Lazarus A.D.
The Onslaught

Now this – this is what I’m talking about. Metal Blade got it right with Lazarus A.D. More than just another retro thrash band, these gents from Wisconsin aren’t afraid to modernize their ripping thrash sound with a heaping dose of groove, seething vocals and a top notch production.

Taking more than a couple cues from recent Exodus while still paying homage to the Bay Area sound of old, Testament and Exodus in particular, The Onslaught is just that – an onslaught of high powered and searing riffs. Riff after crunchy riff, it bludgeons over the head so mercilessly it should make Gary Holt blush.

There really isn’t a lot of diversity here, but it hardly matters because every song is memorable in it’s own right. The hooks come in several forms, be it the monster groove of “Absolute Power” and “Rebirth”, the call and answer vocal approach of “Thou Shall not Fear” and “Who I Really Am” or the many fantastic leads and shredding solos scattered throughout. “Who I Really Am” deserves another mention for it’s extended face peeling solo section and the inclusion of some blasts. The newer Exodus vibe is furthered by bassist/vocalist Jeff Paulick, as his vocals come off like a cross between Rob Dukes and Rumpelstiltskin Grinder’s Shawn Riley. Guitarist Alex Lackner helps to mix it up a little bit with some deeper, nearly death metal vocals in “Revolution”. The lyrics are on the cliché side, being mostly about violence, death and destruction, but it matters not because the songs are just so damned good and memorable.

I really don’t have much to criticize here, other than maybe they stuck a little to close to the modern Exodus template. It’s kind of a moot point though, because as I’ve said the songs just kill, and in all honesty, The Onslaught is probably better than the last couple Exodus albums. Derivative or not, when you write good songs, you write good songs and that’s all that really matters.

If I had to sum up The Onslaught in just two words, it would be “fucking mean”. It’s the most vicious slab of thrash I’ve heard so far this year. I fully endorse and recommend this riff orgy to thrash heads everywhere.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
April 13th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dan

    Sounds cool. Wish they’d drop the A.D from their name. Just sounds stupid. Elsewise, I appreciate a band of this ilk that doesn’t feel like it needs to worship so fervently at the alter of 80’s thrash, musically and aesthetically.


  2. Commented by: Staylow

    They started as just ‘Lazarus’, but had to ad the ‘A.D.’ to avoid possible legal problems as there are already a couple other bands with the name. Probably should have mentioned that in the review.

    Another tidbit of information I forgot to include: The Onslaught was originally a self financed effort released back in 2007.


  3. Commented by: ceno

    “… when you write good songs, you write good songs and that’s all that really matters.” well said, Larry.

    This album is the best thrash album of the year, imo. Newer Exodus reference is right to the point here.


  4. Commented by: Blog › Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks of 2009 › Teeth of the Divine

    […] A.D., The Onslaught. This may be the best band to come out of the neo-thrash […]


  5. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    I haven’t felt this awestruck over a new thrash album since Machine Head released “Burn My Eyes” in 1994. Jesus Christ this demolishes.


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