UG Team, on august 25, 2006 16 of 16 people found this review helpful
Sound: Lamb Of God has been on a continued ascent over the past few years. Sure, the natives of Virginia were banned from the Los Angeles Forum last year because the venue was owned by a church group who didn't like the band's name, but they have thankfully had more than a few things that have sparked a positive stream of attention. Their legendary Wall Of Death that crowds create at the band's request (Google this one and you'll see something to behold) has been written about in countless publications, while signing with Epic Records pretty much confirmed their popularity. On the band's latest CD, Sacrament, Lamb Of God (vocalist D. Randall Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler) will likely continue to gather a positive reaction with a collection of raging, musically intriguing tunes.
The first track Walk With Me In Hell is hands down the best song on Sacrament. Beginning with a repeating guitar riff that almost feels akin to a grittier, steroid-pumped Sweet Child O' Mine intro approach, it suddenly explodes into an even more furious and faster-paced guitar line. Walk With Me In Hell is actually a good indication of how the rest of the album will unfold: with guitarists Morton and Adler stealing the spotlight. Their work actually takes the mediocre songs on Sacrament and pushes them up to a higher standard. In the bonus DVD the accompanies the new CD, it is fascinating to watch exactly how each riff is created and how the two guitarists -- Morton with his more blues-based style and Adler as the rhythm-driven player -- work off of each other.
If you're a fan of Lamb of God already, then vocalist Randy Blythe's growls and screams are probably seen as an intricate part of each song. For those not familiar to the sound, however, the testosterone-drenched vocals may be a bit too much for the year on first listen. What the band should be commended for is their attempt to experiment with vocal effects. In Foot To The Throat, an echoing vocal is heard at the end adding a really effective contrast to the vocals on other tracks. Combined with a powerful Slayer-ish guitar breakdown with a slower rhythm in the chorus, Foot To The Throat captures the best of the band.
One track was a bit of a letdown, given it's dark and egregiously creepy title of Requiem. The song lacks a strong melodic base and the focus is primarily on the driving rhythm for most of the tune. This is the pitfall that many thrash/hardcore/metalcore bands fall into: opting for pure aggression over quality songwriting. The aggressive nature could appeal to plenty of angry individuals out there, and that's probably where the band was coming from in making it. But when you compare Requiem to the other tracks on Sacrament, it's simply lacking the strong arrangement that's present in plenty other tunes. // 9
Lyrics: When listening to the lyrics on Sacrament, it brings to mind much of Pantera's work. There is that basic underlying anger that flows out of each song and the musical arrangement fits that sentiment to a tee. Lamb Of God's songs do tend to be based around one theme most of the time, which could grate on some people's nerves, but they do find interesting ways to present that pent-up anger.
In Again We Rise, the song is a big F-you to a greedy liar from the South -- you can make your own conclusion whether it is dedicated to President Bush. Blythe sings, A thousand-yard stare across the South; A full belly and a lying mouth; Momma's boy plays heretic; The real thing would kill you quick. Many a band is going the route of writing political lyrics, and that is not such a bad trend if we want kids to be more concerned about what's going on in the world.
The band focuses on more imagery in Walk With Me In Hell, creating a much more abstract and old-school death metal feel. Blythe sings, Now witness the end of an age; Hope dies in hands of believers; Who seek the truth in the liar's eyes; Take hold of my hand. For a metal band, these lyrics really go hand in glove and it's always kind of refreshing to see tradition holding strong. Some listeners might think the darker lyrics get trite at times, and for those people, Lamb Of God should not be on their playing list. // 8
Overall Impression: Lamb Of God clearly distinguishes itself as a band with plenty of talent on Sacrament. There are a variety of driving guitar riffs and double-bass drum work usually associated with metalcore bands, but Lamb of God goes a bit further. They prove on songs like Foot To The Throat that they have a unique songwriting style that peaks when one guitar riff leads to another completely different one and then another one -- yet all the guitar lines fit together seamlessly. Watching the bonus DVD gives you a glimpse of the songwriting process, which unsurprisingly is primarily written by the two guitarists.
While the growling vocals are usually an essential part of metalcore, they actually get in the way at times on Sacrament. The legions of Lamb Of God fans, however, would probably not have it sung any other way. Thankfully, even if you're more of a fan of the traditional singing voice, the band's songwriting is able to still shine through as well thought-out and constructed. // 9
Adamantium, on december 14, 2006 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Alright, their sound is amazing. They've worked out all the kinks, and it really seems to me that they've achieved the exact sound they want for every song. Thes, guys have such great talent to get such abstract sounding riffs, beats, and vocal lines out of their heads onto the album. Lamb of God is a metal band unlike any other, in that they're nothing but heavy. You'll come across hardcore bands now a days, or supposed metal bands, but hardly any of them hold true to what metal is, to it's inexplicable motives and feelings. Lamb Of God know what they're doin, they are metal, and nothing less. Of course, some songs strayed away from what the die-hard Lamb Of God fan would expect, but at the same time, this whole album is nothing but Lamb Of God; they are nothing but original, there aren't any riffs, etc., that anyone can say are at all unoriginal. This is definitely an album, hell, a band, for any metal inclined listener, and for any open-minded person. // 10
Lyrics: Randy Blythe has delivered it all, yet again. Although a couple songs had similar names as songs from the past, (requiem, [again] we will rise) the lyrics within the songs were still very heartfelt and original. Blythe doesn't seem to run out of ideas. Mark Morton, the guitarist, also wrote lyrics for Redneck, which were still very meaningful. The lyrics were fit into each song perfectly, Blythe even added some notes on pitch, whereas he used to growl. All the lyrics express great anger, but hey, it's metal, so if you don't understand it now, wait till you're pissed, or until you hate somebody, to listen to it. Blythe is definitely progressing vocal-wise, lyric-wise, he's not givin any hint that he'll lose his abilities anytime soon. // 10
Overall Impression: This album will blow any other metal album out of the water (aside from perhaps another LOG album). No question. Each single member of the band has more talent, in one way or another, then any two members from any other band(s), in my opinion. If you aren't a metal head, still, you can't listen to this album and not appreciate it. Any musician or music fan would definitely appreciate it. I love everything about it, and I hate nothing about it. If the album were stolen from me, not only would I still get it back, I would kick whoever's ass it was who stole it from me, for depriving me of a metal masterpiece go listen to it, be amazed. // 10
sestemofatowel, on august 25, 2006 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: At first, it sounds like just another Lamb of God album (which of course is far from bad) but when you start to really get into the songs you find out that it's actually much more. The guitar work done by Willie and Mark is still classic LOG but it's more orchestrated and it allows one to catch on to songs easier. And we all know Chris Alder is the bomb drummer! They called upon Machine to produce this album because they wanted an outside perspective (non-metal) on their sound and I think it really paid off. It creats the perfect blend of blunt heaviness and catchy solid riffs that you can really get stuck in your head. // 10
Lyrics: I've allways loved Randy Blythe's vocals but I was never a huge fan of his lyrics because it was never really something you could relate to on a personal level. Well with Sacrament he really changed that, for the first time in their history he actually wrote personal songs that we can all get into. About being angery with specific people, your normal metal stuff, and he of course puts it together and addes his touch and makes it just plain nasty. When I heard "Redneck", the first single I was afraid that he had permantly changed to that Pantera type of singing but as I listened to the rest of the album my fears were distingueshed as I heard his produce his low death metal growls along with his high screeches. Defantly his best work. // 10
Overall Impression: I think they took a huge step in the right direction. This album is a lot more listenable, and the songs stand out more then it just sounding like LOG, you can actually quickly pick up on the different songs. Again We Rise is defantly my favorite song from the album is it shows Randy actually being angery instead of telling us how some prophecy will be fulfilled. And if it was lost I'd be really pist, but then I'd get to buy it all over again! // 10
MHanky, on august 25, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Lamb Of God recently released their fourth full length album, this being their second off major label Epic Records. During the months leading up to this new release, many fans began to question the musical direction Lamb of God were heading towards, especially after the Pantera-esque single "Redneck". Well it's safe to say, after listening to this album at least 25 times, Lamb Of God have only gotten heavier and better. The most noticeable changes on this album are the inclusion of string arrangements, and plentiful guitar solos by Mark Morton and Willie Adler. The strings they have implemented into this record greatly add to the dynamics of the songs. "Walk With Me in Hell" has an absolutley monumental chorus which makes good use of them. And "Redneck"? Well, it's not that bad. I disliked it at first, but it sounds loads heavier on CD and flows nicely with "Sacrament". // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics and sreaming of Randy Blythe are the most improved thing about this album. His vocal range has increased since Ashes of the Wake, and there are many subtle multi-trackings of vocals during songs, which give his voice more of a 'melody'. I use that term loosely, as Randy is by no means singing on this CD. Randy's vocals seem to be harsher and less clear than Ashes, but they sound the best that way. This album has the most New American Gospel shrieks since that record, but they are few and far between. It's put to use very well on "Descending". Lyrically, this album focuses on much darker themes. Randy talks about fallen angels, depression, hatred, hopelessness, all cheerful stuff. // 10
Overall Impression: In terms of greatness, this ranks up there with Lamb Of God's As the Palaces Burn album. If you don't listen to Lamb of God, that means it's very good. This album has a very epic feel to it. There are just so many good songs and groovy/crazy breakdowns on this album for it not to be considered great. The solos don't hurt either and I'm glad they have finally decided to solo for more than 15 seconds like on previous records. Impressive songs are "Again We Will Rise", for the anthem-like chorus. Also "Descending", because of Randy's high pitched shrieks during the chorus. "Requiem" is another one, for the interlude with random samples, that suddenly turns into a breakneck solo. My personal favorite on this album has to be "More Time to Kill", as the breakdown after the first chorus will keep you going back to it. Overall, there is only one weak song on the CD, and that has to be "Foot To The Throat". I dunno, maybe I was expecting a song with that name to be evil and pummeling, but it just doesn't do much for me. This CD won't get lost or stolen because I will guard it with my life, so I won't have to make the choice of re-buying it or getting something else. // 9
Satan Incarnate, on november 27, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: As was said by a band member, "When we came out with 'AOTW', people wanted it to soundlike 'ATPB'. When we came out with Sacrament, people wanted it to sound like "AOTW." He continued to say that Lamb of God does not want to continue to sound the same, album after album, and I agree with that. This is yet another evolution of the LoG sound, and it is just as good as Ashes of the Wake, if not better. They are not as heavy as their last album, but they are bringing in new ideas. Willie Adler is starting to create solos, which he hasn't done before, such as the one in "Pathetic." You can definitely tell the difference between Mark and Willie. Chris continues to excel as a drummer, and finds new and interesting ways to fill gaps and set the tone of an entire song. // 10
Lyrics: This is their first album since New American Gospel that is not political. All the songs are more personal, and are easier to connect with. Part of this is the changes that Randy is going through in his life. He is giving up alcohol because he has had enough of his alcoholism. He also shaved his head as a symbol of this. The lyrics are from his dark times as a drunk, and they tell of the sadness of that place that drugs and alcohol bring you. But while the lyrics have changed, Randy's skill has only grown. He is a very talented vocalist, and he carries on as one of the most talented singers in metal today. // 10
Overall Impression: While this album is a slightly different style than their previous one, is is at least as good, or better. If you are not a fan yet, then you need to listen to Ashes of the Wake also. In my opinion though, if you don't like this then you don't appreciate the coming style or metal. Lamb of God is setting a trend, and many bands shall follow in their musical footsteps. No one, though, will truly rise to the level that Lamb Of God has, in guitar and drums and singing. Nobody should go without listening to this, and everyone should have a copy. // 10
boyan89, on december 09, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Lamb Of God have a phenemonal sound on this album and they are an amazing band I swear to god. Mark and Will do an amazing job on the guitar and I don't know who is the lead guitar or the rhythm guitar is but I think they alternate every song and they did an absolutely astonishing job on the guitar and the solos on this album are f--king fantastic. The bass on this album is absolutely incredible and John does and amazing job and it just really kicked ass basically. The drums on this album were just phenenomal and astonishing and that intro in Forgotten (Lost Angels) was f--king awesome and I swear that Chris is one of the best drummers these days along with Lars Ulrich, Travis from Trivium and the guy from Killswitch Engage they kick ass too. // 10
Lyrics: Randy does an amazing job on the lyrics and they are about stuff that is actually happening in the world right now. So yah Lamb of God mostly scream and I think they sing sometimes. The songs that stood out to me lyrically were "Blacken The Cursed Son" and "Beating On Deaths Door" because well in the "Beating on Deaths Door" I think it's about someone backstabbing you and "Blacken The Cursed Son" just serves a purpose and it is about confronting suicidal depression. So yah amazing job on the lyrics. // 10
Overall Impression: This album cannot compare to any other artist because Lamb of God are one angry band(in a really good way) and they sing about problems in this world right now. I don't have any favourite songs on this album, all of them served a f--king purpose and they all just f--king blew me away every second I was listening to them. I love everything about this album and hate nothing about it because this album kicks complete ass as I mentioned already. If it were stolen/lost I will defenitely buy a copy of this because in my books this album is a f--king legend. I would recommend this album to any heavy/black/death metal fan, trust me you will not be disappointed. // 10
sk8erdude137, on march 29, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is incredible. The consistent guitar riff changes and the way Chris Adler (drummer) can keep up and the way it all fits together so perfectley. The Bassist also really good in this. It's amazing how the bassist can keep up. This band (in my opinion) has some of the best guitarists in the music industry and one of the best bassists. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are really cool. The song that really stood out to me was "Again We Rise" because the lyrics are really good. You can look at this song in various ways but I like to look as it as if it were directed toward Bush because of this line in the song, "A thousand yard stare across the south, a full belly and a lying mouth, Momma's boy plays heretic, the real thing would kill you quick." Overall the lyrics are extremely good and they fit well with the music. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall this was an amazing CD. The sound was amazing and the way that the lyrics fit together with the music is really awesome. Everything on this record fits together so well. I wasn't really a Lamb of God fan untill I bought this record and then I was hooked on them. If this was ever lost or stolen I would deffinatley go out and buy it again. If you're looking for a good album to buy go out and buy this one. // 10
totalxanarchy, on february 06, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: After listening to Lamb of God's 2004 release, Ashes of the Wake, I was certain that they could never make a better album no matter how hard they tried. But now, with the 2006 release Sacrament, they have really outdone themselves. The drums have a sharper, more distinct sound with incredibly fast and intricate fills and beats. The guitars worked in incredibly fast solos and made their sound a lot creepier in some tracks. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics have really changed since Ashes of the Wake. The biggest change is that there are NO political lyrics at all. After hearing that, it's a very nice change from constant government bashing, even tho that's not a bad thing. Randy and Mark made shur that the lyrics were as deep and meaningful as possible. It takes more thinking to realize what the meaning behind the song actually is. In Ashes of the Wake, you knew that the lyrics would have something to do about the government or the war in Iraq or how terrible establishment was, or drugs. some of those themes are in this album, but theyr placed in there more discreetly. // 10
Overall Impression: Lamb of God always seems to outdo all the competition. It seems like the 4th album is always the point of destruction for some bands, like Avenged Sevenfold. Thank Jesus that didn't happen to Lamb of God. The most impressive songs off this album are Walk With Me in Hell, Redneck, Blacken the Cursed Sun, Forgotten (Lost Angels), and Beating on Death's Door. Every song on this album is awesome, some are just awesomeer tho. I hate nothing about it. Origionally, I downloaded all of these songs off limewire, but after listening to it, I felt terrible with myself. As an alternative to killing myself, I went to Best Buy and bought the album. If some asshole stole it, I would hunt them down and slaughter them, then go buy another copy just in case another asshole tried to steal it or the first asshole came back to life. // 10
Rushman1995, on november 01, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This was one of Lamb of God's best records, mainly because of the overall sound that this record has. My first impression of Lamb of God was this "Pure American Metal" band from my hometown good old Richmond, VA. The overall sound of this record is so awesome, The tracks "Redneck", "Walk With Me In Hell" are real thrashers, crow favorites to play live. Mark and Willie reall outstande me whilest I was listening to this record, Randy's voice is just so deep, and penatrating. It really gets you pumped and ready before a game or an event. When Lamb of God plays "Pathetic" live, it's the most stomatch churing experiance I've ever had, overall, this album sound is a sure 10. // 10
Lyrics: Not much to explain about the lyrics in this record, just that it's Randy at his absolute best! His growls and highs in "Walk With me In Hell" while the band around him is speeding up the pace for the chorus is awesome, and it'll make you want to bang your head. Such powerful lyrics like "Never held down, never restrainted" Was a line from "Foot to the Throat" one of the best verses in the record, if you ask me. // 8
Overall Impression: Lamb of God overall is a great band. They come from the city of Richmond, VA which, if you look into it, not many bands are from VA that actually go big, besides GWAR and Lamb. I think that's why Lamb of God has a bunch of respect, I mean, "Oh this band just went big, where they from? Cali, Texas?, No, Virginia, "wtf".. That's what happens now, and Lamb of God surely proved that Richmond rocks too. Overall this record was great, being one of their newer ones, it's still a journey through metal, and muscians would really appreciate this record. Overall, it gets my vote as a 9. // 9
unregistered, on january 19, 2012 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: As far as memory serves I was bought this album for a birthday present by my sister (under STRICT instruction of course) and having lost a fair bit of my youth/sanity to the absolute majesty of "As The Palaces Burn" and "Ashes Of The Wake", I was, admittedly, in danger of salivating all over the CD once it was in my filthy little mitts. However as this would have postponed the moment of truth, I refrained from such madness and jammed it into my CD player with a righteously metal roar.
And oh... OH! The demonically catchy opening riff to "Walk With Me In Hell" plucked my heartstrings (drop tuned heartstrings of course) in a way I hadn't felt since the likes of "11th Hour" and "Break You". If you can imagine the perfect noise to watch the apocalypse seethe towards you, you're about halfway there. Randy Blythe's heavily reverberated vocals over the opening 36 seconds, combined with Chris Adler's unsettlingly tight drumming complete an opening that really sets a scene.
This airy, gigantic intro moves into a mid paced, hyper aggressive assault of good ole' fashioned all American chug, the musical equivalent of prize fighter psyching himself up for a belt title fight. The opening line "Pray For Blood", does seem a tad simple in comparison to Blythe's usually mildly cryptic but very satisfying lyrical content (for example, ATPB's opening track "Ruin" preaches "The knowledge that seeking the favour of another, means the murder of self") however, it's well placed and complemented by the music behind it, so it can be overlooked.
The rest of the song continues in equally epic fashion with the intro riff reintroduced during a very short chorus, with Blythe letting fully loose with the gratingly high pitched scream we know him so well for. Other parts worthy of note are at 2.03 where the band come together as one for an earth shattering mini break down which would have Mr Richter in urine soaked trousers desperately extending his beloved scale. After another chorus it's time for a reassuringly classic Lamb Of God breakdown, with some absolutely sublime automated panning on the overlaying harmonised riffs.
Round that off with nice and invigorating Southern States sounding blues solo and you have, frankly one of the most satisfying album openers you are likely to find in metal.
Moving onwards to track number two. Lamb Of God have always been a band respected for their ability to make every album an absolute roller-coaster. Varying in speed, but keeping the momentum of an oncoming bulldozer, fuelled on the blood of rabid Dobermans, firing lyrical napalm and musical frag grenades.
Unfortunately, with the frankly mildly annoying opening guitar mixed with Blythe giving more of a shout than a scream, the song gets off to a bit of an uninspiring start. Granted, in its defence it shoots into a nice heavy alternate picking section which lulls the listener into hoping for another absolute genital sweller of a track.
Oh how wrong we were, as the vocals come in there is a massive drop out in the overall intensity. An anti climax on par to awakening a Genie, requesting an audience with Holly Valance, and receiving Susanne Boyle. Toward the chorus however, things do begin to redeem themselves with the riff played in a more staccato, clear form. The chorus itself is definitely one of the higher points of the song with an absolutely ear cleaning wail complimented by that continuous wall of sound given by the alternate picking.
The second verse is slightly more fulfilling with a more pronounced riff behind it. But oh, here we are, the song's STOPPED to be replaced with that whiny, liquid sounding guitar from the introduction! Only this time we have Blythe whispering in your ear like a newly released sex offender to add to the horror. Now some would argue that this album has a far more atmospheric feel to it, but it cannot help but be felt that it all seems a bit forced. Also it's stated that this album was the point at which Willie Adler and Mark Morton came out as true shredders. I apologise but the solo's in the instrumental title track "Ashes Of The Wake" clearly prove that they weren't wallowing around in treacle before 2009!
And so it is we saunter (now quite aimlessly) towards the albums single release "Redneck". Now I think it might be time for some comparison between this and "Laid To Rest" which was "Ashes Of The Wakes" single release. Now I'm not saying that "Laid To Rest" is Lamb Of God's greatest achievement. But it does seem to have a little more to it than "Redneck". While it can be said that yes, Redneck has got a catchy main riff, but it seems to be far too focused on the repetition of the chorus. As it is the single track it is understandable that it should be a bit of a sing along (or as close to you get with this form of metal) but to someone who has listened to Lamb Of God from even their "Burn The Priest" days (good luck getting far in the southern states with a name like that!) it almost sounds, dare I say, like a pseudo pop track. That is only in relativity however I am categorically not saying that Lamb Of God have gone the way of so many other promising metal bands. One example of this being the horrific downfall of tech metal band "Architects" who now seem more interested in reducing further breeding chances by wearing tight trousers. But it does seem to begin to sound slightly manufactured.
Another factor which should be mentioned (probably more in this medium of music than anywhere else) is the physical effect it has upon the listener. While listening to "Redneck" there is definitely some involuntary head movement going on, but it stays at that. While myself and most of the people I know, cannot, within their power get through the breakdown of laid to rest without a) punching each other, b) head banging so hard that the only inevitable outcome is the floor, or c) bellowing along so loud that the next day is spent with a throat so bad, one is regularly mistaken for someone practicing the Dutch language.
This album being a called a roller-coaster between the frankly mundane and the brutally exquisite is shown again track 4. Aptly named "Foot To The Throat" it explodes from the very start with some excellent pounding triplet work mixed in with a drum fill/ guitar that compliment themselves in a very "As The Palaces Burn" style. Now this if far more like it. At 0.19 there is even a blast beat, something not heard from these guys since the "Burn The Priest" days. It is short, but short is sweet with a blast beat for the most part. The pounding riff from the intro continues without the triplets, in a more flowing style. Blythe's vocals really come into their own in this track. His voice gives so much presence and added vehemence to the message of track. At 0.42 an almost middle eastern sound riff comes in with Blythe using his newly acquired roar that has not been used in albums before this. Coming together to make a chorus that draws the listener in and flatly refuses to let go. Other points to this song which make it one of the best on the album is the almighty build up that begins at 1.56. The repetition of the short piece of guitar with the heavily reverberated vocals and the use of effects upon the open string chugs remind the listener of the previously mentioned build up in "Walk With Me In Hell". The song has one more trick up it's sleeve in the dying seconds, with an incredibly amusing/enjoyable piece of thrash drumming which as a build up to the next track, comes to second to none.
Upon reaching the middle of the album there is always the fear that boredom could set in. Being that usually the most prominent tracks on an album (and the ones people usually remember) are found at the start or towards the end. And unfortunately this is exactly what has happened with "Sacrament". There is so little to say about both "Descending" and "Blacken The Cursed Sun". Descending beginnings with a nice piece of electronic effect which gives a warm swell to what, otherwise, would be an incredibly boring piece of guitar. And then... Well... Nothing really. The simple and inane riff carries on in slightly different forms until 2.24! The only break the listener gets is a chorus with such muddy, mediocre guitar and drums behind it that it is the equivalent to being taking out of a dissociative coma, only to be given a breakfast of Valium and Space cakes.
Moving from 2.24 onwards things become a lot more promising. With more of the middle eastern sounding guitar riffs augmented by some quite inspiring harmony to beef up the sound. But at the same time the production on this track makes Lamb Of God sound as if they've been recorded in an incredibly muffled acoustic environment and actually takes away, instead of adding to the original sound.
"Blacken The Cursed Sun" starts in a very similar way to "Descending" but with an even simpler opening riff. This song has more good points to it than "Descending". The atmospheric qualities that were mentioned in the review which was hyperlinked earlier, actually seems to work. From 0.26 the track creates a beautiful majestic sound which envelopes the listener into a cacophony of pounding drums and creates a huge feeling of space. This reminds the listener of just what an incredible sound this band can make. But as the verse comes in it all becomes a bit... Adequate. One thing that should be mentioned about this album is the difference in perception between someone who has heard this album alone. And someone who has listened to Lamb Of God through all the albums. By my own admittance this is a good album. It is just that it pales in comparison to earlier works in the overall feel and message. The verse sounds very similar to other verses in the album. In times past, it used to be that it was difficult to choose a favourite song from a Lamb Of God release, because, they were all your favourite songs. However in this album there seem to be only a few songs that actually leave a lasting impact. I remember listening through this album and it took about 5 or 6 times through for me to be familiar with most of the tracks. Whereas with "Ashes Of The Wake" after the first listen I could identify and name every track, such was the musical impact on me.
Anyway, back to the track in question. The only other points worthy of mentioning are from 2.55 onwards where another nice classic Lamb Of God breakdown comes in. But again Mr Blythe has intending on giving you nightmares by whispering in your year, only this time with lots of panning which makes it even more creepy and unsettling. And then for some absurd reason, they seem to have decided it is a good idea to use some rather embarrassing gang shouts. With Blythe preaching to the crowd like some sort of pessimistic faux messiah. I always find that gang shouts wreak of arrogance. As if Blythe really could lead the people, lead them to what you ask? Well with the way he goes on probably to the nearest garage to have a tasty carbon monoxide experience.
"Forgotten (Lost Angels)" starts again with another gorgeously tight Chris Adler drum fill, and goes instantly into a high intensity picking riff. Again this albums surprises by having two songs verging on the mundane, and then BANG, they smack you round you're judgemental face with this absolute soul muncher. The best word to describe this song is relentless. The amount of pure, undiluted hatred Blythe manages to push into the lyrics is rivalled by no other on the album. The driving force behind this song is the variety between technical picking and heavy palm mute to open chord verse riffs. This is a perfect example of what the rest of the album should sound like. Tight triplets on the drums mean that the intensity is never lost, not even for a single. The chorus has utilised Blythe's new vocal stylings in perfect conjunction with high pitched wails from the "New American Gospel" era of his career. The solo in this is one of the most intense and interesting of the album, complimenting the rest of the song and the general feel of the album perfectly. After the solo the pace picks up for one final auditory assault with the chorus coming back in and then Blythe seeming to completely lose any sanity he had towards the end. This now moves exquisitely into "Requiem".
Oh why oh why oh why could the rest of the album not be like these final tracks. The opening scream from Blythe sounds incredibly familiar and gives a nostalgic feel. It is very very similar to the opening scream from "Boot Scraper" ("Ashes Of The Wake"). This song seems to be the band completely letting loose, and comes at you with the force of a child born from Chuck Norris and Margaret Thatcher. From 1.46 the discordant chug gives the feeling the album is beginning to come full circle, the solo towards the end is absolutely mouth watering. The intensity of Lamb Of God has come back with a vengeance. The last 40 seconds verges on the apocalyptic. The adrenaline is flowing people. Pupils are dilated. Mouth is dry. Heart is racing. This is waaaaay more like it!
"More Time To Kill" starts off with a riff that for some reason reminds me of "Hourglass" ("Ashes Of The Wake"). The entire track seems to be breaking down. As if the band are winding down and preparing for a tectonic plate shifting outro. Perhaps the slightly different vocals from Blythe in this album take a while to get used to, but by the end they are absolutely crotch warming. The discordant styles of Adler and Morton really make this a truly truly hair raising listen. At 2.40 creeping clean guitar comes in, slightly "Vigil"-esque ("As The Palaces Burn") to be replaced with Blythe, Adler and Morton seeming to battle for who will be crowned to Sword and Shield of Unrivalled metal kingship (or a slightly less battle/power metal reference if you prefer).
The final song "Beating On Deaths Door" has quite a thrash feel to it, and is definitely a good way to finish the album. Again the pace picks up, but that's what this album does, it reels you in to a false sense of security and then shatters it like so much single paned glass, you're catapulted back into an all out white knuckle ride of well seasoned, excellently marinated malicious intent. The outro to this, and therefore the outro to the album, consists of a continuous double bass pedal, with howling guitar layered over the top in a sort of "Lasagne Of Imperious Deconstruction" (as the reader can probably tell, it could well be dinner time soon). // 6
Lyrics: Perhaps the slightly different vocals from Blythe in this album take a while to get used to, but by the end they are absolutely crotch warming. // 3
Overall Impression: Overall this album has it's peaks and throughs. And as previously mentioned, it may be more appealing to listeners who have not listened to much L.O.G., rather than the die hard fans. However it still has it's brilliant points, but in this critics opinion, it also has some absolutely dire tracks with very little to them. However always remember, upon reading this, do not let me warbling on in anyway take away from your enjoyment of this album. You are metal. You have your own opinions, and they are backed with a steely spine (and a suitable beard). If you haven't listened to L.O.G. before, listen to this first, and work backwards. I shall be immersing myself in "Wrath" (2009) for quite a while and waiting like a 3 week old puppy who's owner has left him under a bridge for "Resolution" forthcoming in 2012. Which promises a serious visit back to the old school. Keep it metal, eat only meat, drink only Ale and Jager... Then eat some more meat. Peace. // 5