The influences of Lazarus A.D. have never been a well kept secret. The Wisconsin foursome's debut, 'The Onslaught,' was drenched in the speed and precision that marked thrash metal's heyday in the '80s. But for their upcoming album, 'Black Rivers Flow,' it was time to build on that foundation and not just make 'The Onslaught' part two.

"Well, when you play the same songs every day for three years, and they all happen to be 200 BPMs, it gets a little old," bassist /vocalist Jeff Paulick laughed, telling Noisecreep where fans can expect differences between the two albums. "We obviously wanted to diversify this record, not only in the vocal department, but in the songwriting as well. Fans are going to hear a lot of different mixtures of our influences this time though. Some people may be turned off, as we have left some of the thrash elements of 'The Onslaught' by the wayside, but we kept true in the songwriting process."

Paulick explained that the band took a similar approach to writing 'Black Rivers Flow' as they did 'The Onslaught,' staying very critical in selecting riffs to construct songs around. "Some songs may be slower, some catchier, but definitely just as heavy as anything on the previous. I actually think a majority of these songs are heavier than most of the last record. Its just in a more groove way, which I happen to like, 'cause I'm a bass player ya know? I like the f---ing groove, something i can just jam the hell out on and get pumped no matter what the crowd is like."

This time around, the band was able to take longer in the studio, having seven weeks instead of the self-funded 10-day rush it took to capture their debut. "We spent a lot of time trying different things, making sure guitar tones were perfect, vocal lines as good as they could be, solos as awesome as possible," said Paulick.

"We were commuting from home -- about a half hour away -- every day, putting in eight hour days. The vocals are going to be the first thing that jumps out at the listener, we spend a better part of three weeks working on them, ensuring they were as heavy as could be during some parts and melodic in others. All in all, a much better experience this time through, a lot less punk rock, a lot more professional."

Between the two albums, the band had to endure a difficult three and half years wait to record -- a necessary evil when an album takes hold demanding constant touring. "We always felt that 'The Onslaught' was something special, a record that could only be written in the time it was," the bassist confessed. "We were still in high school -- still so angry, determined and ignorant.

"We just wanted to write stupid, fast and heavy songs, and show people that super-slow breakdowns with down-tuned guitars and pig squeals isn't good music," Paulick lauged, remembering the sounds that dominated Kenosha, Wis. and the surrounding areas they fought to be heard in.

"We kept with it, used our determination and hard work to get us further, and it has paid off now. The real hard work is going to come on this cycle. The follow up to an 'acclaimed" debut is going to be judged very hard, and were ready for it. We are very proud and confident in this record, we know the fans will love it. Most people who have had a chance to hear it and didn't like it right off the bat come back to me two weeks later and say they love it. It's gonna be one of those records that takes more than one spin to really appreciate."

'Black Rivers Flow' will be released on Feb. 1.

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