Review: Razed in Black

Razed in Black
(Cleopatra Records)

Techno for the masses.  Without feeling watered down or pre-packaged for the club circuit, Razed in Black manages to meld some Goth/rock influences into the techno/trance foundation.  Moody vocals break apart any of the typical “repetitious” monotony the genre often slips into.  Let’s face it, if you’re not smacked out of your head on some chemical, how many hours can you put up with “psss-ummb-pssss-ummb-pssss-ummb” of most tencho?

Lots of Synth-pop trickery to keep the flavor up (but a thick dance beat pushes the tempo continuously). It’s lighter flair despite their press kit claims of ‘brutally aggressive guitar riffs’… hardly.  More like NIN light.  Upbeat and up-tempo despite the lyrical sadness that one would expect from the hollowed eyed Goth set.  It’s all so miserably beautiful in its pathetic wretched way… whatever.  Inner pain, struggle within, yeah yeah, at least the music doesn’t try to bring you down.

And what do technophiles like to do with each other’s music?  That’s right, remix it six different ways to Sunday, so you get all that in a second disk that included some live footage.  At least you get your moneys worth (*note to the industry).  The live stuff actually presents Razed in Black as much more of a “band” as the studio work is so thickly processed, it completely loses the organic element of a live unit.

The live experience raises the appreciation and finds the identity of Razed In Black more clearly (despite the completely blown out mix on the second live track) than the slick studio method that the electronic laced genre so easily confines itself to.  In other words, see them live and you’ll probably like the disc that much more.  Plus the singer is a Hawaii native.  Not sure why I find that of relevance, just didn’t realize there was a big Goth Hawaiian scene.  The whole pale face/black clothing vibe just doesn’t gel with the imagery of the islands, but that’s a shallow observation of zero relevance to their music.