Lamb of God, ‘Lamb of God’ Epic Records June 19, 2020
It has been five long years since thrash mainstays Lamb of God released an album of new material (2015’s “VII: Sturm und Drang), and during the greatest pandemic to strike the world in recent memory, Lamb of God has gifted fans with a balls to the wall record full of the iconic sounds that make them the kings of the genre. “Lamb of God” is a record full of anger, melody, and instrumentals that are meant to be played on the loudest volume possible.
The opening track “Memento Mori,” which was released as a teaser track earlier this year, starts as an atmospheric ballad, with Randy Blythe’s crooning vocals luring listeners in for a massive change in tone about a minute and a half into the song. The song is the kickstart to an apocalypse, and the band loves every minute of it. The song captures the essence of the title’s definition (memento mori being an object that serves as a warning of death’s presence). Newcomer Art Cruz shines on the track as well, with his drum beats feeling hectic, thumping, and enough to rock the speakers in any music junky’s soundsystem.
The next highlight in the tracklist is “New Colossal Hate,” which sees guitarist Mark Morton lay down some fantastic, hairraising guitar riffs with Blythe’s lyrics commenting on the fall of a society. “The melting pot is melting down, a pool of slag on poisoned ground, choking on the venom’s sting, pull the fangs, let freedom ring,” These lyrics are as bold as they are potent to the current state of the world. Just as other artists in 2020 (i.e. Freddie Gibbs, Run the Jewels, etc.) Blythe is using his art to call for some kind of change. The song stands out as the album’s strongest effort, as far as thematic structure, and hardest instrumentals are concerned. Loyal fans, along with newcomers, can listen to this track and understand what the band is all about in this one song alone.
The final treat that “Lamb of God” offers is “Poison Dream,” which features guest vocals from Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta. The song discusses the cancerous existence of war. War is fought for corporate gains, and that humans are just “a fine to be paid.” Jasta’s feature is a surprising treat, as the vocalist offers his own, throaty delivery of apocalyptic proportions.
Overall, “Lamb of God” is a fantastic return from metal’s most consistent force of nature. The album is a soundtrack to an apocalypse, and is a true treat for not only fans of the band, but the genre as a whole.
New Colossal Hate
Poison Dream (feat. Jamey Jasta)
Routes (feat. Chuck Billy)
On The Hook