In The Wild

I’m still kind of on the fence with this release. On one hand, it’s nice to see some thrash done by dudes who don’t look 16 years old, with short dyed black hair and eye liner. But on the other hand, the kids almost do it better. That statement certainly won’t make me any friends. Unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that Hellrazor don’t quite deliver what fans would be looking for.

But that doesn’t mean this won’t appeal to any long time traditional metal/thrash fans looking for some rock solid headbang material. If Hellrazor is anything, they are definitely solid. The songwriting, riffs, musicianship and vocals are all effective enough. It is somewhat of a let down to hear every song in the same mood and tempo. Some faster speed metal tracks and maybe some ballad-ish moments would be welcome over the same mid-paced bashing over and over (though its really not intense enough). There are some slight deviations, such as the moodier and less intense “Darker Days” and “The Passing Hour”, which works to a similar effect. The riffing sometimes changes to a syncopated chug, which adds variety, though not nearly enough. The production is pretty good, though I can’t shake this feeling that something is missing. It all sounds so underwhelming.

Vocalist Alan Rueda does a good Matt Barlow and James Hetfield mix. His singing is effective enough, it’s what he’s singing that doesn’t really grip me. I guess its something the whole album is plagued with. Nothing about this really impresses me, it’s just there. The drumming is all very solid, but lacks and sort of “wow” factor. The choruses don’t really do much, they’re just there. The guitar solos, while very well played, don’t really do anything for me. This all adds up to one unfortunate fact: “In The Wild” has very little replay value.

Don’t let my critical griping stop you from checking this out, though. And like I said, none of it’s really BAD, just not really good either. Stand out tracks include the title track, (which does approach that missing element the rest of the album lacks), and slightly more energetic “Ride or Die”. If you’re going to down some beers with friends and chill, then this could deliver a fitting setting. But if you’re looking for a really good album, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Belgarath
April 3rd, 2009


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