Onheil has finally released their debut album after some apparent struggles within the band. Razor brings us a new and changed version of Onheil, which used to be black metal from the Netherlands, but now seems to have transformed into something different from what we’re used from them when listening to the old demos.
If you’re out for some insulting words about Onheil because of the whole issue they were involved in during the ongoing feud between Christian and Satanic black metal, you might as well not read this review. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t care for the beliefs a band carries, but at Metalrage I talk about music and not about disputes between bands.
Now that I’ve cleared the air about this matter, let’s turn to the music. Like I mentioned in the introduction Onheil has evolved away from the typical black metal style and seems to put its focus on a more melodic approach but still with an aggressive feel to it. Most of the tracks are up tempo, but in a way that it doesn’t tend to bore your brains out. 'Penetration of Innocence', which is cleverly introduced by a sample of a scared girl stating she has never been with a man before, is more down tempo, up to a certain point of course, because it wouldn’t be Onheil if they would get stuck into a down tempo spiral during the songs.
What I particularly like, being a Dutchie and all, is that Onheil has included one Dutch track on Razor: 'Pad der Verdoemenis' (roughly translated: path of damnation). What I particularly don’t like is the fact that you find three guitarists on this album, but yet there’s no room whatsoever for a nice solo or some more interplay between the guitars. Overall, it’s a good album, although I think the fans of the old days will need some time to adjust to this new style. Still, I’m also pretty sure Onheil will gain some new souls with Razor.