Talk about a blast from the past, Bay Area thrash metal pioneers Laaz Rockit have returned to bring a new aural assault to your ears. Formed in 1982, some have called them the progenitors of thrash metal. Though this is a matter of opinion, one cannot deny their impact on that early scene. Laaz Rockit is easily as important as their peers of that day including Exodus, Testament, Anthrax, Metallica & Slayer. Those bands went on to relative fame and fortune while Laaz Rockit was unfortunately passed over. Still their releases were generally well received and often garnered well deserved critical acclaim.
'Left For Dead' is their first album in nearly 17 years; and, frankly, it's like time has not passed one bit. Laaz Rockit thrashes and roars through this work with impressive clarity and ferociousness. The opener 'Brain Dead' rushes along like a runaway train with rabid drumming and blistering guitar work. Essentially, Laaz Rockit repeats this motif in each yet without monotony. They mix it up throughout by adding traditional heavy metal elements that often slow the drumming and give a singular clarity to the guitar solos as found on 'Delirium Void' and 'Erased.' Then there's a track like 'My Euphoria' that, at times, sounds like power metal on speed. Laaz Rockit throws a welcome curve ball half way through on 'Ghost In The Mirror,' a solemn and surging number of grandeur. Other songs live up to their name like 'Turmoil' which is pure thrash metal. Overall, I was impressed by the excellent composition and stinging fret work.
Laaz Rockit's 'Left For Dead' gives no meaning to a comeback album. I don't think they could have done any better. I'm certainly not suggesting they take another lengthy hiatus. Yet, if they keep up this quality Laaz Rockit may single-handly resurrect this waning genre. Very recommended.
- Craig Hartranft
Laaz Rockit has always been an excellent thrash/heavy metal band yet without the popular recognition that their peers have garnered over the years. With their first studio album in 17 years, it's time for all to sit up and take notice. 'Left For Dead' proves that this band has always had the talent and passion to create great metal.
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