Lamb Of God are back! It’s been a long 5 year wait for the American Heavy Metal stalwarts to return with a new effort and quite the return it is. With an ever growing back catalogue, the band have been a staple in most metal fans libraries. A continuous ‘go-to’ for those wanting nothing but some good old fashioned or that all important gateway for the un-initiated. the reach and impact of Lamb Of God thus far has been undeniable.
For all its faults, this year has brought us some serious slabs of quality when it comes to new releases its only right we get another in the form of this self titled effort that brings plenty to the table which all begins with one we have become all too familiar with over that last few months ‘Memento Mori’. Such a strong start in any album will usually be a cause for concern even more so when the first track is one of the standouts. It’s an enormous start and quite the statement made, a statement that tells us that nothing is off the table. The clean and haunting intro feeding into some mammoth riffing is just the kind that may get you moshing in your own living room. At some point, Lamb Of God will return to the stage and this feels like the anthem for such a return.
Theres a slight southern twang coming across as ‘Checkmate’ gets going but things move on quickly as riffs and groove continue to be the name of the game. Don’t be fooled by the sound of the drums though, thats Art Cruz throwing down some tasty licks that have always been a big part of the Lamb Of God sound. Adler might be gone from the band but he’s certainly not forgotten as you may be fooled into thinking this was some of his work just through sound alone but with the songs offering plenty of room for Cruz to do his thing, he’s certainly filled some pretty big shoes with the style and technicality required.
Three songs deep and ‘Gears’ is keeping the momentum up as the song gallops at 100mph while ‘Reality Bath’ takes moments throughout for the band to showcase their groove perfectly with some serious headbanging moments all while sounding as pissed off in true Lamb Of God manner. But in all honesty, the band have probably never sounded heavier than they do in ‘Resurrection Man’ a song that strikes some similarities to fan favourite’ Omerta’
There are some guest appearances from a couple of familiar faces. Jamey Jasta stops by to spit his words on ‘Poison Dream’ meanwhile the man, the myth and Testaments very own Chuck Billy can be found on what is fittingly, the most thrash we have ever seen on a Lamb Of God album in the song ‘Routes’. Both are cool but some might ask if they were entirely needed given the quality of what came before. That being said, sometimes things are just cool and fun to hear and sometimes that in itself is enough.
Lamb Of God’s self titled album is a much welcome return to the metal world and is sure to please fans old and new. It feels as if the band have continued to expand on their tried and tested formula and for those fans who have been with them from the start, it’s a sure hit. Is it as groundbreaking as predecessors such as As The Palaces Burn? We will have to wait and see, however in a world where metal has moved on and evolved massively, forcing bands to adapt, Lamb Of God may have just about done enough to retain their throne as one of metals greatest.