After five long years, Lamb of God has finally released a new self-titled album, which does not disappoint! The leaders of NWOAHM (New Wave of American Heavy Metal) have once again exhibit why they have been one of the top metal acts for the past 15 years, with strong songwriting and a clear sense of creativity. With the release of their eighth studio album, the Virginia natives bring the intensity and groove we’ve all come to expect from a Lamb of God record. This album doesn’t break the mold or reinvent the wheel but delivers that quintessential Lamb of God feel we crave.
Starting off the album is a fan favorite, “Memento Mori.” This opener flaunts frontman Randy Blythe’s clean vocals, providing an “Overlord” vibe, yet clouded with a darker atmosphere. Serving as the album’s introduction correctly builds up the anticipation for the band’s signature groove, which soon follows. The song is everything you expect from the group and gets your head banging with every crisp chug and kick.
Every Lamb of God record is a visit to riff city, with there always being at least one riff that stands out in each album. On the previous album, VII: Sturm und Drang, we had the luscious riff from “Still Echoes,” and for Resolution, we had the groove-tastic “Ghost Walking.” For this record, the exhilarating bridge riff found in the middle of “Resurrection Man” takes home the gold. It is soon followed by the “alarm-clock riff” breakdown, which is pure ecstasy. “New Colossal Hate” might be the only song that challenges its reign for best track on the record with its chorus forever ingrained in my mind.
When the tracklist was first announced, I was really looking forward to the guest appearances of Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and Testament’s Chuck Billy. Having those two solid and reputable frontmen lend their vocals to the record was a great idea, and they absolutely crushed it. Having Chuck singing those lyrics in “Routes” drove the point of the song even further. Jasta’s emergence in “Poisoned Dream” will get your fists pumping and have you chanting the lyrics. His hardcore scream meshes quite well with Randy’s guttural scream.
As this being the first album without drummer Chris Adler, skepticism circled the band and what the addition of Art Cruz would do to the sound of the record. With no surprise, Cruz was a monster behind the kit and exceeded expectations. He played a very similar style to Chris but added his own flair when a song needed it.
Overall, this album has everything you’d expect from Lamb of God- the legendary tone, pristine production, and the swarming hooks. Lamb of God has delivered another in-depth record that encompasses their massive career, and they continue to stand tall as catalysts of the metal community.
Grab Lamb of God’s self-titled album here!