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January 2011
Released: 2010, Self Released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

Hellrazor are a four piece heavy metal outfit based in Raleigh, North Carolina who feature within their ranks members of some notable underground metal bands like Twisted Tower Dire and Daylight Dies. They have one previous full length record and a demo already to their credit.

SOOTHSAYER is a four song stop gap EP recently self released by the band to hold over their fanbase until the next full length. The title track begins the EP with a crunchy tone and thrashy riffing. Vocalist Alan Rueda sounds a bit more aggressive than on the band's last release, and fluctuates between cleaner vocals and various other styles with more bite. I would describe this sound as falling somewhere between early nineties Pantera and late nineties Iced Earth. "The Fool" is next and features a mean sounding intro riff. This mid-tempo track incorporates gang vocals from the whole band and a monster chorus. Guitarist Charley Shackelford lays down a killer guitar solo and plenty of killer riffing.

"High Stakes" features perhaps the EP's most inspired vocal performance from Alan Rueda, reaching some higher register screams with ease. "Closer To The Grave" closes out SOOTHSAYER with a booming bassline and driving backbeat. All in all, this is a rowdy four song EP. The production is top notch and superior to past efforts. I see a lot of improvement since the last album, on all parts. My one gripe would be that I would like to see a little more musical variety from Hellrazor and I think they should be capable of this on their next full length. Some of the riffing tends to blend together on this EP such was the case on their last album and should be no problem for fans of the group, but to reach a larger audience they might want to try and break some fresh ground musically and step outside of their sound which is somewhat dated and distinctly American. As I said previously, nothing wrong with that at all, but I would like to see them grow to their full potential.
Track Listing

1. Soothsayer
2. The Fool
3. High Stakes
4. Closer To The Grave


Alan Rueda - Vocals
Charley Shackelford - Guitar, Vocals
Dave Sanchez - Bass, Vocals
Chuck Giardino - Drums, Vocals

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