It is truly an era of change. Many metal bands have to slow down in the passage of time, yet Lamb of God in their self-titled June 19th release prove that time is not their master. It is their servant. The album cover is a taunt against the march of fate.
With the mighty Chris Adler making way for new drummer Art Cruz of Winds of Plague, Lamb of God took five years to guide their metallic witchcraft into a primordial soup into a fresh outlook on the socially chaotic landscape.
Lamb of God make a huge resurgence with destructive riffs courtesy of Willie Adler and Mark Morton. However, what truly is captivating is the balance between excruciating girders of steel doom musically and the reflective lyrics discussing sociopolitical revolution. It’s almost as if Noam Chomsky wrote for the band.
“Memento Mori” is an eerie narrative and haunting in the beginning. It soon becomes an explosion into a double-bass barrage and clockwork percussive madness by Art Cruz. “Memento Mori” explains the need to escape propaganda in media but never being able to. The music video establishes that metaphor with hellish creatures chasing a man alongside political ads and billboards.
The album seeks to capitalize on the zeitgeist of today’s anger and brainwashing. “Gears”, which is one of the best songs on the album, describes the dangers of cutting corners and accepting poison in return for fame. It is a Faustian hellscape with powerful riffage.
Their political messages are fierce and concise. “New Colossal Hate” ignites with bellwork and an homage to Emma Lazarus’ famous poem for the Statue of Liberty. “Reality Bath” although infuses crushing riffs with messages of not giving into the illusion of disinformation.
Many metal bands by album ten either want to reestablish their roots or branch out into other stratum. Lamb of God furthers its sonics with some clean vocals on “Bloodshot Eyes” (about alcohol addiction). Guest vocals from Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed in “Poison Dream” and Chuck Billy in “Routes” are solid additions.
Do not discount Lamb of God. This is one of their finest albums and a complete standout of 2020. “Resurrection Man” has a blisteringly discordant breakdown and “On The Hook” is remarkably powerful.
It is now available through Epic and Nuclear Blast streaming everywhere.