Sound — 8
Lamb Of God has released consistently good material since Randy Blythe joined the group and they changed their name to Lamb Of God from their previous incarnation as instrumental band Burn The Priest. "Resolution" is no different in delivering solid heavy music. Lamb Of God entered the studio in February 2011 to begin recording, once again bringing in Josh Wilbur for mixing and producing (who also worked with the band on "Wrath"). On January 19th, Lamb Of God released an animated music video for the lead single from "Resolution" titled "Ghost Walking", which debuted on Vevo and YouTube which is a very good example of what you can expect from the album. "Resolution" has 14 tracks and clocks in at over 56 minutes, which is almost an ideal length for an album. Lamb Of God are kind of like geniuses at writing low tuned riffs with two guitars, and they continue to show that genius on "Resolution". Mark Morton and Willie Adler have continued to raise the bar. The solos are interesting, the riffs are heavy and the lyrics fit in both subject matter and vocal execution. The guitars, bass and drums seem to be mixed really well my only complaint would be that sometimes the double bass pedals are just hammering away at what I see as a heavy metal clich, and it seems excessive to me. Otherwise the drumming is inspired and mixed well. Of their previous releases, "Resolution" may be my favorite and maybe I just feel that way because it is new, but only time will tell. It is a great album.
Lyrics — 8
Lamb Of God's lyrics have always used biblical references, criticized politics and society, and attacked organized religion. Some albums have tended to focus on one subject more than another and in "Resolution" the focus seems to be on armageddon and death. If you listen to "Invictus" on the album, the lyrics "Yeah, we're all gonna die/ You brand it a crisis/ I name it an honor/ To face what arises/ To remain unconquered", then this will give you a pretty good idea of what you can expect from a lyrical theme standpoint from "Resolution". My favorite lyrics would have to be the first verse from "Desolation", "Spoken sideways and indirect/ Without a single word left unchecked/ And by your own admission no one is ever above suspicion/ Defenses never to be let down/ The lies readily abound, gaping jaw tightly wound". Randy Blythe's vocal delivery is impressive throughout the album. I've never been a huge fan of the screaming/demon voice/growled type of vocals that Lamb Of God is known for (okay, maybe it isn't the same as the "demon voice" vocals a lot of black metal bands use, but close enough for me), but you have to respect his skill in going from super low notes to high pitched screeches and his lyrics are still coherent enough to understand. What I look at as a handicap with many metal bands Randy manages to turn into a boon for Lamb Of God, using his voice to express the emotions behind the lyrics. Also, as a thought, I hear a lot of comparisons between Pantera and Lamb Of God and to me the really huge difference is Lamb Of God has a great vocalist/songwriter.
Overall Impression — 8
I was really impressed with "Resolution", as I have enjoyed Lamb Of God's music casually in the past but not really grabbed by any of their previous releases, but this was different for me. My favorite songs from the album are "Ghost Walking", "King Me", and "Desolation". I like that Lamb Of God's music, especially on "Resolution", manages to feel both very aggressive and also cerebral (from a lyrical point of view). My least favorite track would have to be "Straight For The Sun", which starts out very aggressively but then doesn't really feel like there is much movement in the song after that to me. I love the acoustic intros on a few of the new tracks and makes me wonder what an acoustic set from Lamb Of God would sound like but I'm not holding my breath. There are a lot of great albums coming out in 2012 and this is one of the earliest to hit the streets, and I'll be spending time with it in the weeks ahead and really becoming more familiar with it.