Lararus A.D.
Black Rivers Flow

What is it these days with so many bands who will come out with a debut that will knock you on your ass but then turn around and release a sophomore effort that flat out sucks and/or totally jumps the shark? Add the young and once extremely promising thrashers Lazarus A.D. to that group.

As soon as the albums starts, I know something is amiss as I’m greeted with the much slower, mid-paced and flat out less aggressive (in comparison to the debut, The Onslaught) “American Dreams”. To it’s credit though, the riffs and overall guitar work is pretty catchy, but this whole song has an arena-rock feel and sound to it as opposed to head spinning thrash. More of the same follows in “The Ultimate Sacrifice”, but things take an upward swing with the speedier “The Strong Prevail”, a song that has a bit of that modern Exodus sound and would’ve been right at home on The Onsluaght.

From here, it’s mostly downhill as the title track lightly treads into semi-ballad territory. Though the main riff is pretty damn good, it’s here where they introduce the newly incorporated clean vocals into the chorus that, well, seem out of place. Catchy? Yes. Good? Not necessarily. “Casting Forward” features more of that gutted sounding mid-paced riffing, and once again, those out of place clean vocals, which crop up again in “Light A City (Up in Smoke)”, and “Through Your Eyes”. The latter had potential with a pair of simple yet memorable riffs, but the clean chorus brings the song to a screeching halt. “Beneath the Waves of Hatred” makes an attempt to bring things back to life, as it’s more in line with the previously mentioned “The Strong Prevail”, but by now it’s far too late. Album closer “Eternal Vengeance” is a mixed bag. Kicking off in ballad form, the song takes off with a bit of cool, speedy riffing, but then toys around with more of those sickly clean vocals and then bounces around back and forth. I suppose it was meant to be some sort of mini epic at just over seven minutes, but it fails horribly.

Outside of a pair of songs and a handful of scattered memorable riffs, there’s not a whole lot of good here. The only other positive thing I can say is the ultra clean and polished production is suitable for what they were going for. I do quite enjoy the crisp and clean drum sound, as it’s a bit reminiscent of Metallica‘s black album. Now that I think about it, that might be the perfect comparison for Black Rivers Flow. Had I heard this album 20 years ago, I may have enjoyed it.

I don’t think for a second this is the sound of a band looking to push their sound into new territory. No, this to me, sound like a band more interested in fame and fortune rather than making good music. Maybe I’m way off base with that notion, but either way, Black Rivers Flow still sucks.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
March 15th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    I don’t get the hate for this album, its become trendy to bash it. Not a groundbreaking release or anything, but still quite good in a Testament sort of way.

  2. Commented by: faust666

    I’m with Larry on this one. I was pretty disappointed with this record, thought it was pretty boring and unmemorable.

  3. Commented by: krustster

    Good review! I also loved the debut and when I heard this one I shit my pants with incredulous disappointment. The clean singing is so bad and inappropriate and the songs are just bland. I worried that I would read “The Onslaught sucked but this one is great!” but you hit the nail on the head with this review.

  4. Commented by: Staylow

    Krust and faust – thanks.

    BP – I hadn’t realized it had become “trendy” to bash this album. Had I known that, I may have hailed it a masterpiece – because you know I just don’t want to be caught up in any sort of trendy shenanigans.

    Truth be told, I disliked this album from the word go, when I wanted oh so bad for it to kick my teeth in. Not in this lifetime.

    And how dare you compare the mighty Testament to this rubbish – you should be ashamed.

  5. Commented by: shaden

    not trendy to hate them,they just suck.

  6. Commented by: legumbrera

    Yes this record really sucks!

  7. Commented by: Fred Phillips

    After three or four songs, the record just all started sounding the same to me. I didn’t hate it, I was just bored by it.

  8. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    How dare I compare them to Testament? If the glove fits.

    No need to hail it either, its not a masterpiece… its just your review reads like a personal grudge, as though they fucked your girlfriend the last time they came through town.

    There are some good riffs on here, and its well put together. Better than 90% of the other nu-thrash that’s out there these days.

  9. Commented by: faust666

    BP needs to STFU. LOL..

    Also, the review reads like a rather objective account of the true listening experience.

  10. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    There is no such thing as objectivity. No invoke objectivity is to invoke the concept of God… and there is no God.

    I’m not the defender of this band, I didn’t pay much attention to their debut. I’ve paid marginal attention to this album, only because its being hated on so much… but I just don’t get it. Its pretty standard contemporary thrash with a few clean vox thrown in here and there. Big deal.

    Can’t wait for Larry’s so-called “objective” review of the new Haunted. Hell hath no fury like a bitch scorned! lol

  11. Commented by: Staylow

    Haha, fuck you BP. So how do you go about writing a review with a negative slant without coming off “like a personal grudge, as though they fucked your girlfriend the last time they came through town.”?

    I think it’s funny you say this here after I trashed your favorite band over on the IC forums, like you feel you need to snap back elsewhere with some witty retort. Which, by the way, The Haunted review will be bad. My first time hearing it was one of the those rare listening experiences so bad it was like someone just shit in my mouth. What a horrible album.

  12. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Easy, there are lots of good examples on multiple websites of negative reviews. Sorry, but you just sound like a bit of a crybaby on this one… as you expectantly will on your review of the new Haunted. lol

    Also, when you write for a public audience, you have to be able to take critique. Its part of the game man. I know this well, I do it for a living. Mostly I enjoy reading your reviews, but I thought this one was weak. Sorry that you got offended. Peace.

  13. Commented by: Stiffy

    BP do you enjoy the new Haunted? Because you’d be the only person in metal that does. Wake the fuck up dude.

  14. Commented by: Cynicgods

    I also like the new The Haunted. Thing is, I don’t look at it as a metal fan would. I look at it as an alternative rock record (a very poppy one, even) with pretty heavy guitars. Expectations and hype can murder bands, eh? :P

    Lazarus AD= A healthy bout of ZZZZZZZZZZZ’s.

  15. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Stiffy. Go fuck yourself.

  16. Commented by: faust666

    I’m sorry BP but I don’t buy your spiel on objectivity. This IS a RATHER objective review.


    “No(sic) invoke objectivity is to invoke the concept of God… and there is no God.”

    Tsk tsk BP, that’s a combination Straw Man and Non Sequitur. Specially ironic given the context you tried using it in…

    In fact, here’s an objective review for Black Sabbath :
    “I can’t stand Black Sabbath but I realise that masses of metalheads worship ’em and that’s cool. I can live with that as long as the same folks don’t presume to lecture me on the unworthiness of calling Despised Icon a metal band.”

    Q.fuckin.E.D ;-)

  17. Commented by: faust666

    Also BP, you might want to check up the usage of the word “expectantly” vs “expectedly\expectably”.

    “runaway” emoticon….

  18. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Awww, Stiffy, he likes you. He really does. :P

  19. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    faust666… thanks for demonstrating you’re still a fucking idiot, but most of all thanks for being the spelling police. Douche.

  20. Commented by: faust666

    Aww, who sounds like the ” crybaby whose gf got fucked” now?

    In future don’t try to use Kierkegaard and the Subjectivity/Objectivity argument without understanding it fully. Little learning…

    Also, your “I’m more mature, respectful, tolerant, less abrasive etc etc” avatar didn’t last very long, did it? ;-)

  21. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Wow, suddenly you’re the smartest guy I know! Kierkegaard? WTF are you talking about? I’m talking about situated knowledge and the god-trick of objectivity. There is no objectivity, only subjectivity. It’s qualitative methodologies 101 genius. Obviously you’ve never heard of Donna Haraway, but then again I wouldn’t have expected you to. BTW, I used “expectantly” quite deliberately and quite correctly. Now run along and do a “little learning”, besides, don’t you have better things to, like oh I don’t know, beating up a woman somewhere? lol

  22. Commented by: Stiffy

    LOL! Children! Children! Love one another.

  23. Commented by: faust666

    Hahaha.. You crack me up BP.. Always the drama queen. Your self righteous pomposity fools no one. No one gives a fuck about your pitiful academic posturing. You really should have figured that out by now.

    PS: I enjoy beating up women, especially women like you :-)

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