lahar - umeni strachuRight, so who of you know any Czech Republic bands? None? Personally, I know of one such band in the form of legendary black metallers Maniac Butcher, other than that I have nothing. Moving along swiftly, I present Lahar, a thrash, crossover and hardcore act. The band formed in 2002 and has released 4 splits and a full-length, “Umení Strachu” being their latest release and second full length.

My Czech is a bit rusty or maybe completely non-existent, however, the music does speak volumes. By incorporating a hardcore-like vocal style, thrashy riffs, which are all blended together to give you a very crossover, feel to the music in general. I like my music angry and these lads deliver quite a punch that you could trash an apartment, venue or house party to. The thrash is a bit overwhelming in relation to the song structure and the guitar riffs, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. One could even say it has quite a groove edge to it.

“Umení Strachu” kicks off with a rather subtle ambient kind of intro, which has a rather eerie feel to it. This doesn’t last to long before the riffs kick in. There is some urgency to the music, which sets an unquestionable tone for the rest of the album. The first track is titled ‘Dábel Je Hovno’ and shows some gritty thrash riffs, the vocals are unforgiving and the drumming just keeps the rhythm going nicely. There is definitely a hardcore element to the music, which is pretty prevalent throughout the record.

By now we all know, if you are reading this, you like your music angry and the next track that caught my attention and does not disappoint. ‘Recko’ starts off with what sounds like some gunshot execution before breaking into some raging thrash mania. Within all the hysteria you get exposed to, there are some really awesome thrash lines, vocals that compliment the speed and the veracious intent of the track. The drumming yet again compliments everything nicely so that you are left with mass hysteria and confusion. The seemingly perpetual speed assault continues before there is some means of a break down. The track embodies loads of hardcore elements, continues build up which is suddenly silenced. It is still a decent length and a very good track.

The album does seem to be very consistent, however, variety comes in the form of the odd hardcore/crossover style track, in this case only one such track. ‘Zivot Te Naucim’ reminds me very much of Nasum or Insect Warfare in relation to the speed and sphere brutality the instruments are being played. More of a “Make noise not music” approach which that crossover and thrash to it! Even though it is only 43 seconds, it is 43 seconds of malevolent intent! It serves as a pick me upper for the remaining tracks on the album.

Overall the album dishes up about 26 minutes of awesome thrash/hardcore/crossover. This means there is basically something for everyone who is into those sub-genres of metal. The pace and brutality is a definitely appealing along with obscurity of the name and Czech vocals. The vocals does change style from time to time, from thrash to hardcore and something in between, which ads that variety to the album.

So if you are a fan of Vise Massacre, D.R.I. and the various bands that appear on the “Distorted To Hell” compilation, do yourself a favour and get hold of Lahar’s “Umení Strachu” if you need to thrash a house party or just your parents house, this would be the album to do that. It’s different to what I normally listen to, but definitely something I can get into. Awesome album.

Lahar – MySpace Page