Lazarus A.D. - The Onslaught
Metal Blade
Thrash Metal
10 songs (43:13)
Release year: 2009
Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Although originally this was self-released in 2007, Wisconsin-based Thrashers Lazarus signed to Metal Blade and, after adding the ‘A.D. ’ to avoid legal issues from the other Lazari out there, got James Murphy to give The Onslaught a polish. The result is one of the best Thrash albums from a modern band I’ve had the pleasure of hearing recently. Stylistically taking a good deal of influence from the Post-Thrash as well as Old-School sectors, The Onslaught is a perfect mixture of old and new – as often as you hear Pantera and Machine Head, you’ll hear Exodus and Testament, and whilst some will be a little hasty in rejecting Lazarus A.D. offhand, the more time I spend with this band the more I enjoy them.

It certainly helps that despite only having been around since 2005, the band are pretty skilled at what they do. Guitarists Alex and Dan can chug along with the best, and clearly relish the chance to show off when something a little more melodic is needed – the soloing especially is all great. Drummer Ryan is also more than capable, occasionally adding his own little fills to the general battery, and whilst vocalist/bassist Jeff fits generally into the sound with his Thrash snarl, his bass playing generally gets swallowed, yet has its moments in the spotlight. Depending on how you view music of this sort, you’re likely to lump this in with the Metalcore or Modern Thrash crowds, although it is much closer to the Thrashers. There’s even a little Melodeath influence audible on tracks like Absolute Power, which is also notable for taking the Pantera sound a little further towards the end... Jeff is definitely a cross between Anselmo and Rob Dukes, and it’s fair to say that if you have a serious problem with a little Groove in your Thrash then you’ll dislike Lazarus A.D.

Yet considering that the only Pantera album I even bother pretending to enjoy is Cowboys From Hell, I found myself really digging The Onslaught. Few Metalheads out there will honestly hate the likes of Revolution, catchy riffing and solos ad excellence, and yes, whilst Rebirth will no doubt be track of the week for your Trivium-friendly younger brother, it kicks sufficient ass for you to enjoy a bit of neck exercise to as well. It’s obvious that this band have their heart and soul in the music, far from the soullessness of others; the album is well-titled, as this is always intense and speedy, with a real aggressiveness that’s rooted in the 80s as much as the 90s. With plenty of touches like the ending of Lust to keep things varied (the songwriting is very good throughout) anyone that enjoyed Machine Head’s last will find themselves loving this much, much more. It lacks true greatness, but The Onslaught is a solid debut album that is firmly on the right side of the Thrash fence; this is a band worth watching wherever you sit.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Thou Shalt Not Fear, Revolution, Rebirth, Every Word Unheard
Goat quoted 78 / 100
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