Razor (band)

Razor is a Canadian speed metal band formed in 1983 at Guelph, Ontario. 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.[1]

Razor performing in 2016
Razor performing in 2016
Background information
OriginGuelph, Ontario, Canada
GenresSpeed metal, thrash metal
Years active1983–1992, 1996–present
LabelsVoice, Viper, Steamhammer, Fringe Product, Hypnotic
MembersDave Carlo
Bob Reid
Mike Campagnolo
Rider Johnson
Past membersJohn Scheffel
Shane Logan
Rob Anderson
Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren
Mike "M-Bro" Embro
Rich Oosterbosch
Jon Armstrong
Adam Carlo
Rob Mills
Shareef "Reef" Hassanien


Early years and split (1983–1992)Edit

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 and guitarist, but left in 1984. After a failed success with two other vocalists, Carlo would eventually establish a line-up featuring vocalist Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren, bassist Mike Campagnolo and drummer Mike "M-Bro" Embro. The founding members, the guitarist and rhythm section, were former school-mates.[2] A 5-track demo was recorded in 1984 prior to the release of the Armed & Dangerous EP in May 1984 by Voice Records, which received underground acclaim. A pre-production demo album titled Escape the Fire was made in December 1984, which would become the first full-length album Executioner's Song, released in April 1985 through Viper Records. 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 due to the build-up of conflicts within the band and the lack of a domestic release in the United States, which in turn 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's interest in the band declined 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. 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. A compilation called Exhumed was issued by Fringe Product during the band's absence. [3]

Reformation and recent years (1996–present)Edit

Razor live in Toronto, 2009

In 1996, Razor became active again as a result of vocalist Bob Reid's idea of reforming the band. Both Reid and Carlo were joined by Armstrong and SFH drummer Rich Oosterbosch. The eighth studio album Decibels was released in 1997 by Hypnotic Records. Armstrong and Oosterbosch would no longer be in the band and was replaced by returning members Rob Mills and Adam Carlo (before being replaced by Mike Campagnolo).

Razor were featured on The Gates of Hell tour in 2005, the Headbangers Open Air Festival in 2009 and the True Thrash Festival in Osaka in 2011. A DVD of this performance was released only in Japan in February 2012.

On April 19, 2012, Carlo was diagnosed with Stage 2 oral cancer,[4] but was successfully treated and resumed his guitar duties in 2015. The band performed at a charity event in 2014, the Maryland Deathfest in 2015[5] and the California Deathfest in 2016.[6]

In 2014, drummer Rob Mills left the band and was replaced with Ripp'rd drummer Rider Johnson. In late 2018, Johnson announced his departure via Facebook and was replaced with Shareef "Reef" Hassanien for the majority of 2019. However, by the end of that year, Johnson rejoined the group.

In November 2021, the band revealed that an upcoming album is expected to be released in 2022.[7] A month later, the title of the album was revealed as Cycle of Contempt, along with the track listing.[8] On August 9, 2022, the band revealed the album would be released on September 23.[9]





  1. ^ "13 Canadian Metal Albums Everyone Should Own". Kerrang!. May 2, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "Razor biography". metallian.com. 26 August 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Razor history". metallian.com. 26 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  4. ^ "RAZOR Guitarist Diagnosed With Oral Cancer". Blabbermouth.net. 14 June 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  5. ^ Kelly, Kim. "Maryland Deathfest 2015: Classic Thrash, Norwegian Black Metal, and One Hell of a Bangover". Vice. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Sperry-Fromm, Rob. "California Deathfest 2016 lineup". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  7. ^ "Razor - Completing First Album In Almost 25 Years". Metal Storm. November 22, 2021. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "RAZOR - New Album Title, Tracklisting Revealed". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. December 29, 2021. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  9. ^ "RAZOR Announces First New Album In 25 Years, 'Cycle Of Contempt'". Blabbermouth.net. August 9, 2022. Retrieved August 9, 2022.

External linksEdit