ALBUM REVIEW: Replica of a Strange Love, by Wristmeetrazor – It Can’t Make You Stay, But It Won’t Let You Leave

Wristmeetrazor. A name like that clearly illustrates what they are: A modern take on an early 2000s metalcore sound with an emo twist. If their name alone doesn’t draw you in, surely their team of powerhouses will. With Justin Fornof (ex-Molotov Solution) as the lead vocalist and bassist, Jonah Thorne (Secondgradeknifefight, Glass Killing Floor) on guitar, Bryan Prosser (Inclination, Glass Killing Floor) handling both drums and vocals, and Tyler Norris (Foreign Hands, Vicious Embrace) on guitar, Wristmeetrazor shapes this four-piece into a force to be reckoned with.

In 2019 they shook the metalcore world to the core with the release of their first full-length, Misery Never Forgets. Now, in 2021, they plan to shake it all over again with their upcoming sophomore effort, Replica of a Strange Love. Obviously not an act to shy away from diving headfirst into theatrics, this new release is absolutely drenched in gothic imagery and philosophical teachings. The album was also produced by Louisville resident Isaac Hale, of Knocked Loose and Inclination, who also spends a lot of time (outside of touring) helping record different Louisville hardcore albums, though this might be his biggest project yet on that side of the production fence.

“I..can’t make you stay, but I..won’t let YOU LEAVE”. An emotional start to the journey, Our Distress Entwined weaves a story of a relationship gone sour, and what that might do to a person’s psyche. Filled with chunky riffs and an absolutely swooning chorus reminiscent of early Motionless In White, it’s a perfect choice to set our expectations for the rest of the album.

Last Tango In Paris was the first single they released and immediately reminded me of Bullet For My Valentine. Those familiar beefy guitar tones that lead us smack into Justin screaming “The sun sets..desires…COOMEEE” with all the sense of a thrashing metalcore song from the mid-2000s. The track, if it weren’t heavy enough, also features Isaac Hale as a guest vocalist, accompanying a sickening breakdown as he grunts out, “So I can watch you FAIL.” An incredibly intense, but insanely fun, track.

The third track on the record, Sycophant, sees more of their modern metallic-hardcore sensibilities bleeding through in the song-writing, going as far as having some beatdown moments and panic-chords blending with their mid-2000s emo choruses. A wonderful reminder that despite their love of emo-theatrics, this eccentric group has also earned their stripes by touring with hardcore acts and playing at events like LDB Fest. This hardcore momentum that was built up carries us forward and washes us over completely with Nietzsche is Dead, which barely features any of the previously used emo-theatrics and instead chooses to be blatantly-in-your-face metallic-hardcore, chockfull of harsh breakdowns and panic-chords, and is the shortest song on the record, weighing in at 1 minute and 23 seconds. An absolute ass-beater that leaves just as quickly as it came.

Anemic (The Same Six Words), the sixth track and second single released, takes us all over the musical globe as we’re first approached with the thrash-metalcore of the rest of the album, then sprinkled with a little bit of Manson-influenced vocals, before taking us into a chorus inspired by Deftones. The fact that they were able to incorporates these vastly different sounds into one cohesive piece that still manages to feel snug with the rest of their tones is impressive, but even more so that it ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the record.

By the 7th track the band shows no signs of slowing down, and instead come back swinging crazily with Eyes of Sulfide, arguably the heaviest effort on the release. Full of chaotic panic chords, intense breakdowns, and thrashing drums reminiscent of Slipknot, this song is going to kill somebody in the pit.

This Summer Sorrow: Growing Old In the Waiting Place was their third single released. Given that it’s the only slow/soft track on the release, I felt it odd to release it as a single, though it could absolutely have been to show off just how wide their range is. A slow, methodically written track showing off even more of their Deftones influence, with a chorus that undeniably pierces the heart, “Now it’s your turn. How’s the view? Watching it burn.” While the slowest song, it takes the cake for the most powerful, and is the perfect choice to begin wrapping up their fantastic sophomore release.

Replica of a Strange Love stands proudly as Wristmeetrazor’s strongest release to date. Consistently in your face, a chaotic blend of 2000s emo and current metalcore/hardcore. Justin’s lyrics never fail to tackle difficult relevant themes, blending them all through the eyes of philosophical ideas, making it just as much fun diving into lyrical content as it is listening to the album itself. The band seems to fully realize themselves in the amalgamation of early emo-metalcore bands like and the new wave of metallic-hardcore bands; which would only make sense given where all the members come from, and which bands they’ve always toured with. The sound is not just a logical conclusion to reach given their influences, but also a wonderful one to hear. It has a little something for everybody, and feels more refreshing to bounce back and forth slightly between their aggressive styles and their more emo driven choruses. It feels familiar in all the right ways with the perfect amount of new metalcore sensibilities sprinkled in.

Wristmeetrazor – Replica of a Strange Love (Out June 11th, 2021 via Prosthetic Records)

Track list:

Our Distress Entwined

Last Tango In Paris


Nietzsche is Dead

Love’s Labor’s Lost

Anemic (The Same Six Words)

Eyes of Sulfide

Dies Irae

9.99 & 44/100

A Fractured Dovetail Romance

This Summer Sorrow: Growing Old in the Waitng Place

All the Way Alive

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