VERBAL RAZORS - By Thunder And Lightning

Verbal Razors - By Thunder And Lightning

13 songs
33:19 minutes
***** ***


Having been around since 2008, this French band took its name from an Exodus song. A first EP and two longplayers were self-released before the quartet from Tours, pretty much in the middle of France, signed with Deadlight Entertainment. The band’s sound can be put somewhere in the middle of the square delineated by thrash metal, crossover, punk and rock’n’roll. This by itself is of course not a recipe for originality, but the guys perform with such zest and gusto that it’s a real treat listening to the good half hour long album By Thunder And Lightning.

What I really like on the band’s songs is how apart from the opener and one track in the middle of the album, the songs never make it over three minutes. This means that the musicians never get lost in useless parts. Instead most of the material is played at a pretty brisk pace, with the band never forgetting to add that necessary amount of variety which in the end makes the whole endeavour a worthwhile experience. The music owes a lot to late Eighties thrash metal, like of course Exodus, but also Nuclear Assault and Slayer, the latter two’s influence most obvious on the mid-tempo stomper Waterdrop, at a little over four minutes the longest track which convinces with a rumbling bass line and searing guitar riffs. Otherwise we get occasional short guitar solo parts that remind me of Motörhead. The snotty vocals always maintain that certain melodic level that elevate them above many much more average singers. Also undeniable is the fierce crossover influence that recalls bands like D.R.I., Excel and Gang Green, whose classic hardcore punk anthem Alcohol is covered as a bonus track.

If you expect anything unprecedented, go look somewhere else, but if you want a crossover thrash metal band that performs with the same energy the genre pioneers did, you might just want to take a stop here. Verbal Razors are really good at confining their songs to the bare essential, and with their punk rock attitude and wild performance, they definitely have found the right sound to get people headbanging and moshing in the pit as if it were the late 1980s again.

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