2CD, Cleopatra Records, 2004
If your idea of Hawaii is a peaceful and exotic vacation spot, you might consider changing your views… Hailing from Hawaii, Razed In Black are anything but what one would normally expect to come from such a place. Their music is explosive, hard-edged and without room for compromise. Not unlike an active volcano exploding.
“Damaged” is Razed In Black’s eagerly awaited fifth full-length album. Without a doubt it is their most ambitious creative effort to date, as well as quite probably being their best album so far.
Even more than in previous releases by Razed In Black, it is difficult to pigeon-hole “Damaged” into a single category. If anything, the music made by Razed In Black can be described as a rocking hybrid in which energetic beats combine with synth melodies and straffing guitars, simultaneously incorporating elements of electro-industrial (and vaguely reminiscent of NIN at some points), goth, trance, pop and even metal into a great new whole that is hard to forget.
“Damaged” revolves around relationships, obsession, loss and longing. While these aren’t exactly easy subjects to properly write about, the lyrics are rather acceptable and singer Rommel Regulacion’s vocals are also quite good, combining well with the music. Guest vocals from artists all over the globe, executed over the Internet, add new layers and diversity to the songs as well.
Among several great tracks one is hard-pressed to find highlights. Nevertheless, songs like “I’ll Damage You”, “Blush”, “Nevermeant_V2” and “Am I 2 Blame?” come to mind as especially worthy of notice. Also worth of mention is the track “Visions”, but mainly because of its somewhat kitsch style.
In addition to the album itself, there is also a disk with remixes. This is an interesting bonus format which is becoming more common nowadays and which I whole-heartedly support. After all, in exchange for a symbolic (or even non-existent) increase to the price of an album, one gets more music in the form of different takes on tracks from the ‘main disc’, as changed by the creative talent of other projects and bands to suit their particular vision of the original themes.
— Miguel de Sousa