2/9/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Image - Razor's Edge - 2004 Indy Release --EC
Image can actually lay claim to roots dating back to 1976. The band was founded by current drummer Rock Wicker and guitarist Steve Simpson. In 1981 Brian Primm replaced Simpson on guitar, with Mike
Metal stepping in on bass and David St. Clair on vocals. The group recorded the EP in 1985 and followed that with an album entitled "Resurrection" in 1987. In 1990 the group decided to go separate ways and found themselves under the Image moniker again in 2001. The group released their comeback album "Drowning In The Sea Of Life" in 2003 and now have released their brand new album "Razor's Edge"
For me Image would have really fit the Ebony label in the mid-80s. They have that traditional metal sound that was born out of the NWOBHM scene of the late 70s and early 80s. "Razor's Edge" manages to stay American through and through but does borrow a bit from the European scene. I can hear everything from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to US metal like Racer-X and Dio. Brian Primm proves to be a fantastic guitar player, mixing up each song with fast licks and chops but settling down from time to time to add a bit of atmosphere in with some well placed slower riffs. Vocalist David St. Clair does an amazing job leading this brigade, at times sounding like a cross between Kevin Dubrow (Quiet Riot) and Tony Moore (Riot). His voice is a bit raspy at times but that seems to add a bit of an edge to the band's
The band really mix this album up, never concentrating on one particular facet to lure the listener in. Image creates some flashy metal, but they do write mature songs that showoff their musical ability to explore different avenues within a song. Perfect evidence would be "Crionics", a unique moody piece that builds into an eerie atmosphere. The same sort of writing goes into "Seeker Returns", another song with a huge climax. The band can drive straight forward with metal fury also, evident on "Resurrection" and "Phantasm". Favorite cut for me is the stormy opener "It Doesn't Matter", which rocks the ship with some titanic
riffs and monster groove.
Image really are the stranger in a strange land. In this day and age America really isn't in this type of metal mood. That is one of the reasons I like these guys so much. Just like other underground heroes like Overlorde, Attacker, and October 31, Image aren't afraid to play what they love. They are heavy metal, not to be confused with garage rock, indy rock, modern rock, or any other corporate rock that the suits and ties force down our throats to replace what we've grown to love. Image are all about talent, focus, and determination, and the results are clearly evident on this mammoth metal slab. "Razor's Edge" tops off a fantastic year of metal. Let's hope 2005 offers us some more of these fantastic underground sensations.
Cheers all around for a band that it isn't afraid to take chances!
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