When you have a lot of individual experience in music and want to present yourself with a debut album, titled Somewhere, that actually is a double album, it's a bold decision in my perception. The 2009 founded Razorking, hailing from Germany wanted to emphasize on two sides in a conceptual album: West and East. The trio consists of vocalist Sigrid Becker, guitarist, keyboard player and sound designer Thomas Kirschler and bass player/ Chapman stick player Thomas Janzon. On two songs, the band was assisted on keyboards by Klaus Möller.
Razorking combines progressive rock, melodic rock with progressive metal elements and AOR, added with delicate drops of King Crimson. The opener of West; Enough perhaps isn't the best chosen option to introduce yourself as a band, just for the reason the first impression of the vocal parts isn't a positive one. Although musically Razorking is a quite nice experience, except for the programmed drums, Sigrid Becker doesn't get to me during this first track. The following; Dreamer has some fine riffs and I wanted to get used to the presented vocal style. The fine guitar solo does make up a lot and the following riffs sound promising. Too bad the spoken words take away the momentum of the music. Addicted To Die and Anyway are nice progressive rock orientated compositions, where the guitar and bass combination shows some great sounding parts. A song that kicks you right back to the eighties is Hype, where electronic pop sounds are imbedded into the solid programmed drums. Entering Spring On Mars I start to wonder why Razorking opted for a double album, just for the reason this track has a poor keyboard sound, very dated bass movements and a non interesting guitar solo. The final track Magic Box however does intrigue me again, with the darker elements and well-chosen keys and guitar solo.
Musically the East album starts quite interesting, progressive rock, Somewhere is nicely built with a fine bass solo incorporated. Forget the vocal parts during Tanks Over Roses and you have the best song of the album, a strong repeated theme on the guitar and the additional chapman stick make the reference to King Crimson, not a bad track at all. Basically the same goes for the following Mirror. Musically nicely challenging, vocally a bit less interesting. Behind The Enemy Lines is a strange epical track, where the moods differ and a sort of pause divides two parts of the tune.
It is a challenge when you release your debut album to keep the listener interested; Somewhere as a double CD, in my opinion it wasn't quite the best decision, for a lot of the compositions are just too mediocre to remain focussed. The most interesting parts for me are the parts where guitar and bass challenge each other in creating nice melodies and riffs. A big downer are Sigrid's vocals. At her best she sounds like a lesser version of Dolores O'Riordan, during other parts I just try to ignore the vocals.
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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