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It's a shame that Lazarus AD failed to achieve as much attention as its fellow members of the so-called "thrash revival" scene. Perhaps the main reason for this is that Lazarus do not try to create carbon copies of the 80s thrash giants like a lot of their peers. Their second album illustrates even more-so than their first that while being thrash, they don't have a need to conform to any formulas that are perhaps expected of them. They simply play what they think sounds good and seem to have a great time with it, which is definitely a refreshing breath of fresh air.
With 'Black Rivers Flow', Lazarus have progressed into an intriguing entity. If one must go by genres, I would call them thrash with heavy groove and even death influences thrown in. Think Nuclear Assault with some Pantera and a tiny pinch of Death. And it works.
While not being perfect, 'Black Rivers Flow' has everything to make it worthwhile for a listen. The speed and aggression are accompanied by well-designed melody amongst crunchy, groovy riffs. The drumming and solos are excellent with their variations within songs - it is not the same blast beat or riff played time and time again throughout the whole song.
My biggest, and perhaps only major complaint, is the vocalist. While its something one can get used to, his singing occasionally reminds me of metalcore screaming rather than what is "expected" in thrash. But I suppose I can attribute that to them breaking the stereotypes and going in their own direction. Don't let this sway you away from giving the album a listen, however. While needing large improvement in my opinion, the vocals aren't terrible. They just aren't up to par with the rest of the band's sound.
A solid release from just as solid a band with still plenty of room to grow, 'Black Rivers Flow' is definitely worth picking up while awaiting Lazarus AD's third release with high hopes.
-Marcin W. Cencek