Released: 2003, Shrapnel
I knew that Racer X was still talkin’ thrash an’ kickin’ ass but I had not heard more than a tune here or there since their first four releases. So I was delighted to have the chance to check out their latest CD.
My initial reaction was disappointment. Where was the speed, the flair, the virtuosity? I was sorely grim, and was about to assign the other recent Racer X (expensive imports that they are) to lower purchase priority. However a few people have since told me that is quite different from the previous few which are thankfully more in line with what the band is know for.
The line-up is still intact and Shrapnel has done an admirable job of packaging and presentation, lyrics, photos notes etc…Travis is looking more like DeMaio every day! The production is great but I didn’t expect anything less with these veterans, but it is a bit muted and darker compared to the sterile bright styles of pervious years.
Overtime this CD has grown on me and I see now the title is so appropriate. Martin sings lower, Travis plays slower, the solos are not neo-classical shred and the bass thunders along with increased prominence. On songs like ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’ unless I knew it was Martin I would not have guessed in a million years. He doesn’t really bust out the screams until the end of the third cut!
OK, so it is different, I have learned to deal with it, nothing stays the same I suppose and after all the songs are really good. I guess the band wanted to do a more serious, darker, heavier album and they have succeeded. There is a bit more of a rock feel than a metal feel to the songs, but hey that is tolerable. There are twelve cuts, eleven with lyrics and they all hover in the 4-5 minute zone. Great lyrics are found in the fun cut’ Heaven in ‘74’ and the more serious ‘The Siren’s Eye’.
I wouldn’t start my Racer X collection with this disc but I would recommend it to all fans as a pleasant progression. In fact this might even win them a wider audience by tapping into those who may have been turned off by the other release, a good move and a good album. Visit http://www.racerxband.com.