Landmark Albums: Razor – Evil Invaders.

( Like hip-hop, heavy metal has its own obscure bands in every subgenre. Unlike hip-hop, even if a band isn’t as popular as the more known names, they still get love because they may have been pioneers or were producing quality music during the peak of the genre’s popularity. Good examples are bands like Piledriver or Razor from Canada. Both are definitely known in metal circles but even during the popularity of heavy metal they were still a tier or two below Slayer, Metallica, and Megadeth as far as notoriety.

Speaking of Razor, we’re looking at Razor’s sophomore release Evil Invaders from 1985, an album that is typically held in high regard by old-school thrash enthusiasts.

Landmark Albums: Razor - Evil Invaders.

Who Are Razor?

Formed in 1983 as a speed metal act in Ontario, Canada, Razor plays aggressive, ripping thrash metal. Hell, the album cover to Evil Invaders is pretty accurate as to what to expect from the band. The band was active throughout the 80s before wrapping it up in the early 90s after swapping out late-lead singer Sheepdog for Bob Reid. Honestly, both worked perfectly for the band as they gave you grating vocal aggression in two flavors: shrieking and growling.

The band would make a return in 1997 with Decibels before taking another extended break. Their most recent release is 2022’s Cycle of Contempt. We’ll definitely get into Violent Restitution and Cycle of Contempt in future reviews and retrospectives.

A-Side of Evil Invaders

There are few albums that deliver an A-side that is simply flawless. Each song delivers and really showcases the band’s skills, approach, and energy. This is damn close! “Nowhere Fast” is a good, aggressive instrumental intro but business picks up further with “Cross Me Fool” my favorite track on the album. If any song really tells you what the business is with the album it’s “Cross Me Fool”. It simply doesn’t f**k around.

I couldn’t give you a particularly weak song on this side, I mean “Legacy of Doom” isn’t “CMF”, “Evil Invaders”, or “Iron Hammer” but they will cause headbanging because they also rip. Again, this is one of the strongest A-sides and the tracks—while fast—ride. You might find yourself checking the track time of the songs because there are no songs under three minutes here and the opening alone is four-and-a-half minutes long.

It’s just that the tempo and how you have similar songs before and after each song which makes them all seem way shorter than they actually are. The only gripe is that the opener is a lengthy instrumental and I’ve never been a fan of instrumentals—especially long ones—but “Nowhere Fast” is fine.

Strongest Tracks: Cross Me Fool**, Evil Invaders*, Iron Hammer


The B-side is what I wished the A-side was start to finish. All tracks with lyrics and singing because I really dig Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren’s vocals on this album. It kicks off with “Instant Death”, keeping the fury going from “Evil Invaders” and “Iron Hammer”. “Cut Throat” is a strong track but not as strong as the double team of thrash madness that is “Speed Merchants” and “Tortured Skull”.

These two tracks back-to-back just scream “menace” and “metal” and I love that. Razor had an approach and a theme throughout—violence and speed—and these two tracks along with “CMF” and “Evil Invaders” punctuate that loudly. The album ends with “Thrashdance” which works as an album ended and probably could’ve worked more in the middle of the album. Regardless, a ridiculously strong B-side. If anything, the B-side is actually stronger and it’s because the A-side opened with a four-minuted instrumental.

Strongest Tracks: Instant Death, Speed Merchants**, Tortured Skull**

Strength of the Opener: Nowhere Fast

Even if it’s an instrumental, “Nowhere Fast” is still a good song on its own. The problem is that it opened the album instead of being more towards the middle to break up the songs featuring singing. It’s not like it was going to draw the pace back a bit. This is an album of ripping fast songs and only ripping fast songs, folks. There was no breather in sight.

A better opener would’ve been “Cross Me Fool”, “Tortured Skull” or “Speed Merchants”. Actually, it could’ve opened with the titular track as well but I actually feel that it should’ve been the closing song. Regardless track placement—very important, by the way—this was an amazing piece of 1980s thrash metal from a band that only the real ones know of and I strongly recommend it if you want something fast, furious, and fun to listen to.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.