Lamb Of God - Lamb Of God

(CD, Epic Records, 2020)

There is something intriguing when a band decides to release a self-titled album, especially when the band in question has been around for a couple of decades. LAMB OF GOD have travelled a significant number of miles, and therefore choosing to name their eighth album “Lamb Of God” cannot but to be considered as a statement. Usually the intent behind such an album name-calling is to hit the reset button and sort of redefine where the band stands. With this in mind, I chose to approach “Lamb Of God” with a ‘fresh’ set of ears, without getting caught in the usual trap of comparing past with present. After all, who can claim to be the same person as he/she was five years ago?

Despite having my ‘fresh’ ears on, I was prepped to get an adrenaline rush with LAMB OF GOD’s groovy US Metal, and the first clean-sung minutes of “Memento Mori” were hinting that I was about to get what I asked for. The moment Randy changes singing gears and the double bass drumming break the melodic (and kind of dark) atmosphere, it becomes LAMB OF GOD time. The headbanging groove and the occasional fast snare-drum driven breaks will be tasty butter to the moshers’ bread and there’s no doubt about that. The melodic riffs grant this song the ‘catchy’ label that goes hand-in-hand with the vein-popping growling and the killer mid-tempo groove close to the end that demands some serious headbanging. The clean vocals have a MACHINE HEAD flair in them which is something I really like. I already knew “Checkmate” from the split with KREATOR and, in fact, it was because of that purchase my interest in LAMB OF GOD was rekindled. There is something fresh in the opening riffs that, to my mind, translates into an inspired band. In the same vein is “Reality Bath” that starts with some Stoner sounding riff action before going all Thrash on you with Randy building the boiling-hot tension as he transits from clear to his trademark growling / spitting singing. There is no warming-up period for “New Colossal Hate” that puts the riffs on the spotlight, bringing along some SLAYER-esque action along. The drumming makes a point here with nice rolls, adding another layer on the already Thrash-explosive track and I am sure you will be tempted to growl-along “the new colossal hate arises”. I love the guitar vibrato in the almost scary “Resurrection Man” that maintains a mid-tempo until the awesome groove somewhere in the middle requests your moshing-participation and does not take ‘no’ for an answer. This energy surge bleeds into double-bass drum galore of “Poison Dream” with Jamey Jasta doing some lead-singing during the groovier part, adding a little more character in the already ‘in-your-face’ attitude of this one. Brace yourself because things remain steamy with “Routes” exploding with fast drumming and the “appropriate” riffing that matches Mr. Chuck Billy’s vocals like a tailored suit. Damn, both of the guest appearances work like a charm here.

There is nothing not to like in “Lamb Of God” (this statement also works with the band’s name), and the riffs along with the drums prove that fresh fuel was poured inside LAMB OF GOD’s tank. Sometimes a break from the studio breathes new life in the lineup, creating the hunger to write new music, driving the quality up. “Bloodshot Eyes” will definitely get your Thrash blood boiling, while “On The Hook” will figurately keep you ‘on the hook’ to keep spinning the album (mind the fast snare-drum break and stay ‘safe’). And while doing so, you will start noticing all those details that have turned “Lamb Of God” into a mighty statement that LAMB OF GOD have returned with a solid Groove Thrash album with all cylinders firing at maximum capacity. I really hope the tour with MEGADETH will eventually happen, although a headlining set is more appropriate to celebrate this return.

9/10 


Links:

www.Lamb-Of-God.Com
www.FaceBook.Com/LambOfGod
www.Twitter.Com/LambOfGod


Tracklist:

01. Memento Mori
02. Checkmate
03. Gears
04. Reality Bath
05. New Colossal Hate
06. Resurrection Man
07. Poison Dream
08. Routes
09. Bloodshot Eyes
10. On The Hook


Lineup:

D. Randall Blythe - Vocals
Mark Morton - Guitar
Willie Adler - Guitar
John Campbell - Bass
Art Cruz - Drums