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The Lazarus Trio

Crossover Prog

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The Lazarus Trio Open Letters album cover
4.02 | 22 ratings | 1 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude (2:05)
2. Road (6:24)
3. Oligarchy (5:38)
4. Role (5:15)
5. Raymond Jesse's Ghost (5:03)
6. Legacy (13:23)
7. Agape (7:34)
8. Meter (7:14)
9. For Free (4:59)
10. Golgotha (6:43)
11. End Of The Road? (3:17)

Total time 67:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Koeniger / Vocals
- Carl Groves / Vocals and all instruments

Thanks to kev rowland for the addition
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THE LAZARUS TRIO Open Letters ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

THE LAZARUS TRIO Open Letters reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars

Back in 1998 I received a package from Malcolm Parker at Cyclops: that wasn't unusual as this was in the days before digital downloads, and I used to get packages nearly every day from record labels and bands, and Malcolm used to send me everything he released. So, nothing prepared me for what I would hear when Cyclops CYCL 075 made its way onto my CD player. The album was 'The Robbery of Murder', the band was Salem Hill, and I was entranced. Here was a concept album with a twist, a different way of looking at a car accident and the impact on the child, and music that was dynamic and powerful. The album made such an impact on me that it is still on my iPhone some 19 years after I first heard it, and is one that I return to time and again. But what has that to do with The Lazarus Trio? I have kept an eye (and ear) on what Carl Groves, singer/songwriter/instrumentalist has been doing since those days, and was delighted when he became lead singer of Glass Hammer for a while, as well as still working with Salem Hill. Then when I discovered that he was involved with a new project, I had to hear it, and here we are, with The Lazarus Trio.

Just to clear a few things up though, firstly this isn't a trio but a duo comprised of Michael Koeniger (vocals) and Carl (vocals and everything else). Michael is a composer and struggling musician who has never recorded professionally until now, a school teacher and military veteran who writes music in his spare time. Mike and Carl have been friends for decades and started working on this project during a joint family vacation. They have multiple musical influences, both share a fondness for progressive artists from Kansas to Haken as well as being fans of Kevin Gilbert. this is a musical odyssey that started in the mind of a 17-year-old hitchhiking home on a rainy evening. When the concept of this album was presented to Carl GROVES, the music started to solidify into the work presented on the final CD. Carl patiently worked with the "former 17-year-old" to get the musical ideas out of his head and into a listenable form. He also contributed many of his own musical ideas improving on the original ideas and adding new compositions. These are the musical musings of two men who see the world through the lenses of family, fatherhood, philosophy, theology, partnership, military service, and mortality.

Given that all the music is played by Carl, it perhaps isn't surprising that in many ways this feels like a new Salem Hill album, yet there are enough points of difference that one can easily hear that this is a quite different band. There are many harmony vocals, and this dual approach works well both when they are both singing, or when it is just one as it creates dynamics and impact. Musically this covers many bases from Crossover progressive rock through some progressive metal, neo and symphonic. There are times when Carl really crunches the riffs and there is a very heavy bottom end, while at others he provides gentle accompaniment on acoustic guitar and piano.

I do find it hard to fathom that Michael hasn't recorded prior to this, as he has a wonderful voice, and his long-term friendship with carl has also had a great impact as this feels like a complete album. There are no signs that this is a project, and that there is only one instrumentalist involved, as this feels like a full band, so all credit to Carl for the amount of time he must have put in on this multi-tracking all the different instruments.

Back in 1998 I heard an album that had a major impact on me, and time will only tell if in twenty years I am still playing this one, but do you know what? I think I might be, as I love it, from the first note to the very last, and the more I play it the more I get out of it. Let's hope that it doesn't take thirty-five years for the duo to record another album together, but that they get their act together much quicker than that! Highly recommended.

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