Black Rivers Flow by Lazarus A.D.
Release date : February 2011
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
Let’s face it, Kenosha, Wisconsin is not exactly synonymous with metal breeding grounds like the Bay Area or death-ridden Florida. Somehow though, a small group of Kenoshains have risen to the top of a resurgent thrash scene. Lazarus AD burst on the scene with their debut, nearly laying waste to everyone else and drawing immediate comparisons to demigods like Metallica and Testament. And with the release of their second album, Black Rivers Flow, they damn the sophomore slump to hell.
Lazarus AD offers a great blend of traditional thrash and pure heavy metal. The heavy yet groovy “American Dream” kicks off the attack with a Pantera-tinged slab of anger that could win over even the most aggressive of naysayers. “The Ultimate Sacrifice” stumbles for a second before ending strong and leading the way into one of the album’s finest moments, “The Strong Prevail.” Anthemic and chock full of piss and vinegar, “The Strong Prevail” is a firm reminder that there’s more to the current metal scene than metalcore and screamo. Likewise “Light a City (Up In Smoke)” is a stompin’ good time that screams big arenas and seas of headbangers.
The title track and “Casting Forward” are musically heavy but way more melodic vocally. While that dynamic could certainly get under the die hard metal fans skin pretty quick, Lazarus AD pull it off with ease and it sounds so natural that you can’t help but respect it. The grooves are just insane on these two songs and once your head is bobbin’ there’s no turning back. “Eternal Vengeance” is the one moment that makes me shudder though. It goes a little too commercial for my tastes, bringing to mind Avenged Sevenfold. It’s a definite minus for me, but for those looking for something up the mainstream rock alley, it will at least provide you with a connection point to the better songs.
Overall, Black Rivers Flow is a stick of dynamite. Take “Eternal Vengeance” off the album and its damn near perfect in my opinion. When I listen to this album, it makes me feel like I did when I first heard Ride The Lightning, Peace Sells, and Cowboys From Hell. Whether it will stand the test of time remains to be seen but this could very well be one of the only classics to come from the current generation of metal bands.