Monday, January 03, 2011

Devil's 1st Review of 2011: Lazarus A.D. - Black Rivers Flow

I've spoken quite a bit about this band over the past month both in news on the new release and on the last podcast. Here is my brief review of their set when I saw them live in '09. As I've stated before I have high hopes for these guys in making noise on the thrash scene as a potential frontrunner of the new guard. After one listen to the new album Black Rivers Flow it looks like they're well on their way to doing just that.More on this after the jump.


First of all the production on this cd is fantastic. And why shouldn't it be? James Murphy of Death and Testament fame was tapped to do the production and mixing of this and it's light years beyond the debut 'Onslaught' which was already a solid debut release. The guitars have a solid punishing tone as well as the bass. The drums sound cleaner and not buried in the mix like most albums where all you really hear is the double bass. And the vocals by Jeff Paulick have done exactly what I had wished for and improved. For the most part. He is delving into more of a range from almost clean vocals to the screams from before. Where Jeff is really starting to shine is the gruff melodic vocals as in the track 'Casting Forward'. Unfortunately he still delves sometimes into the style of vocals from the first album like in the 'The Strong Prevails' which makes for almost tedious listening.But in the grand scheme of things it's just nitpicking as there are so many improvements in other areas.

This brings me to the songs themselves.There are riffs all over the place on this thing and for the most part it's good and memorable. The opening track 'American Dreams' has such a killer intro that if you're not drawn into this album from there somethings wrong with you. Most of the riffs delve into either speed thrash as in the 'The Ultimate Sacrifice' or groove thrash like in the title track. The last track even delves into ballad territory on 'Eternal Vengeance' before kicking your face in. There is so much variety from each song I can't honestly see anyone getting bored with this release. Unless you don't like any forms of thrash to begin with. Hopefully this album will convert you then.

Overall this is an excellent thrash release and really I see the only thing possibly supplanting it for thrash album of the year is Testament should they release something this year. Not bad for a bunch of guys from Kenosha,WI. Look for Black Rivers Flow to release through Metal Blade Records on February 1st.

Score: 8 Sins out of 10.

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