasure to watch a band grow and mature — and make no mistake, these songs are much more mature than "The True Speed Of Steel" tracks like "Desperado," which had the band aping "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly," or the poppy "Slaughterotica." That restraint actually serves to accentuate the instrumental talent shown by the band.

Razormaze has chosen to put "Miseries" out as a free digital EP. Thrash fans should head to http://razormaze.bandcamp.com/album/miseries and download it today.

Highs: Three great tunes with plenty of shredding.

Lows: It's a little short at just 13 minutes.

Bottom line: A superb EP that shows a lot of growth from this Boston thrash band's first album.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)