Here’s the pitch: Razoreater’s new record Purgatory is an absolute triumph and a welcome return by one of this country’s hidden grindcore gems. Formed in 2011, the then five-piece were a regular fixture in the UK DIY scene, playing up and down the country with the likes of Let It Die, Iced Out, Teef and many more. They gained a reputation for an intense live show, and their HM-2 infused sound gained them the reputation as the UK’s answer to bands like Trap Them and Nails. It seemed like the band were set to take the next step with the release of their 2016 record Vacuum Of Nihil but it was not to be, and the band seemed to go quiet for several years, with many thinking this was the end of Razoreater.
But after five dormant years, and a change in personnel the now four-piece have returned with a record which launches through seven tracks at such an intense speed that your neck won’t be able to keep up. Right from the opening track “I Despise Us”, Razoreater are not messing about, with guitarist Stephen Pickles making one guitar sound as heavy as five, and the pure insanity of Luke on Drummers is just a joy to behold. But if you are going to have great instrumentation which is played faster than a speeding bullet, you need vocals which can punctuate it perfectly. No problems there either – switching from a more guttural tone when the music is more brooding, then instantly introducing a more fierce, piercing high vocal range which cuts through the chaos of the drums like a fork scraping on a plate.
The great thing about Razoreater is that their music is a great blend of controlled chaos, even though their songs are so short they pack so much into them. On the song “Cursed Are The Merciful” there are tiny little breaks, accented by drum breaks, before the song judders down in tempo for a short burst breakdown. Even though the term Purgatory is reference to a state of unknown, and it is very fitting as it feels like Razoreater have stepped out of purgatory to create this album, there is no uncertainty when it comes to this record. The band know exactly what they wanted to create and they did it firing on all cylinders.
Purgatory is out on 24th September via FHED Records and can be ordered here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck