REVIEW: LAMB OF GOD – “Lamb Of God”
It’s not by accident that the latest record from this internationally acclaimed metal institution arrives with nothing more than a self-title. As part of their eighth studio album, ‘Lamb of God’ the prime architects of the explosive New Wave of American Heavy Metal have assembled ten songs claiming unrelenting might, encompassing devotion into every aspect they do best, and we dearly love. Let’s get into – Lamb of God.
The artwork follows a similar style and influence as its predecessor; however, the flow of the album follows a musical sequence of sorts. Opening tracks “Memento Mori” and “Checkmate” have already been released for consumption on Youtube and pretty much exhibit the pace, place, and essence of what the album has to offer to its audience. The lyrical content takes pages from the aggressive revolution starting a political matter of early punk and fuses it to a nuclear-sized bomb of disdain affairs through metal. There is no shortage of riffs and if you’re a sucker for groove you’re already hooked onto this record like coc*ine.
The meat of this album comes bang in the middle with tracks like “Gears” “Reality bath” and “New Colossal Hate” which are just earth-shatteringly heavy yet have some anthem-like chorus sections that can raise the hair at the back of your neck. There are a couple of collaborations too featuring Testament’s Chuck Billy on the thrashy and speedy “Routes” along with Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta on “Poison Dream” fuelling his aggressive voice with some mind-bending breakdowns.
Frontman Randall “Randy” Blythe sounds angry as ever, but also has a more insightful and informed aura around his attitude and singing thus harnessing subcultural-born angst with empathy which is laid out distinctively in this album. Guitarists Mark Morton & Willie Adler have riffed as they will never riff again throughout, most audible in songs like “Resurrection Man” and “Bloodshot Eyes” creating a mountain of thrash, groove, and shred metal with stripped-down aggression in equal measure demonstrating their electric wizardry. John Campbell’s Basslines are fluid and loom largely as a rhythmic shadow adding a wall of sound that makes every song sound aggressive and larger than life. New drummer Art Cruz has, without doubt, donned the mantle and embodied the essence of the band and the results yielded are in one word bloody awesome and noteworthy enough to allow him to carry the title of a drummer of these goliaths, irrespective of all the bickering on the internet.
Long story short, this album is a non-stop all-out assault delivering everything one would expect from a record from this band. There is a flow to it and really is enjoyed best front to back. It starts off like a hurtling snowball and continues to just gather, channeling more energy unto the next until the end of “On the Hook” which sums it up like a bloody avalanche! I reckon those who are into this style of music will just keep coming back for more as I do, and it just keeps on giving. The patterns and structures by themselves are relatively rudimentary but its when you put it all together that makes it the tidal wave it is. What I also love about this album is its energy. It’s not a negative nanny complaining of everything that’s wrong, but it also carries an element of strength, courage, redemption, and hope. A brilliant piece of art created by the amalgamations of the raw and organic malice we witnessed in earlier albums like Wrath, to the crust punk swagger and bravado of its predecessor Strum Un Drang resulting in the creation of an unstoppable force that represents everything band stands for. No wonder they just self-titled it!
‘Lamb of God’ – should’ve called it ‘Avalanche’…because that’s what it bloody is!