February 1, 2024

Imaginary Life is now the third album by the German hard/melodic rockers Lazarus Dream and I have had the pleasure of reviewing all of them so I make no apologies for lifting the following passage from an earlier review of the last album Lifeline as this effectively defines the sound and style of the band being Slip Of The Tongue-era Whitesnake and this still pretty much sums up the core Lazarus Dream sound but you will also pick up a flavour of Mark III Purple, a touch of Rainbow as well as bands like Dokken, Edguy and Running Wild.

Lazarus Dream therefore cover a lot of bases with an emphasis on melodic, old-school metal and all with that distinctive German pomp and swagger we all love so much. In many respects, Lazarus Dream is the showcase for guitarist Markus Pfeffer and he plays bass and synths too with vocals from Carsten Schulz and we have to welcome new drummer Markus Herzog to the team with guest percussion courtesy of Thomas Rieder.

The band likes a guest or two and there is a guitar solo from Stephen Lill of Vanden Plas and trivia collectors may be interested to know that Lill was Pfeffer’s guitar teacher in the ’80s, it is most certainly a small world! I was a big fan of their last album Afterlife and Imaginary Life is definitely a harder edged album with a deliberately rawer sound yet I did prefer the more exotic flavour of the predecessor but bands have to progress and the more metal delivery may pick extra fans especially as there is now a distinct Vanden Plas feel to the new work.

Pfeffer’s guitar work again impresses and the Graham Bonnet-like vocals are the perfect accompaniment with Herzog settling in well on the sticks with most attention probably being on the title track that features Lill and the epic closing track Empire Of Thorns.

To sum up, Imaginary Life is a great melodic/hard rock album from a relatively new band in the process of making a name for themselves but sees them treading water following on from the exceptional Afterlife so let’s see what the next step brings.

Imaginary Life

  1. The Sweetest Chaos (4:25)
  2. Vulture’s Cry (4:10)
  3. Rebel Again (4:01)
  4. My Imaginary Life (feat Stephen Lill) (4:54)
  5. Beauty Among The Ruins (5:04)
  6. Disaster Love (4:45)
  7. Vertigo (6:02)
  8. My Prayer (4:15)
  9. Drink My Blood (4:20)
  10. Empire Of Thorns (7:23)