Artist: Razed in Black-Title: Damaged

Label: Cleopatra Records_Released: 2003

Written by: Brain, 04/09/2003

Hawaii based american band Razed in Black is back with his first new album in nearly 4 years. Damaged is Razed In Black’s 3rd full-length album. Romell Regulacion, the band's sole full-fledged member, wrote and performed all the songs on the album. It consists of 11 brand new songs and a second CD full of remixes where bands such as Assemblage 23, the Japanese goth band Eve Of Destiny and Soil & Eclipse have contributed. The second CD also features a multimedia tracks which contains two live videos.

"Damaged" is different from Razed In Black’s previous releases. Razed In Black got his rise to fame with his club hit "Oh My Goth" which was released in 2001. "Damaged" is in the vein of "Oh My Goth," just better. Razed In Black has gotten rid of the Nine Inch Nails-esque style and influences and has gone in a more poppy and commercial direction. The heavy guitar usage that was close to defining Razed In Black's sound is almost gone, but still it’s Industrial with that pure American sound. There is nothing wrong with Romell switching styles this way, as it sounds like Romell has become a better songwriter than he was in the past. He has evolved to find the melodies that have always been lacking from his previous releases, which I consider one of the main problems as to why he hasn't gotten bigger in the Industrial scene since his big hit.

"Damaged" shows that it's sometimes necessary to do something commercial and poppy, especially if you're able to write so many good songs on one album, because all 11 songs are masterpieces in their own right, and full of potential club hits. Especially "Share My Poison", "I’ll Damage You", "Visions", "Misunderstood" and "Nevermeant" have good, dancable beats, but the slow songs like "There Goes My Head" and "Leave It All Behind" where Jay, the lead singer of Soil & Eclipse does the backing vocals, are also nicely made with good melodies, and all make up some of the highlights of the album.

Razed In Black has for the most part been too overlooked in Europe. If Razed In Black doesn’t get his breakthrough with "Damaged" I’m afraid of it never will happen to him, as this really is his best album ever; pure American Industrial with some Synth Pop and Future Pop influences.