When a band come out with a statement like “we combined the elements of thrash metal, nu-metal, heavy metal, modern metal with contemporary classical and minimal music” eyebrows get raised. The first question is “what do they actually sound like then?” and then the second thought might be to give it a miss because on paper that sounds like a train wreck of ideas with no focus or direction. Well in the case of Indonesian Metallers Raze, you’d be wrong there. Originally forming in Talawi, West Sumatra in late 2017 before settling in Padang a year later, they’ve spent two years tightening up their skills in order to release their debut full length album “So Repeat This Line” which lyrically contains messages which speak about the humanitarian crisis in their county.
So what do Raze actually sound like? They sound like an “Ember To Inferno” era Trivium with raw production but all of the talent. Got your attention? Let’s begin with “Falldown” which has a Thrashed up guitar sound and rapid fire vocal that takes a little bit of getting used to. That’s partly down to the production quality with a mixing and mastering job that makes it sound like a demo, and partly down to the vocals being in English rather than Indonesian. A few too many words in a short space of time. That being said, the track showcases the bands talent, they have skills in all departments that simply need a guiding hand and the track is absolutely fine and headbangable as is. “Fervour” is the track that draws the aforementioned Trivium comparisons because the vocal stylings, lyrical approach and riffs are right out of their playbook and a couple of steps up from the first track. No idea who the woman on the album cover is, she definitely ain’t their vocalist but don’t let that distract from the quality of the riffs on show here. “Echo” received the lyric video treatment and has all the hallmarks of a Metalcore act with Thrash roots while the repeating call of “dear god please settle this bloodshed” rings out. Some of the riffs on this one are reminiscent of Killswitch Engage, particularly as the melodic clean vocal part is very much of the Metalcore Kings formulation.
Getting the full music video treatment “Evoke” keeps up the energy levels while dropping down to that classic final speech by Charlie Chaplin in “The Great Dictator” which has been used a few times but perhaps most notably by Stick To Your Guns. What Raze do is back it off with some Progressive riffs and ambience that flip some of the preconceptions about the bands style on their head before returning to their core sound for a gutteral roar. “Veln” takes that Progressive acoustic riff idea and makes it into a full blown instrumental track mid album with some hints of “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica in the influence but not in the music. Building up delicately so as not to destroy the atmospheric, “Voices” has the lead flourishes of the more commercial Metalcore bands of yesterday, slickly put together. Perhaps it should be re-titled “This Calling” because it’s the sing-a-long moment before the solo. Last but by no means least comes “Askara” which continues the flow of the earlier tracks and is probably the best all round song if you wanted one that showcases everything they have to offer. The drums are by far the best sounding while the nostalgic riffs are wonderfully constructed. A breakdown section to bring everything to a final crescendo is spot on and there you have it, there is no Nu-Metal in sight, just nostalgic Metalcore with Thrash roots [7/10]
“So Repeat This Line” by Raze is out now via 3am Productions and available over at bandcamp.