Released: 2008, Heaven and Hell Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Hellrazor hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina is a four piece heavy metal band featuring current and former members of Daylight Dies, Iskariot, and Bloodwritten. IN THE WILD is the debut album from Hellrazor and was released through Heaven and Hell Records in September of 2008.
IN THE WILD kicks things off with the title track of the same name. The listener is greeted with double kicks and a flangered snare before some heavy and crunchy guitar riffs kick things into overdrive. Vocalist Alan Rueda is not unlike a mid range Matt Barlow. In fact I would describe Hellrazor's sound as being distinctly American in nature owing more to Bay Area styled thrash metal and hook laden US power metal ala Jag Panzer or Iced Earth than their European counterparts.
Next up is the band's own theme song "Hellrazor" featuring some Zakk Wylde-esque riffing. The band label themselves "Break Neck Heavy Metal" and no where on this disc do they live up to this banner better than third track "The Pawn" which the band have also professionally filmed a music video for. Tight double kicks that stop on a dime amidst crunchy riffs and Alan Rueda's most aggressive vocal performance on the debut make this track stand out among the others.
Midway through the album the band slows things down a bit in tempo and aggression for the almost balladlike "The Passing Hour" which I can best describe as being comparable to early Queensryche both musically and vocally. IN THE WILD comes to a close with the thrashy melodic chugging of "Ride or Die" an ode to speedemons everywhere before closing out the debut album with the excellent "3AM"
The band has a pretty developed sound which is to say that each tune with the possible exception of "The Passing Hour" fits alongside one another pretty uniformly in fashion. If variety is the spice of your life, this disc may not be for you. If you were to preview a few of these tracks on the band's website and like what you hear, the debut album IN THE WILD should not dissapoint.