UK band RAZOR SHARP DEATH BLIZZARD consists of members that used to be in the bands Ridgeback and Swellbellys, and started to release their own material starting in 2014. “You Will Burn” is their first full length studio production, and was self-released in the summer of 2016.
Dark, aggressive and dirty metal is what this foursome from Scotland has to offer. Perhaps with an emphasis on the latter, this is the kind of music that reeks of old cigarette smoke, oil spills, mud and more than a faint whiff of stale beer. Like the smell of an old and well used, low end concert locale. There’s something grimy and compact about the music on this album, and it is also music rather difficult to categorize in minute detail without ever being overly complicated or sophisticated.
I guess thrash metal is the box that I find most appropriate for this band and this album, as compact riff barrages with a distinct thrash metal edge to them is an ongoing feature. That they combine with grimy, slower paced doom-laden riffs as well as occasionally more intense runs with more of a hardcore orientation may well be the case, but the dark, dirty thrash metal riffs are the ones arguably most frequently at play. Backed by a bass as dirty as the guitars, with a drummer who knows his way around steady support beats just as much as frantic drum attacks, and with a vocalist whose mainly shouted vocals have a clear and distinct hardcore attitude to them. The vocalist know how to use his voice to suit the rather different aspects of metal the band explore though, so this isn’t a case of a hardcore vocalist being a slight misfit in a versatile metal band. His delivery and tone is appropriate throughout, with what I’d describe as a melodic and toned down shouted voice at play just as much as the more distinct angry, aggression fueled vocals used when the band is at it’s most intense and frantic.
Razor Sharp Death Blizzard are at their best when the conjure hypnotic, contrasting arrangements, be it some kind of a call and answer routine between the lead and backing vocals or songs that alternate between the slow and the intensely pace-filled or a gentler arrangement paired off with a harder hitting, more distinctly heavy and firm mode of delivery. The chorus of There Will Be Blood is pure brilliance in my book, providing a melodic, captivating hook to that song that elevates it to a higher plane, but the most hypnotic cut of them all is the circulating, repetitive epic Right Wing Scum, with repeated lyrics shouted out with increasing aggression in a song alternating between the relatively gentle and melodic and the heavy and hard hitting. A song that made me think about a certain newly elected president, I do hope the band doesn’t feel that association is unjustified.
If you like your metal dark, dirty and intense, and ranging from grimy doom-laden through thrash and into hardcore territories, with a vocalist with an undeniable attitude towards the latter of these, Razor Sharp Death Blizzard is a band that merits a good check. I’d advice opening an investigation into their universe with the aforementioned singalong epic Right Wing Scum, a song I suspect is enchanting in oh so many ways when performed live.
My rating: 82/100
You Will Burn; Christian Sun; Rat in a Cage; There Will Be Blood; Meet Your Maker; Right Wing Scum; Dead Mans Eyes; Defstein; Have a Nice Day