Sound — 9
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".
Lyrics — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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.