Making an assertive statement with their sophomore full length in Replica of A Strange Love, emerging outfit Wristmeetrazor unleashed a 12-track assault that undeniably adds to the conversation of heavy music's continued evolution.
Augmented by the sonic structure of the band's creative pillar, Justin Fornof, WMR's stylistic meld of subcategories of heavy, combined with Fornof's obviously well-read, aggressively articulate lyrical pen, make for the kind of album that position the band to quickly ascend for good reason. The balance of intensity and introspection, under the production tutelage of Knocked Loose's Issac Hale, result in a powerful progression of the sometimes overly saturated space of metalcore.
Written amid the isolation and the interruption of normalcy of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Replica Of A Strange Love was admittedly an emotional and psychological purge for Fornof - a creative respite from a world that had become almost unrecognizable overnight. In that regard, the album takes on the added significance of not only contributing to the lexicon of metalcore music, but also serves as a period piece - a moment in time documented in 12-tracks of creative catharsis.
To better detail the weight of the album, Justin Fornof has provided a track-by-track breakdown - a curation of the album's dark themes, creative cues, and inception insights that will make for a more illuminating listening experience. The take on the extended liner notes provide some a glimpse into the band's ambitious approach to aggressive music and underscore just why their hype is most certainly warranted.
“Our Distress Entwined”
Instrumentally, Jonah wrote most of this song in 2019 at a similar time as “Take Your Shot, Funboy” was being prepared to be recorded. I believe there was even a brief discussion had that we might record this one and release it along side the single for “Take Your Shot, Funboy”, but we instead chose on doing our “Black Planet” Sisters of Mercy cover. The finished product was a track that we felt was a powerful tone setter, I had wanted it to be the album starter from the first time I heard it. I also had originally lobbied for it to be a single. That didn’t happen.
“Last Tango in Paris”
This is a track that I felt possessed a lot of my favorite 80s vibes on the record. I was listening to a lot of Mötley crüe while writing the lyrics, I think that comes through a little bit. It’s about feeling numb, so there was a bit of a conflict in me as to how dark I wanted to take the lyrics. This instrumental was Isaac’s favorite track during pre-pro, it made sense to have him on it. It also made sense for it to be the first single.
Tyler wrote the entire instrumental to this track well before we began pre pro, it was - for all intents and purposes - the 2nd song written for this record. Even though we didn’t know it at the time. It’s a revenge fantasy about the music industry. They need more middle fingers pointed their way.
“Nietzsche is Dead”
“Replica of a Strange Love” has multiple tracks that tie into this much deeper philosophical theme, this is the first in a series of three tracks that all come from a particular perspective. It’s an analysis of Nietzsche’s philosophy - which had a huge impact on me during the past year. I found people like him, and Anton Lavey and Michel Foucault had a much better perspective on the state of the world than someone on the internet. There’s a lot more going on with this track, but that will always remain for the listener to decipher.
“Love’s Labor’s Lost”
Tyler created the instrumental, I wrote the lyrics. It’s a little bit of my take on the bleakness of the previous track as put in perspective of a fallen one. An angel, a devil. Relatable to those who have fallen from grace from circumstances outside of their control.
“Anemic (The Same Six Words)”
One of our favorites in prepro. This one was always meant to have a bit of an Eighteen Visions meets alt metal vibe. I think it came out pretty true to that vision. The lyrics are about the catch 22 of sinking to the level of those who want you to fail, or letting them suck the life out of you. If anything, maybe it’s a track of empowerment, but really I was just furious while writing the lyrics.
“Eyes of Sulfide”
When we arrived in Kentucky to pre pro tracks for the record with Issac, this was the first completed instrumental the 5 of us did together. Lyrically it’s the spiritual successor to “Expiry Date : 12 Hours”, it’s meant to be a hopeful means to an end. The lyrics were triggered by an especially terrifying moment of sleep terror that I experienced after my grandma died. I walked around my house in the middle of the night turning on every light and gained consciousness in time to realize I was asleep the entire time. What I think I saw in the midst of that sleep terror is something I’d rather not remember.
For all intents and purposes, this was the last instrumental written during our pre pro sessions in Kentucky. The first draft of this one was actually a fairly different sounding song, so it was reworked in the last day or two of our time out there. The lyrics on this song reference personal experiences I’ve had with black magic, conjurings and spell work. I’m not sure getting to deep into the specifics would be in my best interest though (laughs).
“99 & 44/100”
The second song following the philosophical arc begun on “Nietzsche is Dead”. It’s composed of kabbalistic numerology, angel numbers, demon numbers and a Thelemic inspired chorus. The chanted numbers in the track are from a spoken word rendition of the Rudyard Kipling poem entitled Boots. There is a lot to dig into here, if you choose to do so.
“A Fractured Dovetail Romance”
Instrumentally, this is maybe our most dissonant track. t’s both Bryan and Tyler’s favorite track on the record. It’s one of two tracks that follow the classic Wristmeetrazor heartache theme. I think the dissonance of the track matches the somber beauty of the lyrics.
“This Summer’s Sorrow II : Growing Old in the Waiting Place”
During a pre pro session in Kentucky, both Isaac and Tyler really liked the idea of doing a sequel to a track that was on our first EP in 2017 called “This Summer’s Sorrow”. The original was a song written instrumentally by Jonah, with vocals done by me. The sequel borrows from the general key of the original, but besides that there are few similarities. Just like every good sequel the end of the song is a line borrowed from the original. It also has the honor of being our most controversial song title due to its inclusion of a Dr. Seuss reference, “The Waiting Place”. Which is essentially purgatory, and the song is about waiting for a day that will never come and wanting to watch anyone who escapes that purgatory burn.
“All the Way Alive”
Replica Of A Strange Love is currently available via Prosthetic Records and can be ordered - HERE