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Chains Over Razors: Crown The Villain

That Chains Over Razors have managed to infuse their music with the executive production nous and synth skills of legendary drummer Carmine Appice, suggests that all that's left for this outfit to hit the heights, is some high class songs. And to be fair to them, they've just about succeeded in that too, a tightly constructed album rotating around a solid metal base, with added hits of thrash and groove bolted on for good measure.

The versatility of singer Franco 'V' Roc is a real strength, the howler able to tailor his style to the growl in tune mould, the heartfelt singer or the aggressive spitter. It's a mighty tool and with the Sepultura meets Pantera surge of "Only God Can Judge Me", it isn't wasted. "Promises Of War" makes melody more of a centre piece and yet with a spiralling riff and cleverly layered vocals, it's still a dangerous smack of power. That the varied breakdown in the song's core is every bit as memorable as the main smash and grab, illustrates the deft touch this band have at their disposal.

If you're looking for something a little more subtle, well there isn't that much of it in evidence. "Live It Loud" does pull back on the all out in your faceness found elsewhere but it's only the brooding "Letters Of Twelve" that slows things down fully. In truth, it's the least convincing thing on show, leaving it to the groove infested "2020 (Silence Of The Moonlight)" and "Damnation" - the latter maybe the most obviously Pantera fuelled effort to reveal the true strengths of Crown The Villain.

Although things do click into place after a few listens, in truth what Chains Over Razors have created with their debut, is a sonically excellent, but every so slightly safe playing slice of bullish aggression. There's no denying it does make for a good introduction to this band and yet it just falls short of blow your pants off status. Still as an opening gambit, Chains Over Razors have made their mission statement clear.

Track Listing
1. Center Line of A Lie
2. 2020 (Silence of the Moonlight)
3. Damnation
4. Devil's Eyes
5. Subtle Words
6. Live it Loud
7. Letters of Twelve
8. Promises of War
9. The Run
10. Monster
11. 7 Years
12. Only God Can Judge Me

Added: January 14th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Chains Over Razors online
Hits: 2255
Language: english

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