Razoreater – Purgatory Review

These British blasters celebrate their decennial this year, ten years of ferocious death-tinted grinding, even if they’ve been relatively silent for the last half of that. But five years out from 2016’s Vacuum Of Nihil EP (which was a burner in its own right), Razoreater hasn’t changed too terribly much, except to simply get better. Stylistically, Purgatory pretty much picks up where that earlier effort left off, albeit with a much sharpened production and an overall improved performance.

Release date: September 24, 2021. Label: FHED.
One thing that’s abundantly and immediately clear is that Razoreater cut their teeth on the death/grind greats. There’s a whole lot of Napalm Death, some Terrorizer, some Rotten Sound, bits of Bolt Thrower; it’s all here. Blastbeats abound; a gnarly fuzzy guitar tone is wrapped around grinding riffs, sometimes punky and sometimes tremolo-picked death-ier options; vocals alternate between a chest-bursting Barney-esque bellow and a rawer-throated high-pitched scream. Produced by some fellow named James (no last name is given) and mastered by punk go-to Brad Boatright, Purgatory’s largest leap forward is in sonics — a little mud has been wiped from the guitars, but that allows the riffs to cut a little deeper; the drums are live without sounding rough; and the vocals are vastly improved, deepened, punchier, an even angrier roar.

Fundamentally, the formula here isn’t anything outside the one established by those influences above, but Razoreater delivers it with ample skill and energy and with a crackling sense of righteous rage. By the time, “There Is No More Hope” careens to a halt in a droning wash of feedback and noise (which is a trick Razoreater also used on Vacuum, and one that lasts for two solid minutes at the end of Purgatory, or one sixth of the EP’s entire run time), Purgatory has been ten-ish minutes of pure grinding fury, mostly blasting and sometimes grooving, and doing both with equal aplomb. The swinging drive of “One Last Nail” is a mid-album highlight, as is the full-on assault of Finnish swear words in “Vittu Saatana Perkele,” but like so many shorter grindcore releases, Purgatory functions best as one piece, all slicing and biting and bashing and crashing, just like the gods of grind intended it.


Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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