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Prior to hearing the new album of the young American unit, Razor Fist, questions and thoughts were arisen regarding the demise of the good old Speed Metal. Over the years, after the 80s, almost everything that was Metal was involved with speed.
Therefore, it turned out that every band that ranged from Heavy to the sickest groups of Black / Brutal Death Metal / Grindcore was taking speed as an idle commodity to use more than just occasionally. Nevertheless, the true essence of Speed Metal lies within the vast areas of the 80s era. In those times, classic Metal bands began playing faster on both the US and the overseas shores of Western Europe. Let’s take Germany as an example. Speed Metal thrived under bands such as Helloween, Rage and Tyran’s Pace. These groups, and countless of others that emerged afterwards, took charge of blasting with machine gun beats. Those strong beats and energetic vibes that came along with it, made Metal even a stronger chip.
Razor Fist , with both their albums and especially their new one, Metal Minds, made the honors for a sub-genre in Metal that maybe only old schoolers still praise and miss. Filled with the energies and fast attacking riffs of the mid to late 80s, Razor Fist statured themselves as a mirror to what once was a kind of “progression” to many bands of the old days. Moreover, these dudes showed that even if it is over with, it is still amazing to hear it from a fresh metallic mind of youngsters. Those people actually seem to appreciate something old and so valuable to many older Metalheads around the world. Nevertheless, in the same sentence, it is sad to say that not many “new guys” of Metal really know or realize the fact the true Speed Metal kicks ass and it always will.
After taking the time to spin Metal Minds, the overall impression made was a positive one. However, there were a few shortcomings regarding the material on display. The guys of Razor Fist wrote a pretty powerful stuff as they kept the music under the 80’s radar. Nevertheless, with the cool writing that was composed of high-speed, heavy, full of life riffage with the “in and out” melodies of classic Heavy Metal, simple yet nice solos, raspy howls of high-pitched style of singing, something is missing. The songs have too much in common, as some of them scream “unoriginal”. While hearing the tunes, it is hard to shake it but it seems that on the way, the guys might have used several of the same riffs. While maybe adding a chord here or a chord there or different octaves, it’s not too slavish to judge that while trying to keep a song on the same level of mood as the next one, vast similarities appear and it’s not just on the riffs, it’s on the vocal line as well.
Unfortunately, Razor Fist lacked to maneuver themselves abit when it came to their writing, because they can easily reach their goal, which is to generate a vicious and tough old school Speed Metal. Still, come on people, if you make it simple enough for others to enjoy, you have to try to be abit diverse and sometimes more original, because Metal Minds had a great potential on becoming one of the salvations or “the spark of life” of this old sub-genre.
Behind the shades of criticism, Razor Fist handed over a solid line of songs, which some will let you understand and recapture the significance of Speed Metal. Songs like “Fury Of The Warrior”, the salute to Heavy Metal “Loud Into The Night”, “Runner”, “Silver Howler” (it’s a wonder if this song is not about the band’s vocalist), “First Strike” and “Metal Minds” will take you down to the ground and pound your head with some gruesome speed overflowing with major melodies.
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- Lior “Steinmetal” Stein (April, 11th 2010)
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