Razor is a Canadian speed metal band formed in 1983 at Guelph, Ontario, Canada. They are recognized as the pioneers of Canadian thrash metal and have been referred to as one of the country’s “big four”, alongside Sacrifice, Voivod and Annihilator.
Early years and split (1983–1992)
Razor was formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Carlo. A secondary member named John Scheffel was in the band at the time as the vocalist/guitarist, but left in 1984. After a failed success with two other vocalists, Carlo would find a stable line-up consisting of vocalist Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren, bassist Mike Campagnolo and drummer Mike “M-Bro” Embro. They recorded a 5-track demo in 1984 prior to releasing the Armed & Dangerous EP in May 1984 by Voice Records, which received underground acclaim. A pre-productive demo album titled Escape the Fire was made in December 1984, which would become the band’s first full-length album Executioner’s Song, released in April 1985 through Viper. It was followed up by Evil Invaders in October 1985. Razor performed in the United States and Canada with Slayer, Motörhead and Venom.
The third album Malicious Intent was released in April 1986. It suffered slightly due to the build-up of internal conflicts in the band and the lack of a domestic release in the United States that led to a contract termination with their record company. In 1987, the fourth album Custom Killing was released. It was self-financed with poor commercial success and was fairly overlooked by fans. The music took a more experimental approach than the previous releases. Drummer Mike Embro and bassist Mike Campagnolo left the band and was replaced with Dave Carlo’s brother Adam on bass and Rob Mills on drums. Razor returned to their roots with the fifth album Violent Restitution, which was released in 1988 by Steamhammer. It was well received, being more aggressive and heavier than its predecessor.
Vocalist Stace McLaren began losing interest in the band, which led to his departure. He was replaced with SFH vocalist Bob Reid. The band signed with Fringe Product and released Shotgun Justice in March 1990. They headlined smaller venues, performing with Sacrifice and Disciples of Power. A sudden turn of events occurred when drummer Rob Mills was involved in an accident, which made him unable to perform. Adam Carlo left the band and was replaced with SFH bassist Jon Armstrong. The next album Open Hostility was released in 1991. Due to Mills’ injury and inability to perform on the album, Dave Carlo used a drum machine to replicate his style. Mills later returned and Razor embarked on a tour in support of the album leading up to their final performance on October 2, 1992. Following the tour, the band split-up.
Reformation and recent years (1996–present)
In 1996, Razor became active again by way of Bob Reid, who brought up the idea of reforming the band. Both Reid and Carlo were joined by Armstrong and another member from SFH, drummer Rich Oosterbosch. The eighth studio album Decibels was released in 1997 by Hypnotic Records.
The band appeared on The Gates of Hell Tour in 2005, headlined the Headbangers Open Air Festival in Germany in 2009 and the True Thrash Festival in Osaka in 2011. A DVD of this performance was released in Japan in February 2012.
On April 19, 2012, Carlo was diagnosed with Stage 2 oral cancer. The band performed at a charity event in 2014. He was successfully treated and resumed his guitar duties in 2015. They took part at the Maryland Deathfest in 2015 and the California Deathfest in 2016.
In 2014, Razor replaced longtime drummer, Rob Mills, with Rider Johnson of Ripp’rd.
In late 2018, drummer Rider Johnson announced his departure from the Razor via Facebook. The band replaced him with Shareef “Reef” Hassanien for the majority of the following year. However, by the end of 2019, Johnson rejoined the group.
Razor’s brand new studio album will arrive in 2021, along with some performances in Europe as well.
|Armed and Dangerous||EP||1984|
|Escape the Fire||Demo||1984|
|Hobbs Angel of Death vs. Razor||Split||1990|
|Live! Osaka Saikou 大阪最高||Live album||2016|
|35 Years Thrash Insanity||Boxed set||2020|
|John Scheffel||Vocals, Guitars (1983-1984)|
|See also: Hammersmith|
|Mike “M-Bro” Embro||Drums (1984-1987)|
|See also: ex-Wrathchild, 10 Carden Street, ex-Illumination|
|Rob Anderson||Vocals (1984)|
|Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren||Vocals (1984-1989)|
|See also: ex-Infernäl Mäjesty|
|Shane Logan||Vocals (1984)|
|See also: ex-Moxy|
|Adam Carlo||Bass (1987-1990, 2003-2005, 2008-2011)|
|See also: ex-BTK, ex-The Kramdens|
|Rob Mills||Drums (1987-1992, 1998-2014)|
|See also: ex-SFH, ex-Spewgore (live), ex-The 3Tards|
|Jon Armstrong||Bass (1990-1992, 1996-2002)|
|See also: SFH|
|Rich Oosterbosch||Drums (1996-1997)|
|See also: SFH|
|Shareef Hassanien||Drums (2019)|
|See also: Invicta, ex-Mutual Execution, ex-Torcher, ex-Monarch Woods, ex-Harmonic Dissection (live)|