Thursday, 24 November 2011

Lazarus Syndrome - Flatline

Self Released 2011

1.Forsaken 2.Devoured By Conflict 3.A Path Less Travelled
4.Blameless Creator

There’s a heavy dose of groove and melody to the band’s sound all wrapped around a melodic death metal framework. Opener 'Forsaken' is a fairly mid-paced generic affair, the extreme edge to the bands approach being in the vocal department. Gruff death metal vocals are mixed with clean sung passages, the contrast in styles working well but never really grabbing your full attention. Not that the vocals are bad, far from it, the differing styles are well arranged but when the clean vocals are used the ‘extreme’ edge to the band is lost and the song seems to sink into a very melodic mire, becoming almost ‘rock’ sounding. It’s quite apparent that LS are trying to tap into the ‘Scar Symmetry’ market, but unfortunately they fall far short from achieving anywhere near that. 'Devoured By Conflict' is very similar in sound, the generic melodic death metal riffing feels very ‘un-threatening’ and the ‘safe option’. There is a more extreme edge to this track, the vocals again structured and arranged well, the downside being that the cleaner vocals begin to take the track over and once again, the bands extremity lost to the more ‘rock’ orientated riffing.
 'A Path Less Travelled' falls further away from any extremity, even the melodic death metal sound seen on the two previous tracks is lost to some very melodic guitar work, clean sung anthemic vocals and ‘nice' drum work. This is as far away from extreme metal as it is possible to be, the track taking on a “Scuzz friendly” American rock ballard feeling. Gruff vocals are introduced at the end of the song, but by then all interest has been lost in a very dull song. Maybe Scuzz is the bands ‘target market’ and they’ve pulled off a master stroke, but from an extreme metal point of view, this falls well short of the mark. 'Blameless Creator' does it’s best to rescue this e.p, a more upbeat melodic death metal start to the song, double kick drums being given a real work out and the death metal vocals really bringing the track to life and adding to the bands limited extremity. This is more like it!! The clean vocals are again used, but used more sparingly to complement the song rather than taking it over. This closing track is all round heavier, everything about it more extreme, more metal. It’s just a real shame the band didn’t emulate this on the previous three tracks because if they had have done, this would have been a cracking cd. Unfortunately the rest of the cd is just too generic, too safe and never really pushes the boundaries of this genre and what the band are trying to achieve. Easy to see what the band are aiming for, but sadly it’s not working to its full potential. Extremely melodic death metal, with hints of rock, something Kerrang might lap up but it’s probably not for the majority of the UKEM community.
6 out of 10

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