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  #321  
Old 02-02-2014, 04:23 PM
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Razor - Custom Killing - July, 1987

In my review for Razor's previous album, Malicious Intent, I complained that Razor were not advancing their sound. With 1987's Custom Killing they at least take a stab at it with some much, much longer songs. Both "Survival of the Fittest" and "Last Rites" clock in at just over 11 minutes, which is pretty epic by most bands' standards and given their past output, Razor isn't a band who I would expect this kind of thing from. Indeed, the results are less than spectacular on those two tracks. There are some totally bad-ass passages but they don't really seem to know what to do with them, as the songs meander from section to section without a whole lot of direction.

The shorter songs however, are much more promising. "Shootout", "Snake Eyes" and "White Noise" are among the best Razor had recorded up to this point, chock-full of vicious speed/thrash riffs, illustrating yet again why Dave Carlo is one of the most underrated guitarists of his time. The other songs are nearly as good, making the overall listening experience a pleasurable one.

The production on Custom Killing is a little brighter than on Razor's previous album, but the same drum sound returns, with an equally loud bass, making it hard to pick out some of the nuances in Carlo's riffing. Thankfully though, this is blazing thrash metal so not a lot of nuances exist. All in all, this is a nice set-up for what Razor would do next, with those aforementioned bright spots foreshadowing some of their best work.

Standouts: Shootout, Snake Eyes, White Noise

Score: 7/10
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  #322  
Old 02-02-2014, 06:04 PM
Spiner202 Spiner202 is offline
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I still don't have that Assassin album (never been able to track it down), but I love "Bullets".

Same issue with Razor, but I've never heard particularly great things about that album. I actually really enjoyed Malicious Intent, so Razor "advancing their sound" would be a bad thing for me.
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  #323  
Old 02-02-2014, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiner202 View Post
Same issue with Razor, but I've never heard particularly great things about that album. I actually really enjoyed Malicious Intent, so Razor "advancing their sound" would be a bad thing for me.
No, trust me it's good. Razor learns how to really settle into a groove on Custom Killing. Listen to Shootout, or even the beginning of Last Rites. Good stuff.
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  #324  
Old 02-02-2014, 07:19 PM
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Why is your avatar still n00b?
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  #325  
Old 02-03-2014, 04:20 AM
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Why is your avatar still n00b?
Why not? In a way, I wanted to keep that avatar to illustrate the fact that there's always something to learn... and now I've kept it so long, I feel like changing it now would just be wrong!
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  #326  
Old 02-11-2014, 05:44 PM
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Destruction - Mad Butcher - July 25, 1987

Well, what do we have here? First, a re-recording of one of the better songs Destruction has ever made. I'm not sure how necessary it is, since the original sounds just fine to me, but this version does benefit from beefier, clearer production. Next up is a cover of "The Damned" by the Plasmatics. It's OK, not great. I mean, the original doesn't do a whole lot for me, and this version is... better, but still only does a little bit more for me than the original. The third track is the real winner here. "Reject Emotions" is a stellar thrash track, and wouldn't sound out of place on something like Slayer's Hell Awaits -- monster riffs, snarling vocals -- what's not to like? Lastly, we have a pretty forgettable intrumental that goes more or less nowhere and really only serves to remind us that Siffringer is an excellent guitarist.

I always find it hard to rate EP's versus full-lengths, but really only half of this is truly worthwhile sooo...

Standouts: Reject Emotions

Score: 5/10
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  #327  
Old 02-13-2014, 05:27 PM
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Metallica - Garage Days Re-Revisited - August 21, 1987

After releasing three of the more important albums of the thrash metal genre, Metallica's then reknowned and now legendary bassist Cliff Burton died on September 27, 1986, altering the band's -- and possibly the genre's path forever. Does Metallica even release this EP if Burton doesn't die? No, but given that they already recorded a couple of earlier covers (as Garage Days Revisited), they probably would have recorded similar songs at some point.

This EP is an important one on a few levels. First of all, it shows Metallica wearing their influences on their sleeve. Already known as NWOBHM fans (or enthusiasts), the Diamond Head cover is an obvious choice, while the Holocaust one is a little less so, but fitting given the band's growing penchant for writing slower tunes. The Killing Joke cover is probably the most brilliant one here, taking an excellent post-punk tune and turning it into a searing metal track. The Budgie song shows just how deep Lars liked to dive into the record bins, and probably also showcases one of Hetfield's greatest vocal performances, and the Misfits covers are an obvious and equally brilliant nod to Burton's lasting impression on his former bandmates. Most importantly, Metallica make these songs their own, improving on the originals in almost every case, or at least making them heavier.

Thankfully, Metallica decided to keep these cover songs off of any studio albums. There are plenty of their peers who chose to put covers on their studio releases (Megadeth, Anthrax, etc.) and they only served to break up their otherwise fine albums. As great a job as Metallica do on a song like "Helpless", can you imagine it crammed onto Ride the Lightning? No, you don't want to? Yeah, me neither. As dumb as Metallica's "creative" ideas would become some 20 years later, they at least had some good ones when they were a truly creative band.

Standouts: The Wait, Helpless

Score: 8/10
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  #328  
Old 02-13-2014, 06:50 PM
300%_Density 300%_Density is offline
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This. All of it.

I love almost all the covers on this. Crash Course is easily my favorite song on this. I wish Metallica would break into these more when they play, w/ the exception of Last Caress since they play that semi frequently atleast.
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  #329  
Old 02-14-2014, 07:29 AM
Wrecking Crew Wrecking Crew is offline
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I totally agree, cover songs should be kept off of albums and saved for live shows/live releases/compilations such as this. While there are some good cover songs here, I don't think any of them measure up to Am I Evil.
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  #330  
Old 02-14-2014, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrecking Crew View Post
I totally agree, cover songs should be kept off of albums and saved for live shows/live releases/compilations such as this. While there are some good cover songs here, I don't think any of them measure up to Am I Evil.
"Am I Evil" IS pretty special. I mean, it has practically become as much of an anthem for the band as a lot of their legendary originals. Metallica's version also blows the Diamond Head version out of the water, but then again so do their covers of "Helpless" and "The Prince".
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