Review Summary: In Razor's second to last outing, they prove that thrash was not dead in the 1990's, but in fact was alive and thrashing-get your horns up and get ready, fuckers, because this is one hell of an album
It is an undisputed fact that almost every 80's thrash band went mainstream and gay and sold out in the 1990's, with some doing it in an even more blatant fashion than others, such as Metallica. If you thought Razor would be one of these bands, then you are clearly mentally challenged and need some time in therapy. This is ***ing RAZOR, the band that put out such incredible albums as Shotgun Justice and Violent Restitution that are underground classics of the genre. RAZOR with their unique brand of riffing that never fails to sound both brutally heavy and at the same time melodic. RAZOR, the band that if we showed them to the scene kids with their Rust In Peace T-shirts (despite never having heard that record), they would *** themselves as much as the most hardened metalhead who has yet to hear them. RAZOR is a name to be proud of supporting. They didn't give a *** about selling out and making as much money as possible, all they cared about was making awesome sounding metal, and they continued to do this throughout the 90's no matter what trends you threw their way. They ducked the nu-metal craze, they ducked the groove era and even in the face of all this they set up their barricades, stood their ground and made yet another amazing thrash album. The album is called Open Hostility, and was released in 1991.
For those who want clean sections and stupid breakdowns, go back to your Whitechapel, as Razor is not for gay people like that. In place of this we have METAL kicked so far up our ass we would have to rip it back out of our throat. Rob Reid and co released this album as an album to show that thrash was still very much alive, and whilst there is no doubt it can not match up to Shotgun Justice or Violent Restitution, it is one hell of a ride. This is one hell of a consistent release for its entire thirty eight minute duration, and if you ever want to hear a weak riff or badly programmed drum moment (they have no drummer-what is this sorcery), I again point you to Whitechapel or an equally bad band such as Waking The Cadaver as this is not one of those albums. Every song on here has so much to love about it and there are no bad songs. Instead, every song is full of absolute pure thrash riffs. As almost every true thrasher will tell you, the meat of any thrash metal release is the riffs and boy do we have some crackers here. Take the verse riff to Psychopath for instance, and try saying that isn't one of the meanest sounding riffs you have ever heard. This is not an album that messes around in the guitar department and is filled to the brim with one of the most varied collections of riffs I have heard. There are lightning fast tremolo picked riffs that whiz past in a second and don't even stop as they kick you in the face, there are the mid-paced variety that are happy to maul you to death with a sledge hammer as they move past you, and there are the slow riffs that break your neck whilst moving along in slow motion. Each of the riffs on this album is as headbangable as it gets, as the bridge to opener In Protest most gloriously displays in a whirlwind of guitar chords that pummel you relentlessly as though they were high on caffeine and speed simultaneously.
The soloing is equally good on this album. Open Hostility is a frenzy of lightning fast soloing that still carries an air of melody instead of just throwing in some random whammy bar abuse as is with Slayer. The scale abuse and random arpeggio's found on here are some of the most inventive I have ever used, instead of repeatedly playing the same phrase, Razor strived to make the soloing on this release unique and boy did they succeed. End Of The War closes off the album and the solo to this song is one of the finest head anywhere in thrash metal, following a monster set of riffs and it is really just the icing on the cake. The drum programming on this release is absolutely top notch, and shows up many a drummer without even needing a human to play it for them. It is varied and enjoyable to listen to and you would rarely know it is even a machine with the real tones achieved. The bass work is nicely audible although it follows the guitars along throughout the release and rarely strives to play anything a little different which is kind of boring but in the context of the album it is not hard to see why bassist John Armstrong decided to just follow along-the riffs are that varied. The vocal performance is manic and has a huge range to it-Bob Reid is a monster and perhaps put in his best performance on this release. This is one vocal performance no vocalist nor anyone who listens to it would ever forget and let me tell you now, i would happily murder every *** scene band that exists today (and there are enough of them) just to hear another vocal performance such as the one found on here-*** all the "bree bree bree" bull *** heard on the average album of today, this is music for real men, and it hits you hard with an iron fist.
Razor's Open Hostility is an absolutely incredibly consistent release that if it had a stronger production job and had it not been preceded by their stronger works would be the perfect thrash album. It is varied as it gets and is really not for any little pussy that thinks Whitechapel are the hardest band out there. Listen to this album, bitches, and leave in the comments what you think of it.