Lazarus Blackstar

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In the history of rock, the loss of members in a group is a common story. But when a band loses -- through either the fault of the band or the individual -- a vocalist, the hope for survival is tentative…
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In the history of rock, the loss of members in a group is a common story. But when a band loses -- through either the fault of the band or the individual -- a vocalist, the hope for survival is tentative at best. The best way to deal with the loss of a vocalist -- usually -- is to adjust the remaining band's sound, so that the new vocalist can assume leadership of a group with a new musical identity, oftentimes the best result being a group that doesn't trample on the legacy of its predecessor. In the case of Lazarus Blackstar, however, the math got reversed. Recording their second album, British metal band Khang had decided to slow the tempo and make the music a bit darker (and heavier). Vocalist Bryan Outlaw wasn't up for being part of this new sound, and decided to opt out. The other bandmembers, however, were quite taken with the new direction, and soldiered on, recording the rest of the album without a vocalist.

Enter Paul Catten, member of Murder One. Hearing the new sound, Catten jumped at the chance to work with the band, and in 2004 became the new vocalist. With the new sound and new vocalist ready to go, the band decided that a name change befitting the new direction was needed, hence the shift to Lazarus Blackstar. In 2005, after signing a deal with Undergroove (which had worked with Khang), the band released its debut album, Revelations. Tours in 2005 and 2006 followed, with Lazarus Blackstar sharing stages and bills with Charger, My Ruin, and Gloomy Sunday. While the band would see the release of a 7" (entitled Lazarus Blackstar) in 2006, part of that year was taken up with becoming acquainted with new guitarist Izak, who had come aboard to fill in for the departed Rich Savage. The follow-up full-length, Funeral Voyeur, was released in 2007. In a further ironic plot twist, the release of album number two was followed by the departure of vocalist Paul Catten in 2008. He was replaced with Mik Hell soon after, and the band resumed work on album number three.