(Live Review) RAZOR + SUPPORT - Rockpile, Toronto (04/29/23)
Written by Jeff Tighe
The Rockpile in Toronto was packed with Ontario's metalhead hardcore on a Saturday night, awaiting a rare live appearance by Canada's greatest metal band, Razor. And while it is undeniable that the boys have aged quite a bit since their 1980s heyday, it is also unquestionable that they can still kick up a storm when they find their groove.
Guitarist and founding member Dave Carlo can still riff with the best of them as his live performance and the songs from the band's recent Cycle of Contempt album show. Only two songs from that album were offered, "Off My Meds" and "Jabroni", and frankly one more would have been welcome. Although Evil Invaders is probably the band's best album, and certainly is their most popular, playing 5 songs from that album in a short 13 song set was a bit too much. Disappointingly, not one song was played off the criminally under-rated Malicious Intent album.
Founding bassist Mike Campagnolo is on his third tour of duty with Razor and the years have not slowed him down, as he was in fine, thundering form. But vocalist Bob Reid is probably the biggest surprise in avoiding father time's ravages, as his powerful vocals are still throat shredding and must be the envy of much younger men. Rounding out the band is drummer Rider Johnson, who along with Campagnolo keep the proceedings moving at breakneck speed.
What slows the set down are Carlo's long-winded between song talks. Rather than just introduce the songs, Carlo gets into interminable monologues that literally had members of the audience calling on him to "shut up" and had other members of the band waiting impatiently for him to end. That needs to change.
But that is a relatively minor annoyance against a set of well-played, brilliantly written thrash songs. Set highlights included "Violent Restitution", "Behind Bars" and "Take This Torch", which still rocks almost four decades after its original release.
One wonders how much time Razor have left as a functioning band, but fans who may not have kept up with their output over the last three decades or so are encouraged to get out and see them while you can. These guys have not forgotten how to kick an audience's ass.
Cross Me Fool
Off My Meds
Sucker for Punishment
Take This Torch