Rating:
8.2
Lazarus A.D. - Black Rivers Flow
1 February 2011


01. American Dreams
02. The Ultimate Sacrifice
03. The Strong Prevail
04. Black Rivers Flow
05. Casting Forward
06. Light A City (Up In Smoke)
07. Through Your Eyes
08. Beneath The Waves Of Hatred
09. Eternal Vengeance


Fun! Groove! Riffs! Yeah! Four years after their debut and two personal tragedies inside the band, Lazarus A.D. are back confident and strong with an addictive juggernaut by the name of Black Rivers Flow.

The great ideas found on the band's debut The Onslaught are truly taken to the next level and developed into great memorable songs. The band stepped a bit away from the thrash territory and went for a more groovy direction, which made many people who liked the debut angry, but the change, in fact, made Lazarus A.D.'s sound much more original. Black Rivers Flow has pretty much everything you need to get yourself into a good mood or have fun at a concert: plenty of good riffs and shredding solos, strong steady drumming, a few breakdowns here and there, diverse vocals, and easygoing song composition. There is a great catchy intro into the album that "American Dreams" begins with and then develops into a kick-ass opener. There is an equally catchy outro made from a great riff that "Eternal Vengeance" soothingly fades away with. Everything in between is one hell of a fun ride.

The way the songs on Black Rivers Flow are composed makes me happy: there actually is dynamics in the songs, build-ups, climaxes and resolutions, logical connections between riffs and natural flow between parts of the songs. You would never call any song here a "collection of riffs." This music is smart without any concepts, odd time signatures or overly technical musicianship. Lazarus A.D. deliver through sheer sincerity of what is coming out of them. The instrumentation has been done in a very suitable manner, too. There is nothing complex about the drumming and bass; they are quite straightforward, but they are doing exactly what they are supposed to in this genre: sit back and provide a solid foundation letting the guitars spawn their groovy riff magic, an approach reminiscent of what Metallica were doing in the nineties. There is also more vocal diversity on Black Rivers Flow compared to the debut: Jeff Paulick's grunts and screams are now accompanied with Dan Gapen's clean signing. Although it sounds a bit processed and is annoying at times, the change does make the songs more interesting.

Lazarus A.D. are not breaking new ground in the metal world with their second album (while it is quite a step forward), but they are not copying anyone either or making some formulaic music. Rather, Black Rivers Flow is a good combination of thrash metal and Pantera-like groove. Lazarus A.D. have their own style, but they do have that electricity in their guitar sound and soloing precision that reminds so much of Dime.

Thus, what we have on Black Rivers Flow is pretty fresh-sounding powerful fun but also an intelligently written album. It is good to listen to a modern thrash record that does not rehash 25-year-old ideas all over again, yet brings back memories of the legends. Black Rivers Flow is an example of well-structured music both as a complete album and on each separate song, music that is so unpretentious but which comes through so effectively. Bravo, Lazarus A.D.!

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Lazarus A.D.
Album: Black Rivers Flow


 


written by K†ulu | 09.08.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Array - 12.08.2011 at 01:10  
Nice review. I agree rather muchly what you wrote... maybe I'd say that the vocals in general have experienced a tiny downhill. Anyway, when their debut album was the modern definition of keeping things going stably and unhesitatingly onwards, this new output could be described as "deep shadows and brilliant highlights" (thanks him) by its nature. I mean there are awesome climaxes giving contrast to moments when the album seems to disappear somewhere for a few minutes. A mix of their best stuff from these two albums they have released so far would be cool.

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