Recommended Aussie Band:Tamerlan Empire | Sydney Symphonic Black Metal | Listen

Album Reviews : Marshall Law – Razorhead

By on March 30, 2009

Clocking in at a whopping 70 minutes, Marshall Law’s first album in almost a decade is simply too damn long. Now I have absolutely no problem with extremely lengthy albums or songs, there’s often good reason for it. But in this case, all it does is weaken the impact. For the most part, ‘Razorhead’ is a straight forward metal album – chock full of pounding drums, powerful vocals and chunky guitar riffs. As a general rule, that is not the style of music that needs to be dragged out so much, and this is no exception.

While there is a reasonable amount of variety here, ranging from classic heavy metal akin to Judas Priest and Queensryche through to Kreator-like thrash, the majority of the album is built for the same purpose. It’s designed to be catchy and just get your blood pumping. Individually, each song will probably succeed in doing exactly that but listening to the whole album turns it somewhat stale not long after the half way mark.

Ignoring the unnecessary length, the album isn’t half bad. It’s certainly nothing special, but they know how to write a song that’ll get your head nodding. Don’t come here looking for any experimentation or clever writing. The riffs are all relatively straightforward, as is the drumming, but the heavy production and nice balance between power and melody result in quite a few thoroughly enjoyable tracks. Unfortunately several tracks are almost ruined completely by Andy Pyke’s melodic clean vocals. His rougher thrash vocals are fantastic, and the gang yelling in tracks like “Headtrap” and “Another Bullet” render them perfect for crowd participation. However his more melodic side sounds too prepubescent for a band with such a ballsy sound, and are often just plain whiney. It’s a shame that they tend to dominate a lot of the choruses as well.

At the end of the day, this is an album that should have been closer to 45 minutes long. There are a number of tracks that may not be bad per se, but can be a bit repetitive and definitely wouldn’t be missed. The token melodic track “Nothing Lasts Forever” just slows down the pace of the album and isn’t needed considering the album is largely mid-paced anyway.

‘Razorhead’ will have a few tracks that most metal heads will really enjoy, hidden amongst a series of tracks that aren’t bad but might as well not be there. 5.2/10

For fans of: Judas Priest, Kreator, Queensryche, Saxon, Grave Digger.

Band: Marshall Law
Album: Razorhead
Year: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: DR2 Records
Origin: United Kingdom
myspace.com/marshalllawofficial

Track listing:
1. The Summoning
2. Razorhead
3. Premonition
4. Headtrap <- Reviewers Choice
5. Gods of Deception
6. Night Terror
7. The Chamber
8. Divides Us
9. Nothing Lasts Forever
10. Devil’s Anvil
11. Blood and Pain
12. Another Bullet
13. Bloodlines
14. Hell On Earth
15. Necromancer

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.