Release date: April 20, 2009 | Listenable Records | Bandcamp | Facebook

The ’00s were a prime time for forward-thinking metal with absolutely devastating stompy riffs. Think Gojira, for example – that was the sound of flying whales doing a friggin’ frogsplash from the top rope onto your unsuspecting ass. Proper flattening. There must’ve been something in the water in France back then, because their compatriots in Hacride had that kinda riffs for days, too. Groovy, technical, and absolutely brain-twisting at times, their 2009 album Lazarus defined their career as far as we’re concerned.

Robert Miklos

I don’t remember exactly how did fate decide that I’m supposed to intersect with Hacride’s musical genius. All I know for sure is that I’ll never forget the feeling of discovering them. It was much like going on a hike in the forest and stumbling into a rock, only to then pick up said rock, because hey, it looks kind of nice and who doesn’t like a nice rock. You don’t assume anything, it’s more of an afterthought. However, you take the rock home and upon a relaxed yet meticulous inspection as well cleaning it looks even nicer. Following an accidental drop, and a mini heart attack, it cracks wide open, only to reveal it’s some rare, ultra-amazing geode and your eyes glisten with wonder. After staring at it for hours on end, slowly turning its beautifully complex geometric formations in the flickering and slowly dwindling light of dusk, you are drenched in awe. Then, you leave it on the mantle as a natural masterpiece to be admired by all who gaze upon it. I think that accurately depicts my journey with them in a nutshell.

Although I first discovered Back To Where You’ve Never Been back then. It was a fair amount of time later when I finally arrived to Lazarus. I was already impressed with the band, but with my subsequent deep dive into Lazarus is where I came to the realization that Hacride is a geode. Lazarus is nothing short of a modern triumph in modern heavy music. I’ve listened to this record countless times by now and I’m still discovering new ways in which it impresses. I could go on one of those out-of-this-world-caffeine-fueled exhaustive rants where I swoon over every little agonizing detail as if I discovered fire and water. I could. I won’t though. I doubt even superfans of the band would care to hear that. Also, I need to keep a modicum of intrigue there for those of you who’ve never heard of the band.

Lazarus is one of basically a handful of albums I have nothing bad to say about. I’ve been turning it around in every direction over the past decade since I’ve been listening to it and it’s simply immaculate. Even the lyrics. Yes, even the lyrics. I can’t emphasize that enough. The lyrical thread of the record manages to bring to the table a strong spiritual edge, calling upon the story of Lazarus as a parallel to many things in the modern age, as well as its inherently arcane symbolism as a biblical figure. This is all blended deftly with a profoundly personal take on societal issues, erring around some not-at-all-shallow philosophical areas.

A huge percentage of heavy music just falls short on narratives and lyricism. Lazarus makes up for at least a thousand bands’ blunderous wordsmithing. It’s not just that though, which makes the written content great. The manner in which it is all voiced by Samuel Bourreau is something legendary. It’s incredibly rare to witness a vocal delivery that can so seamlessly and compellingly traverse the almost fathomless distance between tender, thespian, and brutal. There’s nothing I can really say to appropriately conjure the impact. You just have to listen.

Now, I do love Lazarus as a whole. I really do. But there’s a song here which I love maybe more than the rest of the album itself. Granted, it being there is part of why the album is incredible. I’m talking about “To Walk Among Them”. It is easily one of my all-time favorite songs. It rests in the upper echelons of my favorites, among few other examples which can live up to this level. “To Walk Among Them” is first and foremost, one of the most baller fucking ways to start an album. Not only do you, as a band, decide to begin a record with what is essentially a 15-minute metal ‘symphony’, but you also make it a quarter of your album’s runtime. That’s a power move if I ever saw one. Believe me though, when that is the song you’re doing this with, the gamble pays off, more so for the listener.

“To Walk Among Them” to me, feels in every way, like the narration of an entire lifetime, condensed in such a small space it’s surprising it didn’t explode. Its motions, its demeanor, the rapturous display of compositional and executional prowess, the raw power bristling with blinding sparks – it’s an entire spectacle in its own right. It’s such a massive thing that I can swear I’ve witnessed by now, cumulating all the repeat listens with my imagination running wild, an entire universe coming into being and collapsing in on itself and reabsorbing itself into the primordial void from where it emerged. It’s in the truest and purest sense of the word – flabbergasting.

Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the record is unbelievably fucking amazing as well, however I don’t have the space to dive equally deep into the rest of it. Just take my word that it’s almost as good as what opens the journey. What’s equally good is the production, which I praise to high heaven to this day. It’s so damn rare to hear this good of a production value on a metal record, that you might as well imagine it doesn’t exist. I commend the people who engineered this album alongside the band, I really do. They did such an amazing job 15 years ago that you could throw this album at me, say it was released yesterday and I’d think nothing of questioning that.

Hacride is one of the greatest bands to have graced this green earth and Lazarus is a paragon of sonic adroitness. Go listen to Lazarus right-fucking-now!

Toni Meese

Alright, buckle up and get ready to dive into the wild world of Hacride‘s Lazarus! Picture this: a bunch of French metalheads holed up in a dingy studio, fueled by caffeine and sheer determination. That’s the backdrop for the birth of this masterpiece – an album that’s as gritty as it is groundbreaking.

So, what’s the sound of Lazarus like? Well, imagine if you threw prog rock and groove metal into a blender, hit purée, and cranked the volume up to eleven. Yeah, it’s that kind of wild ride. You’ve got blistering guitar solos that’ll make your hair stand on end, drums that hit you like a punch to the gut, and melodies that’ll linger in your head long after the music stops.

But what really sets this album apart is its vibe. It’s like being caught in the eye of a storm – there’s chaos all around you, but at the same time, there’s this weird sense of calm. Tracks like “My Enemy” and “To Walk Among Them” hit you like a freight train, but then there are these moments of pure beauty that’ll stop you dead in your tracks.

And let’s talk about the theme of rebirth and transformation that runs through the album. It’s like every song is telling a story of redemption, of rising from the ashes and coming out stronger on the other side. It’s deep stuff, man – the kind of thing that makes you stop and think about life, death, and everything in between.

Lazarus didn’t just drop into the metal scene like a meteor out of nowhere. This album was a game-changer, a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart of the genre. Suddenly, metal wasn’t just about headbanging and mosh pits – it was about pushing the boundaries, about challenging what it means to be a metal band.

And here’s the best part: Lazarus isn’t some flash-in-the-pan trend. Nah, this album has staying power. Years after its release, it’s still blowing minds and melting faces. It’s the kind of album that’ll make you want to grab your air guitar and shred like there’s no tomorrow.

So, if you’re looking for something to shake up your music library, do yourself a favor and give Lazarus a spin. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a wild ride from start to finish, and who knows? It might just inspire you to embrace your inner metalhead and rock out like there’s no tomorrow.

Eeli Helin

Oh, to be young and full of life again. I remember routinely going to the woods for a jog or a walk pretty much daily for a long while, about a decade or so ago. I was constantly feeding myself new music and trying to find fresh stuff to listen to, and albeit that method does tend to yield some results from time to time, it’s easy to get lost in a maze of random things that creates this sort of ’listener’s fog’, where everything is more or less same old – or at least feels like it, sometimes making even the good shit unnoticeable in the mix. However, some things cut through that fog and directly to your psyche with their brilliance, and Hacride’s Lazarus was certainly one of those, equilibrium-altering discoveries for me.

When ”To Walk Among Them” first made its way to my earholes on one warm summer morning in the woods, I was instantly taken aback by Hacride’s magnificent craft and their immaculate tonalities, utilizing nothing short of epic progressive tendencies with groovier aspects, tying everything neatly together with a hard-hitting production that stands out still today, fifteen years after the fact. The most significant element out of the bunch however, was Samuel Bourreau’s half-screamed, half-sung vocals that sent shivers down my spine back then, and still do today. I’m the kind of doofus that puts a lot of emphasis on vocals, being the ’make it or break it’ aspect for many bands, but even in the former case, rarely does someone strike me with their uniqueness in such manner.

Lazarus is a particularly exciting work of craftmanship also due to its vivacious nature of bundling a multitude of aesthetics and tonalities together in a fashion that would otherwise be almost guaranteed to fall flat, or fail to some extent at the very least. In Lazarus’ case, even the most out there ideas firmly cling together with the more tangible ones, and there’s practically no seams in the wonderous tapestry of genres and aesthetics they so seemingly effortlessly created. From the astonishing grandiose of ”To Walk Among Them” to the groove oriented ”Act of God” and the sludgy post-metal beating of ”A World of Lies”, you can find an immense amount of details to obsess over for years on end. Even though the rougher edge tends to beckon for me the most, the steadier yet all the more ominous ambiances found on ”Phenomenon” and ”My Enemy” for an example, strike the chord in their own eloquent way, ultimately making it very difficult to find even the pettiest flaw or ’what ifs’ that could normally be associated with something of this caliber.

I should add that I generally don’t give a rat’s ass about progressive metal, so getting myself get rekt so massively by something that falls into that exact category felt really strange back then, and does so still today. I’m not an advocate for genre definitions or anything of the sort, but it’s worth mentioning regardless.

I know the other folk taking part in this feature are raving about Hacride and Lazarus at least as much as I do, so I don’t feel the need to delve too in-depth with this, knowing there’s plenty of angles and thoughts to be given by the others. Still, I want to emphasize that Lazarus is a really damn important album for me personally, and responsible for actually altering my outlook on music and art, which I think should say something about its magnitude.

Dominik Böhmer

Dominik Böhmer

Pretentious? Moi?

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