posted on 6/2009 By:
Hacride have some shitty timing. This French act fuses noodly thrash metal, off-kilter rhythms, and towering Devin Townsend/Strapping Young Lad-style melodies, and they released their debut full length Deviant Current Signal in 2005…the same year that generally like-minded countrymen Gojira unleashed their break-out album From Mars To Sirius. Hacride have been plagued by unflattering—and unwarranted—comparisons to their better-known brethren ever since, but these guys don’t rely on thundering rhythms and mechanical rigidity like Gojira do. Lazarus, their third album, sees them tread a subtler, more melodic path very similar to their Dutch peers in Textures.
If anything, Hacride are further from theoverpowering musings of Gojira than Textures, and ultimately their daring serves them well on Lazarus. Nowhere is this more obvious than on opening cut “To Walk Among Them.” Hacride have elected to begin their album with a fifteen-minute blowout that could easily stand alone, I style, instead of an easily-digestible thrasher. It’s a gutsy choice, and it allows the band to make an instant impression. The track deploys all of Hacride’s considerable catalogue of songwriting devices. It’s rife with loud/soft dynamics, fluid modernist guitarwork, shimmering keyboard textures, atmospheric interludes, and a great vocal performance by the multitalented Samuel Bourreau, who can handle everything from ethereal cleans (used to great effect over a blastbeat during the song’s second half) to a Townsend-ish melodic shout to an all-out scream. “To Walk Among Them” concludes with a crushing half-time coda that automatically sets up its choppy follow-up “Act of God” for disappointment, but Hacride hit their stride again with the nine-minute title track, which begins with some very reserved acoustics before lurching into needling, baroque Darkane-style thrash.
Admittedly I’m a sucker for overwhelming, epic songs, and Lazarus might strike some as undisciplined. But even if the album’s six-plus-minute average track length is too much for you, Hacride’s gifted musicianship and songwriting speak for themselves. With bands like Textures, Darkane, Gojira and Yakuza running around, this particular blend of styles is hardly new, but Lazarus is as strong as anything produced by that group of peers in the last couple years.
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