Lazarus A.D. - Black Rivers Flow (Metal Blade/Riot)

American neo-thrashers Lazarus AD are on a mission to show the world 'We are a force to be reckoned with'...And that might not be just empty bravado!
Release Date: 
31 Jan 2011 - 11:30pm

Wisconsin may not be your idea of one of the world's global musical hotspots, though fans of the demon alcohol have long revered the Badger State for it's welcome nurturing of various massive breweries over the years. But somethings been fermenting (sorry) in the last few years, oh yessir... a heady brew of out n'out ol'skool thrash madness and slightly less venerable power groove headcrusherama that goes by the brand name of Lazarus A.D. - It's time to get this frothy blend of goodness down yer lugholes, brothers and sisters, and raise a pint of the old foaming nutbrown to a rather splendid crate of export-strength heaviness...
Again, apologies for the laboured beer/heavy metal analogies. It's been a long month and a brother needs a chance to ease his groaning grey matter once in a while, yes? Whatever. The powers that be demand a review of Black Rivers Flow, so that's what you're gonna get. In fact, without all the 'heady brew' nonsense, that description of BRF in the first paragraph is actually pretty aposite. Album opener American Dreams is a pretty spiffing statement of intent, all heads-down-see-you-at-the-end mania and gravel throated screaming, whereas the excellent Casting Forward hints at something altogether a little more refined, a little more thoughtful, juxtaposing as it does a decidedly 'modern rock' vocal performance from vocalist Jeff Paulik with a heavy as buggery set of riffage that wouldn't have seemed out of place on a Corrosion of Conformity album from the early nineties. Light A City (Up In Smoke) fuses a Mustainesque approach to soloing to a Cavalera riff - to hugely satisfying effect, it has to be said - whilst MaF is incredibly surprised that Through Your Eyes isn't actually called TYE, such is the gonzoid retro appeal hidden within it's neckbrace testing opening rifferama.The song goes all 'modern' in the middle though, and it's this refusal by the band to stay in one place for too long that is perhaps their major strongpoint. To have kept up the eighties tribute through the whole song would have rendered Lazarus AD as powerful as irony busting bozos like Municipal Waste; but they are considerably superior to that,and, as the hint of Goteborg at the start of the excellently catchy Beneath the Waves of Hatred will attest, they are able to meld old and new influences into something that is devastatingly 'now' in it's execution, and undeniably Lazarus A.D. Marvellous stuff.