There seems to be no stopping the international Thrash revival! No month is going by without a new high-quality act releasing another milestone album of the genre. First there was Municipal Waste, then Bonded By Blood and finally Mantic Ritual. Now it is time for Razor Fist from Oshkosh in Wisconsin to make their mark. The band released their debut CD "Razor Fist Force" a couple of years back through a company called Trigger On The Dutendoo Records (in a limited edition of 1,000 copies only). Without a doubt this was the most authentic Thrash Metal album of the last 10 years!
But firstly, here is a little breakdown of the band history: "Razor Fist formed in August 2005. Previously, TK and TJ were in a successful local crossover thrash band called Hill Of The Dead. Nick and Dave were in a technical death metal thrash band called Hell On Earth. In 2001, Crimes Against Humanities Records released a Hill Of The Dead/Hell On Earth Split CD. Following the breakup of Hill Of The Dead and Hell On Earth, Nick, TJ, and Dave formed a powerful, original, but short-lived black-thrash Metal group called Tower Of Babel. Razor Fist was formed immediately following the break-up of Tower Of Babel (TK Xanax was not a member of Tower Of Babel). TK and Dave are also in a hardcore punk thrash group (in the vein of Mob 47, Negative Approach, MDC, Battalion Of Saints, etc.) called Total Hardcore (THC). Total Hardcore has been smokin' since 1997 and has one rare CD release."
If you listen to Razor Fist, it is clear from the beginning that influences are much broader than only Thrash Metal. Singer TK agrees: "Our influences include classic 80's thrash/ speed Metal, N.W.O.B.H.M., and definitely classic 80's hardcore punk and Oi! We also try to capture some of the melodic power of Euro-Metal groups like Accept. Basically, Razor Fist is a cauldron which contains bits and pieces of all of the countless bands we've listened to over the past 20 years. We are hippie Metalheads who grew up playing in hardcore punk and thrash bands."
Although, as we have just learned, Razor Fist's music is not pure Thrash Metal, the world-wide revival of this for of extreme Metal music surely has helped, hasn't it? Singer TK Xanax reflects: "As far as the Thrash revival is concerned, we never considered thrash dead or even in decline. We are glad that more thrash/speed Metal bands are getting signed but fear that it may just be the current trend in the Metal industry. We are of the DIY (do it yourself) attitude and will never quit spreading the Razor Fist message even if this thrash revival loses its momentum. As far as other bands are concerned, we recognize that there are many great new bands spreading the word about high speed Metal. Unfortunately, we really only have time to focus on one band: Razor Fist. However, we wish all our fellow Metal brothers the best of luck and hope to cross paths soon. So far, many of the newer thrash groups that we've played with such as Skeleton Witch, Warbringer, etc. have been cool guys with great spirits."
The group's name Razor Fist (two words) implies that the members have been hugely influenced by a certain Thrash band, which has taken the Headbangers Open Air festival 2009 by storm: "Certainly we love Razor! "Evil Invaders" is an all-time thrash classic. Pretty much every Razor album is classic. As far as Razor as an influence however, I don't think Razor Fist has quite as much of a Motörhead-influenced sound as Razor. We equally love the two Fist's from the UK and Canada, respectively. Turn the hell on!"
"Metal Minds", just released on High Roller Records, is not the first album by Razor Fist. As mentioned earlier, they debuted with "Razor Fist Force" a few years back. TK describes the main differences between the two albums: "Probably the biggest difference between "Metal Minds" and "Razor Fist Force" is the amount of time spent on crafting the songs and the production. "Metal Minds" is slightly more complex and more time was spent during the mixing process. In general, however, we are quite confident that those who enjoyed "Razor Fist Force" will love "Metal Minds".
Vocally, TK has in the past been compared to Dan Beehler, quite a compliment, I suppose ... "To be compared to legends like Dan Beehler from Exciter, Tim Baker from Cirith Ungol, Larry Portelli from Blessed Death etc. is the greatest compliment in the world! Whenever you are likened to a musician you have listened to for years and admired, it is a great honor. We certainly think that there are some similarities between Razor Fist and Exciter, however, we sincerely feel Razor Fist has a unique enough sound for us to say that we don't sound like any other one specific band. When listening to Razor Fist the true Metalhead will certainly catch on to our influences, but in the end it's Razor Fist!"
Lyrically, Razor Fist seem to have a certain kind of humor, which was lacking most if not all of the original '80's Thrash bands (apart from maybe Nuclear Assault). TK confirms: "We feel that Heavy Metal is supposed to be fun. It's all about sex, drugs, and Metal! Too many bands take themselves (lyrically) FAR too seriously. Now, we certainly don't treat our lyrics like a joke, but we don't mind if they put a smile on some twisted thrasher's face. Our lyrics are meant to evoke all the imagery of Metal history (and in some cases our lyrics do almost have a hardcore punk/Oi! style to them, such as "Rally All Metal Forces", "Loud Into The Night" etc.). Quite simply our lyrics lay out our beliefs and form the foundation of the Razor Fist Force. Love em or leave 'em …"
Matthias Mader (Iron Pages)