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Black Rivers Flow
Released: 2011, Metal Blade Records
Imagine an orgy of untold depravity featuring the Lamb of God and Rob Dukes-era Exodus line-ups. Hastily cover the cheeseburger you just threw up on the carpet with club soda and salt before the stain sets, and try to picture the offspring of such a union. Congratulations - you now know more or less all you need to about Wisconsin's Lazarus AD.
Indeed, you could separate the strands of creative DNA evident in these Kinosha natives at will - more so now than you might have done on their debut, 2009's THE ONSLAUGHT. That album was a wholly unremarkable, though entertaining slab of modern metal. Here the quintet seem thoroughly motivated to deliver something altogether more special and on the surface, they have left nothing to chance. For one thing, the record SOUNDS fantastic, with every instrument wrapped in a fine sonic sheen that leaves particularly the drums sounding as imposing as a bull elephant with a swollen testicle. They take a decent stab at writing proper songs too and few will deny them the plaudits they deserve for penning a neck-jarring monster like "American Dreams".
And yet, I can't get away from how derivative it all sounds. Sure, the same can be said of many bands I've praised to death on these very pages but Lazarus AD sound Xeroxed in a way that makes me feel entirely nonplussed about ever have to endure another sitting of BLACK RIVERS FLOW. When all signs point to a band being capable of much more, that spells major disappointment in my eyes.
1. American Dreams
2. The Ultimate Sacrifice
3. The Strong Prevail
4. Black Rivers Flow
5. Casting Forward
6. Light A City (Up In Smoke)
7. Through Your Eyes
8. Beneath The Waves Of Hatred
9. Eternal Vengeance
Jeff Paulick – vocals, bass
Dan Gapen – lead guitar, vocals
Alex Lackner – guitars
Ryan Shutler – drums
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