The Onslaught has gone through some changes. This very album was recorded a few years ago in January of 2007 with Chris Djuricic (it’s OK, I don’t know who he is either). But why release it twice, you ask? Now under the label Metal Blade Records, the album is being remixed by James Murphy to be released worldwide. If you’re a metal fan, you might recall Murphy was a member of legendary thrash act Testament. Hailing from the surprising location of Wisconsin, Lazarus A.D. have a solid foundation for production and exposure this time around.
Why is their Wisconsin heritage surprising? Because these guys sound like they’re from southern California or even Europe, two historical locales for the genre. And everyone is aware the Swedes are metal aficionados, let’s not forget. But can four badger gentlemen make it in the scene? If The Onslaught is any representation, absolutely they can.
The first two tracks are a great start to the debut (let’s not argue technicalities and just agree this is the debut). “Last Breath” kicks off blistering and then becomes a Metallica-like song in the chug-chugging of guitars. The vocals don’t even kick in until a minute and a half in, and they don’t need to because the riffing does all the work. “Thou Shalt Not Fear” just screams Testament and that’s all that needs to be said. It’s hard to consider what the metal world would be like without those two monumental influences. The remainder of the album continues to remain powerfully aggressive with plenty of solos throughout. The pace of every song is intense; there’s no time to stop to rest the ears.
Lazarus A.D. are incredibly promising and are a great discovery for someone looking for fresh, innovative stuff. These guys sound like they’ve been at it for years. If The Onslaught is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come, there truly will be an onslaught to come.