Up until now, I was only familiar with Hacride by name, but had heard much praise. After spinning Lazarus, the French bands third full length, I can see why – these cats have a pretty unique sound that I can only attempt to compare to a few others.

There are all kinds of sounds and influences spread across the albums seven tracks, but the basis of their sound takes the choppy, jagged riffs and off time rhythms of Meshuggah, then segues right into the atmospheric and more experimental passages that recalls Tool’s last couple albums. The first two tracks are prime examples of this, the colossal fifteen minute roller coaster opener “To Walk Among Them” and the slightly punchier (and shorter) “Act of God”. While the bulk of the album can be described as such, there are brief moments where other elements can be heard, such as the acoustic guitar opening of the title track, the short bursts of blasts in “Act of God”, “To Walk Among Them” and “A World of Lies”, or the sudden and explosively chaotic nature that erupts out of album closer “My Enemy” around the two minute mark.

Most of the songs are long and carry an air of the progressive, effortlessly shifting between moods, tempos and atmospheres. The one exception (in length) is the mid album instrumental “Phenomenon”, which clocks in just under five minutes. It opens with a very bleak and clean picked single note over and over, then slowly introduces a bass line underneath; a gentle lead comes in to add some feeling, then the distortion and drums kick in around halfway through. It’s an extremely brooding and as I said bleak track.

Vocally, Sam Bourreau has a pretty solid and versatile delivery, offering up a good balance of clean and harsh, and many shades between the two. He seems to have a pretty good command over his voice and doesn’t over do it, leaving plenty of room for the music to breathe and carry the compositions rather than dominate them.

While I think that Lazarus is a great album, I couldn’t fully get into it. I’m not quite sure what it is, but it never truly grabbed my attention and held it. Despite this, I fully recommend it to anyone who enjoys things a little more different and a little less predictable. I think maybe I need to give it several more spins before it truly soaks in – this is a truly massive and very ambitious record that requires full attention and multiple plays to appreciate.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
July 18th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Shane

    Nice review, man. I liked their last album. Have been meaning to get to this one.

  2. Commented by: Rane2k

    Just a notice:
    The “Visit the band´s website” link is broken, it should probably point to http://www.myspace.com/hacride, but it leads back here.

    And yeah, sounds interesting, guess why i clicked the link. ;-)

  3. Commented by: Rane2k

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