If one doesn’t think that history moves in cycles then one just needs to take a look at LÄÄZ ROCKIT. 17 years after their last studio album and 24 years after their debut and the band are back in action. After their stint as the Groove Metal band GACK, it was a wonder to what the band might actually sound like. But as with many of the other bands that have come back to life with the recent rising of Thrash Metal, LÄÄZ ROCKIT Thrashes it up decently.
With a somewhat interesting title choice like “Left For Dead”, their long awaited sixth album is not quite the band that we remember. LÄÄZ ROCKIT has taken the time off from the Thrash scene to mature quite a bit. Although they have always been a very talented band that ooze charisma, this album takes a turn for the more serious and darker tones. It’s definitely not their most fun album, but I would argue it’s one of their most grounded efforts.
One thing that isn’t surprising about “Left For Dead” is that only 2 of the original members returned for the album and this might account for the change of tones and direction for the album. Of course, Michael Croons’ vocals have seen better days but he uses them well in the way he can (keeping most of them in his lower register) and Aaron Jellum still has the riffing chops to match all the young guys. The new members to the LÄÄZ ROCKIT line-up perform up to par of the originators.
As for the musical side of the album, “Left For Dead” is good but it still misses a lot of the great originality and energy they had in the early days. It starts off with a killer track “Brain Wash” that is reminiscent of the early 90s era for the band, but after that it somewhat fades into a repetitive Thrash Metal flurry. It catches the listener at times (I seemed to really enjoy the low key energy of “Ghost In The Mirror”) but for the majority of the album it really felt as though the band wasn’t quite altogether on the same page.
Not helping the matter any, the production makes the music a bit harsher than it should be. The bass and drums overtake many of the better moments and there is a rough edge to the sound quality that detracts from the overall presentation. Not that the production is necessarily bad but it definitely doesn’t help the album achieve a greater level.
Perhaps I’m being tough on the ROCKIT but I expect a lot from the band. I’m still glad the band is back but “Left For Dead” is far from their best. I’m hoping beyond hope that this new album is just a warm-up for the Thrashfest that is to come. Fingers crossed ROCKIT fans!
Songs to check out: “Brain Wash”, “Ghost In The Mirror”, “Liar”.
(Online December 13, 2008)