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RAZED IN BLACK - Damaged

" ... trance, dance, love,... or the ghosts from the past ... "

The guys from Hawaii are back with new album released on Cleopatra Records. Razed In Black was one of many bands that signed to this label in early 90's. Along with The Electric Hellfire Club, Spahn Ranch, Big Electric Cat and the other new US based industrial bands, RIB was only part of the picture which represented B class industrial crossover. During those days, nothing could have been compared to likes of Ministry, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, Die Krupps, Sister Machine Gun.. After watching Cleopatra's "Gothic Industrial" video collection, my decision to leave it was definite. Bands looked ridiculous. Tons of stupid tribute albums, million Christian Death reincarnations... was simply too much for me.

Razed In Black got back into my electro-industrial world in more than great fashion. One of my birthday presents a year ago was their "Oh My Goth" remix album. What a present, what a surprise! ... Trance remixes got me floored ... New Order's ‘Everything's Gone Green’ cover was magnificent. I could hear pure Euro Dance/Trance made in Hawaii. It was new, refreshing, and sooo encouraging that something different and also great was happening on the West Coast.

Now, with "Damaged" we got double CD consisting of 11 new tracks and 8 remixes plus multimedia feature. Videos of live track and many fan produced clips from last Razed In Black US Tour. Do I have to mention that it was successful tour? We all know it was.

" Damaged" shines, but we still have a notion that Blacks are stuck somewhere between something old and something new.

The opening track is "Blush" where everything is burning. 140 BPM track simply grinds dance floor in my head. After a second I was thinking - "Man, this will be a weapon for mass destruction!" (at that point I didn't hear " Blush_v2" yet). Melodies are beautiful. Vocals are great, along with excellent refrain while guitar parts are OK but unnecessary. The same thing happens with ‘Share This Poison’, ‘Am I 2 Blame?’, ‘Come Back To Me’, ‘Misunderstood’, ‘Never_v2’ and glorious ‘Visions’. The rest of the first CD is excellent industrial crossover but still I wonder, what is the point?

The second CD starts with ‘Blush_v2’ which is a floor killer at its best. ‘LAB (future retro mix)’ is a little bit down tempo pure electro-industrial when compared to the rest of the disc. A brilliant mix, nevertheless. ‘I'll Damage You (eve of destiny mix)’ is grinding with massive bass line. ‘Visions ( assemblage 23 mix )’, pumps again 140 BPM: another killer remix for another death on the dance floor. ‘Visions Of Our Past ( break anthem mix )’ should be noted for its excellent femme vocals.

At the end - a triumph with ‘Visions (reprise)’.Certainly this is the best track of this album.

Razed In Black definitely know how to make an excellent clubbing EBM and I hope they will keep that knowledge as long as possible. With "Damaged" out in Europe as well (released by UK's Cryonica label), I am sure it will reach many electro-industrial and future pop dancefloors.