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Lamb Of God – Wrath – Album Review

11 March 2009 12 Comments

By: Darius

Lamb Of God - F'n Amazing

Lamb Of God - F'n Amazing

I still can’t believe it. I read the news online and it honestly took a few days to register. Lamb of God, a heavy metal band from Richmond, VA, sold 67,631 copies of their new album Wrath to debut at number 2 in the Billboard Top 200 this past week. Wait, what? Really? We’re talking about the same band that is banned from certain venues in this country for formerly being known as Burn The Priest? The same band that can’t get a song on terrestrial radio to save their lives? The band that, despite a major label deal with Epic Records, have hardly been offered the typical television appearances or promotional opportunities relegated to more “mainstream” music?

This isn’t Staind we’re talking about here. This isn’t Godsmack. This is Lamb of God. These guys are heavy way beyond the likes of your usual metal media success story like those bands or even Slipknot or Metallica. The guys in Lamb of God are brutal, no apologies, kick-you-in-the-face metal. The kind that makes your mom wonder if you hate people. Honestly, the sh*t rules; listen to “Laid To Rest” or “Walk With Me in Hell” and tell me you don’t want to throw your fist through a wall. Let me put it to you this way: If I were on my way to a street fight against 1,000 ninjas and I am by myself, I want Lamb of God blasting on the ride over, believe me.

I love them and speak their praises to anyone who will listen. Because not only are they insanely heavy, they are blessed to have some of the most talented and technically proficient musicians in all of metal. But I never, ever, thought that debuting at number 2 on the Billboard 200 was a possibility.

Best Album of 2009?

Best Album of 2009?

I heard the first single, “Set to Fail”, on Sirius Liquid Metal weeks ago and my initial thoughts were of surprise to hear lead singer Randy Blythe expanding his vocal range beyond the demonic sounding, cigarette-enhanced bark that has dominated every prior release. In this song, he is actually interjecting some higher pitch screams that I didn’t even know were possible with his voice and singing style. It sounds incredible and makes me wonder why he hasn’t employed them until now. The video is pretty kick-ass too; check it out by clicking HERE:

So I have listened to the record about four times already and I can’t get over it. It’s insane and I can’t stop listening to it. My speakers haven’t felt this kind of consistent brute force since the last releases from Machine Head or the Deftones. The record begins with a beautiful instrumental piece called “The Passing” and than just destroys you time and time again with perfectly crafted metalcore grooves that vacillate between “badass” and “extremely badass”. Ladies and gentleman, it is only March and I think we have the best metal record of 2009.

Kudos to Epic for letting these guys release the album they clearly wanted to create. I was a little worried when Lamb of God released Sacrament in 2006. The first single, “Redneck”, was pushing the band from their anti-establishment roots towards a more palatable vocal and guitar groove melody that could potentially land them on radio for the first time. Sacrament was a big hit though and helped create major advances in their career. It kept them on the road for years, which helped them cultivate the rabid fan base they currently have showing up to their shows and buying their records and merchandise. It would be easy for Epic to coax them further in this direction and hope for some of that mainstream gold that will help assuage the growing debts facing the company. Instead, they green lighted an album that puts the middle finger up to those that believe that television and radio exposure are necessary for success.

Lamb of God’s astoundingly talented drummer Chris Adler said it best in a recent interview, stating,

“The record industry has declined 30% since our last album, Sacrament, debuted in August 2006, yet we prevailed and outsold that record….with a new record that is a brutal slap to the face of all popular music. I could not be more proud of the band for making the record we wanted, but more importantly you, the friends and family of this band, are the ones that made it a reality. The credit is yours. The revolution is ours. This is a triumph not only for us, but for metal.”

Adler is right; Wrath is a triumph. In a day when only pop and rap stars can expect to debut in the top 5 of the Billboard charts, a brutally heavy band from Richmond shocked the world. Let’s celebrate because it could be a long time before a band of this nature can chart so high. Sure, many would argue that it’s about the music and not the sales, and this is absolutely correct. However, it feels good to wake the industry elite from time to time, and Lamb of God did more than that. They put a f*cking bullhorn in their ears and let them know that there are thousands of metal fans in this country who love to support their bands and will spend money on records, just allow the proper artist development necessary for them to create the music that fits their artistic vision. It’s a simple concept but is all too forgotten in today’s major label music game.

Lamb of God and Epic got it right this time. Let’s hope we can expect more of these achievements from heavy metal bands in the future; just seeing the name Lamb of God sandwiched between Taylor Swift and The Jonas Brothers makes me happy. What people need to realize is that the successes of metal bands are every bit as important as the next pop flavor of the month. The guys in Lamb of God have probably been celebrating like hell and they deserve it; hard work and consistently great output has paid off in a big way.

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12 Comments »

  • Loch Ness said:

    They got it right – both LoG and Epic. You couldn’t be more right. I anticipated this CD for months and it didn’t let me down.

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  • runriot said:

    listened to wrath all the way through once. i like it pretty good release. better than Sacrament in my opinion. like the acoustic stuff and its cool to hear some solos! right on darius

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  • Danny F. said:

    “Grace” is my fave on the album. Liquor drinks are encouraged while listening.

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  • jagerbaby said:

    1st, can some change the gay logo on the front of the site? i know andrew probably wants it there so it makes ppl wonder if he likes it. this review is spot on. perfect in everyway. i like the way epic got it right too is stressed bc by staying the hell away, log crafted a masterpiece. so much for what atlantic did for shadows fall

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  • 998908 said:

    Killer CD. Wrong single. Who cares. LoG is the modern day Slayer.

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  • Brian M said:

    Saturday Night Wrist wasn’t as good as you say it was and I’m a huge Deftones fan. I agree with the Machine Head and think their last two albums are better than Wrath. I’m not writing to argue. Wrath ispure metal that rages between bad ass and extremely bad ass.

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  • Carla said:

    As a woman, I must say these are some fugly creatures.

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  • Slaine said:

    “It would be easy for Epic to coax them further in this direction and hope for some of that mainstream gold that will help assuage the growing debts facing the company. Instead, they green lighted an album that puts the middle finger up to those that believe that television and radio exposure are necessary for success.” Great quote

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  • Slaine said:

    Darius – You a Devil Driver fan?

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  • darius said:

    I’ve actually never been a fan of Devil Driver. I heard that they are replacing As I Lay Dying at the LA show next month and was disappointed, as I really like AILD. Not sure if I’m going to make it to the show anyway, because the ticket prices are pretty high and it’s at the Palladium, an absolutely miserable place to see a show.

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  • Jaime said:

    ilk

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  • DropBows said:

    ‘…perfectly crafted metalcore grooves that vacillate between “badass” and “extremely badass”.’

    Hilarious and so true. LoG f-ing rulz…

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