Sound — 10
Lamb of God have found their perfect sound and has kept that for 3 straight albums now. A heavy but crystal clear tone that is out of this world. They have integrated some new techniques that help them a lot with getting the right feel to these songs, such as acoustic guitars, deeper tunings, and louder bass. Adding more solos, this album leaves nothing behind in it's path of destruction with amazing drums and brutal guitar work 01.The Passing: a calm quiet intro to the album, then climbs right into a very epic sounding mixture of feedback and notes creating an almost holy sounding experience ending with reversed guitar and distant vocals. 02.In Your Words: the ending of The Passing segways perfectly into In Your Words which is a hard hitting start of a song that's their signature sound to reassure the listener that they haven't changed from metal. This song starts to climax during the heavy breakdown that leads into an apocalyptic sounding ending to an amazing song. 03.Set To Fail: the albums first single, the songs starts with a fast pounding intro that is very mosh friendly. The intro breaks off into a pattern that is reminiscent of "Redneck" but maintains it's individuality as the song breaks down and allows Chris a few seconds to show off his drum skills. Near the end of the song this then picks up and goes straight into Marks' guitar solo that is a mixture of bluesy southern riffs and advanced scales. 04.Contractor: you know this is going to be a good song when one of the members goes screams "Wooh!" at the very beginning. From the beginning this song is very thrashy and mosh friendly, an extremely fast paced song until the chorus's but picks up right after. This breakdown is one of my favorite on the album, it makes you think the song is over with one heavy chord that begins to fade out only to give John some spotlight with mini bass break as the guitars feedback builds and the breakdown continues, it lasts for a minute then picks up with the chorus and lasts for the end of the song. This song lacks a guitar solo but the amount of riffs makes up for it. 05.Fake Messiah: this songs starts with a coffee can type sound with a cool riff and snare that makes you question your speaker quality for a second. The song then explodes into a "chordized" (my word shut up) version of the intro riff. This song doesn't have as much "oompf" as the others but is still a diamond in the rough. 06.Grace: in my honest opinions, this intro is one of the most beautiful guitar solos I have ever heard from a metal band. Clean guitar with slight chorus gives this intro an aura to it. The intro also demonstrates Mark and Willies' skills and mastery of the fretboard and ability to harmonize. Yet to not sound like pussies this prematurely breaks with a distorted slide that rings in all Hell. A moderately paced song offers up stunning guitar licks mixed with the occasional pinch harmonic. This songs break down barely slows down at all and makes way for a heavenly hell spun guitar solo that is out of this world, leaves something for every theory buff in it, melodic licks, arpeggio sweeps, ect. My favorite solo on the album. 07.Broken Hands: with Willies guitar pounding the chords and Mark offering a semi solo reminiscent of "Walk With Me In Hell" this breaks to a nice heavy "chug chug" song until the choruses of course. Midway through a break Mark fit in a nice tasty, but short, solo just so this awesome song wasn't missing a damn thing. The song ends with a nice chuggy ending. 08.Dead Seeds: the intro and main riff is unmistakably taken from the breakdown in "Now You've Got Something To Die For" but it works very well for this song which demonstrates their "signature sound" to the fullest, if you don't know what I mean by that listen to their other records. A breakdown towards the end filled with just chug guitar and double bass pedals rings in the outro to this song as it goes back to the main riff. 09.Everything to Nothing: a fast song from the start, no intro needed for a ball breaking song like this. The breakdown uses guitar breaks and that hellish screech bend that almost interrupts the guitar. This leads into a thrashy section of mayhem that breaks for an awesome solo by Mark. This begins to bring the song around as it closes. 10.Choke Sermon: a highly distorted rake is the only intro needed to this song that can only be described as metal at it's purist. This song is almost entirely riff based that is very well thrown together so that it doesn't get repetitious. Blasting bass and drums keep this track at a good pace throughout the song, at some points it almost sounds like they replaced the double bass with a Harley. The breakdown barely slows the song and leads into a tasty guitar solo with mini sweeps and a lot of pull offs. 11.Reclamation: this is my second favorite song on the album. The clean sound of the beach as waves crash is the perfect intro to this song. The only song on the album to be counted in my Mark at the very beginning going "1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3" as the waves make explosions in the background. A very cool acoustic riff that gives off an eerie feel to it. This calm moment is soon interrupted by the explosive chugs that bring this song to the apocalyptic standpoint that it's meant to sound like. The metal is only interrupted for brief moments that the acoustic riff is brought in again as Randy preaches in the background. The breakdown is start stop guitar breaks that brings in the final half to the song. The solo however is located at the end of the song when all the electric fades away leaving us with Mark and Willie on the beach again and a very earthly sounding guitar solo that uses some exotic scales. This stops and we are left with the sound of the crashing waves again. An amazing way to end an album. I won't comment on the bonus tracks because most people probably won't get them.
Lyrics — 9
They did their best to stay unpolitical like they said they would but Randy also said he writes what pisses him off, most of that happens to be political. Yet, he does tackle the environment, suicide, Obama, drug addiction, losers, and more. Using his more "singy" scream he captures the essence of each song perfectly. 01.The Passing: NO VOCALS 02.In Your Words: what better way to start off a Lamb of God album vocally than with a 10 second scream. In this song Randy demonstrates his new singing voice with the the opening lines and chorus. He seemingly has substituted this new singing scream with his trademark scream that can be heard as his main voice on "New American Gospel". This song seems to be about big corporation fat cats who don't care about the little people, calling them "sacred cash cows" he then states their murderous reign to get to the top. 03.Set to Fail: completely growled verses and sung choruses this was their first single and almost immediately became a hit. This song everyone can relate to. It's about that loser dude who blames everyone else for their failures, yet does nothing to help themselves and always expects a hand out. As stated by "Criticize who already who already found their position" and "Your so set to fail" describes these people perfectly. 04.Contractor: growled lyrics that randy belches out at high speed makes this song all the more awesome. During the breakdown Randy makes the lyrics almost sound like he's rapping with the beat. This song is quite obviously about the Black Water scandal in Iraq, he basically says their name, "Quench his thirst with black water rising" "Black liquid assets". 05.Fake Messiah: randy uses both extremes of his voice right after another in this song. Mainly in the chorus when he growls "Fake" and hellishly screams "Messiah". During the breakdown Randy preaches in the background then brings the song back with "Split you wide open just to see what your made of!" I honestly think this song is about Obama, seeing as how nothing seems to please Randy it seems pretty fitting, talking about "Useless intent" and "Prophecy now denied" explains how people hold him to a god like status. 06.Grace: with growling main vocals and screaming backup vocals give this song the perfect mixture when talking about drug addiction and self loathing. 07.Broken Hands: randy dominates this intro with him screaming "Bled of all you had to lose!". A moderate song with Randy using his "talking growl" until the chorus where he screams "Bled of all you had to lose" growls gradually into a scream with "pick up the pieces with your broken hands". This song seems to be about a guy who dwells on the past, contemplating suicide. With Randy basically telling him to man up and get over it. 08.Dead Seeds: randy preaches at the beginning "You may tremble before Hell's gates, you may watch as the Heavens fall, and you may slight the hands of fate, you may heed the siren's call" Basically a screaming song, with a few long screams mixed throughout. This song seems to be directed to the Taliban and other radical terrorists as he states "Betrayed your prophets" meaning they are betraying their religion Islam by wanting war when Islam is a religion of peace. Also he states "You may strike down the giant with stone" the giant being the Allied forces. 09.Everything To Nothing: Randy's intro is a very long scream that is followed by fast paced lyrics about a guy calling for all out Anarchy is a government that consumes all original minds, when he only finds that he is very much apart of the machine he hates. 10.Choke Sermon: very metal vocals punch through the speakers and Randy growls the tale of someone with a god complex, most likely a politician, who uses false lies of peace to ring in the Apocalypse. 11.Reclamation: this song has the perfect balance of scream and growl as and even towards the end Randy uses a type of scream that doesn't sound anything like him that almost sounds like andy yelling at the listener, Randy wants us to feel at fault during this song about the environment taking back what man, who Randy describes as a "failed experiment" and "a festering parasite". He tells a tale of the waters rising and cities burning in an Apocalyptic end to an amazing album.
Overall Impression — 10
This album has to be on their top three. Lamb of God has not slowed down at all and there's no sign of stopping, they are quickly becoming the biggest band in metal, with deep and advanced lyrics, complex guitar, pounding bass, and amazing drums this album has become my favorite metal album by any other band I know. Get this album. I would buy 10 copies if I could. The only downside is not all the songs have solos, but ones that do make up for the rest.