TOTD’s very own E. Thomas, knowing my affinity for mangled metallic crust punk, tipped me off on Scottish quartet Razor Sharp Death Blizzard…and I’ll be goddamned if he didn’t have my face nailed up on a wanted poster for this one. These nuts bring crust, hardcore and Am-Rep/Touch and Go noise-rock tonalities to the table with dabs of doom and grind to round things out.
Opener “You Will Burn” loops pedal noise and amp squalor for a noise intro that eventually goes into a claw hammer beating of throttling double-bass drums, scumbag riffs and scathing ear rape that’s halfway between Slayer, Discharge, Victims, His Hero is Gone, Eyehategod, Hard to Swallow, Amebix, Iron Monkey, Extreme Noise Terror, Gloomy Sunday, Rudimentary Peni, Among the Missing, Solanum and Tragedy with even the bass licks fighting their way into the mix for low-end presence and a strep throat, hardcore vocal bark that makes an instant anthem out of the song title during the chorus. Those thrashing riffs take a darker, dirtier turn in said chorus with some skronky minor key chord pinches that lead into an eventual crack-up of thrash/punk riff bukkake. Sold to the highest bidder!
The awesomely titled “Christian Sun” allows Liam Roberts to work-up a polyrhythmic fury of foot and hand which signals brutish, mid-paced crust riffs that sound like Tragedy on steroids and PCP. Mohamad McSwellstein’s power chord repetitions take sludgy sonic loops that swap direct Sabbathisms for filthy punk rock attitude. “Rat in a Cage” follows an opposite path as it low slings its groove into a swooping hardcore doom metal lurch. Chest-rattling double bass bursts and Graham Paxton’s Unsane styled bass slink lend a bongwater stench that takes sludge’s unholy catchiness and molds it into something with a frenetic unpredictability. 2:51 is a crossover wet dream with d-beats going bonkers alongside Jamie Clark’s spitfire screams and a pulverizing speed spew ground into dust by fret shredding axe thrash. Smoldering, mid-tempo bass licks lock onto a militant percussive wallop while “There will be Blood” establishes a noisy, clattering infectiousness soon pillow smothered to death with airtight hardcore abandon. These multiple personality tempo shift traits see that the fury is always engaging and never stagnating in one mode. McSwellstein’s deadly divebomb soloing picks off the weak and strips ‘em to the bone while Roberts’ buries the remains in a dirtbath of dusty double kick decimation.
“Meet your Maker” is a picture perfect snapshot of classic UK anarcho punk that pulls no punches. Jarring, high-end guitar damage and crackling warning shots on the snare cause chaos in the town square which eventually culminates in a full blown revolution of vintage grinding crust. The pained, hobbling noise melodies descend into a diseased chugging sludge sneeze that opens up into vast minor key scrambles and decipherable vocal shouts during the massive sprawl of “Right Wing Scum.” Low-end drives this tune forth with the guitarwork often providing atmospheric phrasings until formulating into tangible dirge riffs. There’s something grander going on here with the thought provoking, brain boiling work of Amebix, Rudimentary Peni, Amebix and Neurosis’ transitional period all seeming to play an equal influence on the material.
At half the length of the previous cut, “Deadman’s Eyes” treads a similar path with angular melody just as important of a factor as the scraping, garbage encrusted mid-tempo grooves. This one gradually reaches a point of catharsis in a speeding trainwreck of classic metallic fury punk. Gang shouts, sludgy downturned riffs and nerve-frayed Eastern melodies explode like landmines below foot in the desperately doomed-out “Defstein,” another track where the band both pisses in the face of tradition and honors it without ever losing focus. Closer “Have a nice Day” kicks off with a growling bass lick which precedes a mutant sludge riff where Sabbath influences are more directly dealt out whenever the quartet aren’t thrashing the living daylights out of psychotic d-beat slime.
You will Burn is a badass album with nary a bum tune or wasted moment to be found. There’s a twisted ethos to the songwriting that makes it hard to pin these maniacs down to one particular style or era. Purists of crust and sludge won’t be turned away but Razor Sharp Death Blizzard frequently challenges the listener to hopelessly predict where they’ll venture next. I’ve been hearing one new killer band after another from over towards the UK and this lot is no exception….fuckin’ highly recommended stuff.[Visit the band's website]