Drakkar have released other CDs before, and I recall they have never really been any good. Rather, they were an evident would-be (and failing) Rhapsody clone, from Italy, with a none too good vocalist and weak overall sound.

"Razorblade God", perhaps by dint of its name, is a much sharper, thrashy effort than any of its predecessors. The guitar in particular always sounds very tight and heavy, and there's some good riffing being done all over the place. They have definitely left the 'would-be Rhapsody clone' factor behind and have gone for more straightforward power metal. They have also replaced their Italian-accented vocalist with Davide Dell'Orto (a.k.a., for some reason, Dave Shot), who is a big improvement. In fact, the only audible thing remaining from their earlier albums is keyboard player Corrado Solarino, who has a tendency to provide a very full, thick keyboard sound. If you pay attention to it, this tends to become obtrusive. "Hey, here's a couple of seconds where the VU indicators aren't maxed out, let's add a keyboard carpet there." Drakkar have also enlisted a new bass player, Daniele Persoglio, who shines in the opening section of "Inferno" and a brief but cool bass/guitar duet in "To the Future". He makes classic Manowar come to mind.

"Razorblade God" provides a pretty coherent and enjoyable listening experience, a far cry from their earlier work. It's only with the final track, a Magnum cover entitled "Kingdom of Madness", that they seem to lose track. I never listened to anything by Magnum, and now I know that I never will.



Written May 2002


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