Lazarus A.D.THRASH OR DIE is the motto Lazarus A.D. has lived by since day one and their no holds bar attitude is helping them to be one of the most important and influential metal bands today. Backed up by an unmatched level of creativity and professionalism, Lazarus is as electrifying onstage as off. Hailing from the tundra of Southeastern Wisconsin, Lazarus A.D. (formerly known as simply Lazarus) was formed in the spring of 05. Consisting of four young and driven members: Dan Gapen (guitars/vocals), Jeff Paulick (bass/lead vocals), Alex Lackner (guitars), and Ryan Shutler (drums), Lazarus A.D. redefines the phrase “alcoholism and aggression” in music. Barely of age, they succumb listeners to a vigorous night of head banging while drinking the last of the beer. Keeping in the tradition of old, while adding a new edge to the equation, Lazarus A.D. blends all elements of music into no bullshit metal tunes appealing to the new generation while still keeping the old school listeners hooked.
In a few short years, Lazarus A.D. has accomplished what most could only dream. In the small city of Kenosha, WI, the Lazarus fire began to spread quickly early on. Fueled only on a free three song demo, the guys played as much as possible and landed a big break in the summer of 06 when they had the honor of opening up for the legendary ANTHRAX. They continued to tour the Midwest throughout the summer and fall and finally began work on their first full length album in January of 07. Recorded and engineered by Chris Djuricic (Soil, Michael Angelo Batio) at Studio One, and mastered by James Murphy (ex Death, Tesament), “The Onslaught” was a force to be reckoned with. Continuing to do what they do best, Lazarus stretched out to as far as Denver, CO, receiving an ever growing buzz about their live performances. After a lot of praise and success, Lazarus was approached by Earache Records for an upcoming metal compilation. Last Breath was chosen among 16 songs to appear on “Thrashing Like A Maniac”, and Lazarus being the only unsigned band on the disc, but not for long!
In the Spring of 08 the guys received a call from Metal Blade Records, and a short time later a deal had been inked. “The Onslaught” remixed by James Murphy and released worldwide through Metal Blade. In April of 2009, the band embarked on their first ever full US tour. It would prove to be a big one: Swedish legends, Amon Amarth, with metal veterans Goatwhore and Skeletonwitch in tow. As if that wasn’t enough, Lazarus A.D. missed the last few dates of that tour to head back across the US to join up with San Francisco bay area thrash icons, Testament, for their full US tour. Also joining the party on that tour were label mates and metal/hardcore pioneers, Unearth. Following these two highly publicized and successful tours, Lazarus A.D. once again criss-crossed the US and Canada with label mates Bison b.c. and Woe Of Tyrants. To cap off an active 2009, Lazarus A.D. had the honor of being invited to play Japan’s Loud Park festival 2009, where they played alongside Slayer, Rob Zombie, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Hatebreed and more.
Fast forward to 2011 and The dreaded sophomore album. How does a band like Lazarus A.D. approach what some see as a make-or-break album in a band’s career? How do they handle song writing after the endless (and inevitable) comparisons to Testament, Metallica, Pantera, etc.? “You focus on writing better songs, plain and simple. We fully understood the “sophomore slump” notion, and tossed it to the side. We believe that bands that have achieved success and continue to maintain it naturally evolve their sound while keeping a strong core. That was the plan for us since the get go, and we believe we have achieved that thus far with our second effort.” says vocalist and bassist, Jeff Paulick. It’s simple to say, more difficult to achieve, but Lazarus A.D. has proven that they are up to the task again and again. They’ve played everywhere from the Loud Park Festival in Tokyo to tens-of-thousands to your run of the mill clubs in front of dozens – it doesn’t matter – Lazarus A.D. brings the same show and intensity every time.
Black Rivers Flow is the band’s latest slab of unadulterated, pure heavy metal. It was recorded near their hometown of Kenosha, WI at Belle City Sound with Chris Djuricic with James Murphy of Safehouse Productions handling mixing and mastering duties. The final product is a natural evolution of the band’s sound and, quite literally, the sound of a more mature band. Much of The Onslaught was written while the band was still in high school, and by the time it was released by Metal Blade, the material was already several years old. You can imagine then how hungry and ready the band was to lay down new material.
The end result is a nine song beast full of pure heavy metal, free of any hindering genre tags and written for the sake of writing good music. The band claims any “filler” was left by the wayside and Paulick adds, “We are incredibly harsh when it comes to honesty in our songwriting, and if it doesn’t scream “that’s heavy as fuck” or “this sounds amazing”, it’s not making the record.” Another aspect that the band honed in on was vocals. In the past, Paulick handled the vast majority of the vocal duties with some back-up lines from guitarist, Dan Gapen. This time through, there’s much more synergy between the two. Paulick discusses further, “We used a mixture of singing and screaming, from both Gapen and myself. The way we interact is seamless throughout the record, and truly adds to the dynamic sound of the record.” What you’re hearing on Black Rivers Flow is a band that has truly found their groove. This album will prove to be one of the most undeniably heavy and catchy albums of 2011.
Lazarus A.D. Website
Lazarus A.D. @ MySpace