Cambridgeshire grindcore heroes, Razoreater, unleashed their last record five years ago and have still not issued a full-length album since their formation in 2011. After a string of demos and split releases, they’re not about to change that with their sophomore EP. But you can guarantee one thing – Purgatory is worth the wait after a long spell of inactivity because this new EP is a face-smasher.
Grindcore might be the purest form of unadulterated musical rage when executed in the right spirit, and Razoreator have plenty of epileptic fury to flush out of their system. Opener, ‘I Despise Us’, is fast metallic hardcore wrapped in a grindcore gurn with old school death metal riffs gliding along the bottom guitar strings. It’s over before you can say, “Hello, Pig Destroyer”, yet it’s successor, ‘Cursed are the Merciful’ is even more hysterical in its outer body spasms. The guitar tone will remind you of the debut album from Max Cavalera’s Go Ahead and Die, but the action on the drum snare steals the show. What you get on record is what Razoreater deliver on stage. Vocalist, Mors, is not about to compromise his integrity by double-tracking his voice or editing it in ProTools. Here his screams miss the right notes with excellent wrong turns. Think of a cat whelping with one last cry of pain before Luka Magnotta completes a lethal incision through its neck. (Warning: don’t fuck with cats.)
Ruminating on which element of the music you like best will change with each listen of Purgatory. The strangled-throat vocals continue on ‘One Last Nail’ and ‘End This Hell’. You’re dead inside if you don’t laugh at the insane violence of the former; the latter never turns the title on you as a challenge. If anything, you don’t want this hell to end. Not when the blast beats and ear-piercing shrills are ready to turbocharge your adrenaline levels. ‘Vittu Saatana Perkele’ uses a Finnish profanity (“Satan’s cunt” in English) for its lyrical inspiration and erupts like Nasum but with low-end tremolo riffs powering it forward.
You can never accuse grindcore bands of doing their job and distancing themselves from their art. Razoreater live in the moment and don’t even notice their listeners or spectators. This is violent human expression of the quasi-religious kind; it aims for the musical equivalent of speaking in tongues. Closing track, ‘There is No More Hope’, is not as cynical as the title suggests, and the drummer even slips in a blast of sixteenth notes, yet the band’s attempt to second-guess you will leave you perplexed. Ending the last two minutes with an ambient oscillation of humming amplifiers is a strange way to sign off.
Everybody will be hoping Razoreater can bring this intensity to a live stage, and there’s no reason to doubt their capabilities. Your first instinct after listening to this EP should be to press play once again. Purgatory is a no-nonsense cauldron of white-hot aggression and molten anger. Their full-length album cannot come soon enough.
Release Date: 24/09/2021
Record Label: F H E D
Standout tracks: I Despise Us, One Last Nail
Suggested Further Listening: Rotten Sound – Murderworks (2002), Pig Destroyer – Terrifyer (2004), Bleeding Out – Lifelong Death Fantasy (2020)