Having spent my teen years obsessing over thrash metal in Canada during the 1980s, the question’s come up 35 years later about what would Canada’s own Big Four of thrash be? For me, it’ll always be Sacrifice, Annihilator, Infernal Majesty, and the best of them all, Guelph, Ontario’s own Razor (sorry, Eudoxis). While Sacrifice is back doing the odd one-off shows – another new album from the guys would be great – and Jeff Waters continues to ride Annihilator into the ground with mediocre albums, Razor, those kings of Canadian thrash, have never done a very good job of preserving their legacy, a missed opportunity in the wake of the thrash revival (remember that?) nearly a decade ago. At long last band leader Dave Carlo has taken a good step in the right direction, announcing three new reissues of latter day Razor classics in a new partnership with Relapse: 1988’s Violent Restitution, 1990’s Shotgun Justice, and 1991’s Open Hostility. All have been remastered and spruced up in swanky, newly redesigned deluxe editions, complete with copious bonus tracks. The last two albums featured Bob “Bobzilla” Reid, who did a great job (watch the video for the self-deprecating “American Luck” below) but the definitive voice of Razor will always be Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren, whose dry grunt and piercing scream made him one of thrash’s most distinct vocalists. Of the three reissues Violent Restitution is the best, and you can now hear the inimitable Sheepdog on the remastered title track for yourself below.
Also, for those wondering where the hell is the reissue of 1985’s seminal Evil Invaders – its title track is the greatest Canadian metal song of all time – sources tell Decibel the rights to the album are caught up in a legal battle between Carlo and the company that bought up all of Attic Records’ product when the label went under. We need a proper reissue of that one most of all, but these three revamped albums are a very good start. They come out on May 5; click here for more details.