Razed in Black showcases the industrial dance obsessions of Romell Regulacion. His work is also featured in his myriad other side projects including Transmutator, and DJ work as DJ RiB, or DJ skOOby. Damaged marks the fifth full-length release by Razed in Black and the eighth full-length release overall since 1994. Sure hope he’s taking his vitamins; with a work schedule like his, he’s going to need them.
Damaged is a double-CD that includes the full-length album on disc one, and re-mixes on disc two. All the tracks feature a fresh dance/trance mix of guitars and keyboards that you are unlikely to hear from many other musicians. Strongest tracks from disc one include “There Goes My Head,” “Leave It All Behind,” “Am I 2 Blame?,” and “Visions.” The most engaging re-mix on disc two is easily “Leave It All Behind (future retro mix)” with production done by Romell Regulacion himself. Other featured re-mixers include Assemblage 23, Soil and Eclipse, Sonic State, Neikka RPM, Eve of Destiny, Inertia, and DJ Misguided, among others.
As a bonus, Cleopatra has included the videos of “Master,” filmed during a performance at the Key Club, and “Overflow,” composed of a bunch of video tracks submitted by fans of the band from all fifty states.
While the artistry of Damaged is interesting, it’s lost in the mixing that’s way too bass-heavy and makes vocals, mid-levels, and trebles nearly unintelligible as the bass slams away. There are hints of greatness here, you just have to listen closely. Damaged is worth a buy if you’re not concerned with variety in your drum beats, and if you own a hi-fi system where you can filter out the excess bass to get at the sonic meat hidden beneath.
(13428 Maxella Ave. #251 Marina Del Rey, CA 90292)