Crust, as a genre, is one that thrives off of imitation, and has never been ashamed about it. After all, the most notable of all the musical forms of crust is d-beat crust, a genre so dedicated to acknowledging it’s predecessor that the genre itself is named after them (d-beat, “d” as in Discharge. Pretty clever, right?). Amazingly, however, a different, more blast beat oriented sub-sub-genre did arise from the loyal d-beat bands of the world, and that was crust-grind, a genre that paid as much heed to acts like Napalm Death and Repulsion as it did to Doom and Amebix.
Out of these two styles of crust punk, Razoreater finds their home in the latter, adhering enough to its definition to keep their trve crvst stripes while venturing far enough into other influences to avoid being the millionth Phobia-almost-cover-band. The most jarringly obvious of these influences is an affinity for thrash metal that rears its head multiple times through out the record in the form of truly stellar lead guitar lines. Logically, it just makes sense that thrash and crust, two genres so hung up on speed as well as the refusal to shower regularly, would go together like peanut butter and jelly. The thrash riffing feels right at home as it locks in with the pounding d-beats, and adds an extra little bit of nastiness in the form of riffs that weren’t played by Discharge 30 years ago to help up break the repetitive, cliched rut that crust bands often find themselves in.
However this is not to say that Razoreater strives too far from the d-beat/crust-grind trademarks, which is not an insult to their abilities, but rather a praise, as they have warped a sound so well worn into something that distinctly belongs to them. As mentioned above, the thrash influence that clearly shines through helps greatly in helping the band leave their trademark on the style but it is truly the raw venom with which they deliver their aggressive assaults of d-beat/crust-grind that separates them from so many other bands that are happy to ride the coat tails of Extreme Noise Terror for as long as they can. Crust, as a style (minus neo crust), has always replicated its founders with dog-like loyalty musically, making it so that only the most angry, vile, crustiest of all punks can slip through the cracks and become well known, which Razoreater has proven more than capable of.
Despite all of the praise, however, the band unfortunately does leave some things to be desired in the grand scheme of the record. For instance, while the band does explore their sludgier element a bit (track number 4, “Wrath”), they fail to go truly in depth with it, leaving a feeling that more could be done. This links into a larger problem of overall repetitiveness of the release, which, again, is sort of a crust trademark, but with a band with so much obvious potential as Razoreater, it feels almost cruel that they would not explore the range of their influences a bit more deeply, such as the sludgier sections of the record, or the noise section that caps off the record.
On Vacuums of Nihil, Razoreater has shown that they are more than capable of rising out of the pack of crust punk/grind-worship bands, but also suffer from a certain repetitiveness within the record itself. Undoubtedly, they have the potential to be something much greater, but just need to allow more of their influences to shine through and deviate more from the beaten-to-death d-beat crust/crust-grind style.
Razoreater – Vacuums Of Nihil gets…