The Onslaught by Lazarus A.D.
Release date : March 2009
Reviewed by Eric Stephens
In Kenosha, Wisconsin during 2005's spring, Lazarus A.D. formed. Having issued a free three song demo, the outfit directly supported Anthrax in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during 2006's summer. Recorded and engineered by Chris Djuricic (who had worked with such acts as SOiL, Novembers Doom, and Michael Angelo Batio), the group cut The Onslaught at Studio One during January 2007. James Murphy (ex-Death / ex-Testament) handled mastering duties, and only a thousand copies were pressed. In early January 2008, the track “Last Breath” was one of sixteen tracks to figure upon the Thrash compilation Thrashing Like A Maniac. Issued by Earache Records, Lazarus A.D. was the only unsigned group to feature. In late July 2008, it was revealed that Lazarus A.D. had inked a record contract with Metal Blade Records, having received a phone call during the spring. For a global release via Metal Blade, James Murphy was hired to remix and remaster The Onslaught.
At The Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 1st, Lazarus A.D. supported Testament. During late November, the track “Thou Shall Not Fear”, remixed, was made available for streaming via the act's official MySpace page. By mid January 2009, The Onslaught's artwork was unveiled. “Last Breath”, through the group's MySpace page, materialized during late February.
Should you be in search of Thrash Metal blessed with a modern touch, but which gains inspiration from eighties stylings, then roam no further than The Onslaught, Lazarus A.D.'s debut full length. Upon The Onslaught, each ingredient lies in place, whether it be Ryan Shutler's blistering drum beats, Dan Gapen and Alex Lackner's dual guitar attack teamed against lightning fury, the rapid solos, or Jeff Paulick's sometimes throaty and sometimes clean vocal attacks, something which frequently multiplies with the aid of Gapen.
Inaugural cut “Last Breath” unleashes itself, and musically speaking, a multitude of exciting moments surface extremely quickly. As the music begins, a steady pace is established as the guitars perform a slight back and forth riff, the drums gaining momentum. Following several splendid guitar pull-offs, which additionally surface later on, vocals finally materialize over a minute into the track, though yet with growling attitude. In existence as though the track wasn't respectable to begin with, a flying solo immediately leads into a dynamic breakdown, a few Death growls being contributed even for perfect measure.
“Thou Shall Not Fear” continues Lazarus A.D.'s dominant performance, the music building via a solo moment, and subsequently deviating towards a frenzied pace. When the music breaks down upon this occasion, several Classic Metal guitar pings please the listener. One such moment where multiple vocals emerge, “Revolution”'s shredding fury nonetheless particularly steals the limelight courtesy of lengthy runs, and screaming solos. The Onslaught frees one's lengthy hair, and promotes the use of the neck as a hinge to allow the head to bang, something which “Forged in Blood” enthuses the listener to do at its conclusion even.
If one group boasts the musical prowess to lead Thrash's resurgence, then Lazarus A.D. must be a possible candidate. Performing via a Slayer induced swagger, the outfit boasts each and every element, as well as the ability, to lend a modern touch to classic Thrash stylings. Lazarus A.D.'s highly energetic assault upon each number is appealing, whilst The Onslaught's technical moments are sufficient to maintain interest. The only quibble is the fact that Death growls surface during “Last Breath”, but don't particularly surface elsewhere upon the album. Tedious moments remain absent, and in most regards, The Onslaught can be considered a clinical exercise in how to shred via the guitar, and exhaust the limbs via the drums. The only question would be the following; where has this group been hiding? Certainly a force to be reckoned with, Lazarus A.D. is a group which'll quickly ascend through the ranks, and The Onslaught supplies evidence to confirm this.