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Review of the Album "Custom Killing" by Canadian Thrash Metal Band Razor

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Here is an Album That is Different From What Canadian Band Razor Writes

Custom Killing is the 4th studio album released by Canadian thrash metal band Razor in 1987 and being a fan of this band’s music in the years 2020 and 2021 I decided to give this one a review and analysis. It turns out that this is the weakest release from these guys and the one obvious weak spot here is the muddy production which feels like there wasn’t much of an effort to address this aspect. Custom Killing is a 1987 album but it feels like it has the sound quality of a 1981 album. With the release of this album, Razor released their first four albums in just a three year period. It feels like this one was a rushed effort to get it out onto the shelves in the music stores as soon as possible. The bass guitar work is decent and resembling that early time period. If you are looking for a monumental thrash metal release that is raw like Metallica’s Kill ‘em All you will be very disappointed because this album Custom Killing is nowhere in the territory of greatness of that album even though it came out in the same decade. All of that said, Custom Killing is certainly not a musical horror show though because the guitar riffs are decent and you will still feel like this is a metal album. However, the riffs and production sound very ancient and the album feels like an early Judas Priest album but it is a touch heavier. This album by Razor has that raw kind of exterior musical feel so you do have to give them credit for being consistent with the times.

Further Analysis of Why Custom Killing is Razor's Weakest Album

If Razor wanted to experience a big drop in musical quality, they accomplished that with this album. Let’s clarify what is meant by musical drop. This album is weaker than any of their other releases that I’ve heard after this one even 1988’s Violent Restitution. Listening to this album feels like there is something off. There are not those moments where you are in awe of the guitar work. However, the last “song” Russian Ballet is an entertaining song to end Razor’s weakest studio release but even that track is just much too short. The song “Last Rites” with that beginning orchestration does offer something different though from these guys and shows that they have the potential to create something good in a musically weak kind of album. This album has bits and pieces of good enough moments but it suffers from ancient quality production, less than stellar vocals and just overall weaker songwriting. Razor entered their musical deviation point earlier than most metal bands did. This album sounds like thrash in some aspects but it just doesn’t match the other albums by these Canadian guys.

"Russian Ballet"

Here's The Final Thoughts About Razor's Weakest Album

It seems like even when a Canadian metal band puts out material that turns out to be their weakest release it still ends up being better than when an American metal band puts out their weakest album depending upon the band we are referring to. America’s neighbor to the north knows how to get things done in the metal genre. This 4th album by Razor may just be one musical bump but overall, this is not a terrible album that is disjointed. The weakest studio album in the career of Razor is definitely 1987’s Custom Killing especially those of us that like to hear thrash metal the way that it was supposed to be played. Adding further to the album’s weakness is the beginning spoken dialogue in the song “Snake Eyes.” That part wasn’t really necessary in a thrash metal album.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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