|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By:|
|Record Label: Independent||Country Of Origin: USA|
|Year Released: 2016||Artist Website: Razorigami|
|Tracks: 10||Rating: 80%|
The Razorigami project of high-octane vocalist Luke Richard Weber has always been all about style. And the artists third (and reportedly final) February of 2016 released album Embracing A Temporal Exile, recorded in follow up to the Razorigami debut Weathering The Winter Of The Soul (2013) and sophomore effort Truths From Beyond The Machine (2014), delivers inside and out. It begins with how each Razorigami album highlights its own unique qualities that separates it from the others. WTWOTS, for instance, placed emphasis on a strong eighties slant that touched upon straightforward hard rock, classic metal, the power/progressive side of things and even some modern aspects. TFBTM, on the other hand, reflected a seventies influence with a sound rooted in acoustic laced classic rock, blues driven hard rock and intricate (if not epic) progressive rock.
EATE represents every bit its own work in revealing some of the most relaxed and laid-back Razorigami moments to date, particulars I reinforce in a most positive sense. An atmospheric and airy feel permeates accordingly, as can be found in the use of wave-like U2-ish guitar tones and sophisticated and lush nuances throughout. By no means does imply EATE fails to delivers its share of muscle, as it does in also touching upon the Razorigami penchant for metal and hard rock, classic rock and progressive leanings. I like to identify with EATE, as a result, as perhaps the most varied Razorigami release from its interweaving of the lighter and heavier with all things in between.
Please note that EATE encompasses the entire four-year span of Razorigami in that the download also includes each of the eleven songs appearing on WTWOTS and TFBYM!
No Razorigami review, of course, would be complete without mentioning the multifarious vocal abilities of Weber, who maintains his affinity to mix things up and do everything exceedingly well at the same time. One of the artist’s strong points remains his abilities to cut loose with a high-end falsetto and come across like a dead ringer for Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) but to also deliver some rumbling and lower register angst that walks a fine line between the attitude and sass of Brian Johnson (AC/DC) and Rex Scott (GX Project). Otherwise, he resides in smooth but tough as nails middle register territory which allows him to branch out either way at a moments (and very strategic) notice.
“Finding The Fire” finds the artist exhibiting said varied vocal delivery. He touches upon a warm and earthy middle register style as bouncing guitars gently compel the songs ethereal verses only to cut loose in high end fashion as energy heightens for the more bracing and lively chorus. “Lost & Found” also takes a sublime heading in staying true to the delicate and airy, with atmospheric guitars and the purposeful mid-paced impetus to match prevailing front to back. Lone different is how glossy keyboards play the more profound role here. Fans of U2 are certain to embrace either.
The same applies to “I Wonder What Then?”, solemn and moody from the manner in which piano and militant drums at the start give way to the somber keyboards that impel things the remaining laid-back way. Guitars maneuver to the forefront for the climactic instrumental section. Likewise, “Glimpse”, a shorter (1:59) number at the end of the album, gracefully maneuvers to cresting guitar feedback.
“The Long Walk” provides transition between the albums lighter moments (in which ethereal guitars prevail) and those leaning towards the heavier (with hard rocking guitars making a pronounced statement). A joining of the stylish and settled is the gist, as piano dances in the backdrop and artist invigorates with his signature gritty vocal flavorings. One of the albums better tracks in which I am drawn to time and again.
Razorigami reveals its heavier side on aptly entitled “Speed Force”, a fast paced and high-energy mauler in which periodic darker signatures align with a convulsing bass line. Burly riff action shoulders the instrumental moments. “We Can’t Fix This” also pummels with the best of them as brazen Rez Band style riffs lead the way through an impetuous setting highlighted by the artist’s spirited vocal affinity. A fusion based feel plays up the lead guitar this time around.
“The Proving Ground”, an interlude piece with a message based around how “the worst of danger is our proving ground to see whether or not we will trust God”, segues to “The Fifth Seal”. Another classic hard rocker, “The Fifth Seal” starts to a short bass solo and riveting falsetto prior to plowing forward as heavy set backing vocals stand alongside albums best mix of forward rhythm guitars. Soloing gives rise to a virtuoso shred based tone.
Each Razorigami album comes with a progressive epic, with EATA graced by the ten minute “The End (Death Is Not)”. Not to overwhelm you with too much detail, but the song opens its first couple of minutes to buoyant keyboards that give way to a cool stretch of jazzy open-air guitar. The main body to “The End (Death Is Not)” that ensues takes a heavier rocking stance as hulking mid-paced verses trade off with a torrid chorus reflective of a more forthright bearing. Final minutes take a left turn to buoyant keyboards that underpin narration taken from Luke 24:5 (“Why do you seek the living among the dead?) prior to a climactic crescendo of emotion in proclaiming how “death is not the end!”
Similar to past Razorigami releases, production is solid for an independent release. Mix allows room for instrumentation to stand out, with a forward bass presence, pronounced rhythm guitars and keyboards that highlight but not to a fault. Vocal receive a clean enough mix that a lyric sheet is not always a necessity.
Speaking of such, lyrics encourage and exhort the believer in speaking of hope, truth and love and maintaining the faith.
“Finding The Fire” manifests this with its line: “Dark days have come. You’re barely holding on. You’re strength is almost gone. But you’re not alone”. “Lost & Found” upholds a similar message: “You left the ninety-nine. You found this filthy little lamb. You tracked me all across the land. Until you found me”.
“I Wonder What Then” touches upon the Second Coming: “When the king of all kings comes to claim what he owns. In the end every knee shall bow down and every tongue confess.” “Speed Force” best embodies the positive EATE message: “In the dark of night. You illuminate, illuminate my mind. Those who trust in Him will find new strength. Soar on wings like eagles run and not grow weary”.
As the final chapter in the Razorigami trilogy, I place EATE slightly higher than WTWOTS but a notch lower in comparison to TFBYM. With all things equal, TFBYM separates itself from including one of my favorite all time songs in the awesome twenty-one minute “Star Of David”. That said, EATE shines with its compelling lighter and heavier nuances, a mixture I find to add just enough variety without coming across repetitious either way. Helping EATE further stand out is its musical consistency (no skip worthy tracks in my opinion) and the artist’s trademark multifarious vocal skills. Standing in support is the talented cast of musicians of which the guitarist deserves acclaim. If a fan of the first two albums or any of the styles at hand then EATE comes as a necessary purchase.
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “The Proving Ground” (2:00), The Fifth Seal” (3:39), “Lost & Found” (3:38), “Finding The Fire” (4:30), “We Can’t Fix This” (3:37), “The Long Walk” (5:23), “I Wonder What Then?” (5:03), “Speed Force” (4:49), “The End (Death Is Not)” (10:12), “Glimpse” (1:59)