Spire of Lazarus
Soaked in the Sands

Austrian technical deathcore/technical death metal outfit Spire of Lazarus has been on my radar for a bit now since they released two video game-themed albums under the moniker Dayum.

Both 2017s Dark Souls and 2019s Ghost of Sparta (which is being re-released at the same time as this album, under the new name with Reality Fade) were damn fine examples of modern shredding deathcore/tech death with epic keyboards sprinkled generously around befitting the equally epic subject matter.

Well, after tackling the Dark Souls and God of War franchises, the trio has set their sights on the Prince of Persia games, and though I’m only familiar with the 2 Xbox titles I played back in the early 00s, The Sands of Time and the Warrior Within, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of this killer album.

Stylistically, these guys are super shreddy, modern metal that splits the difference between deathcore and tech death. It is laden with lots of Origin-ish arpeggio sweeps and leads, a few breakdowns, and dual vocals, so fans of both should enjoy this.

The keyboards are not full-on orchestral Lorna shore/ Shadow of Intent bombast and are used here and there to start or finish a song or provide a nice dramatic flourish within a song or the required mid-album instrumental (“The Rekem Reservoir”). They also often add to the subject matter’s sweeping Middle Eastern auras and sonic vistas.

The album bursts from the gate with 3 standouts in “Dahaka”, which sets the epic desert atmosphere right away before some killer blasts and shredding, then the more lumbering, aptly named “Brute” and then we get “Farah”, which introduces the franchise’s female lead, who is voiced by Piper Gogerl (Ancient Fragments, Novena, Question of Eternity), who appears to be a relative unknown, but her short performances here and in killer closing track ‘Two Thrones”, should get her some Liv Kristine/Anneke van Giersbergen-like attention and appearances on more upcoming albums. She’s ethereal and angelic, adding a wondrous beauty to the blistering, searing death metal backdrop or dueting with Jon Nellis’s deep bellows.

The rest of the album is no slouch either, especially “Warrior Within” with its cool little jaunts, shred-filled “Soldier of Sand”, “Mask of the Wraith” which features a disscordant, saxophone-tinged breakdown, and the aforementioned 8-minute closer, “Two Thrones”, which delivers a perfectly paced bookend to a killer album that I will be giving plenty of attention too for the rest of the summer and indeed the year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 23rd, 2022

Comments

  1. Commented by: David S

    This is fantastic stuff, my god


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