Lamb Of God
23 February 2009
by Danny Montana
Since we got our dirty mitts on Lamb Of God’s fifth album, Wrath over the New Year, it has barely left our tinny laptop speakers.
All the pre-release chatter from the band has been the stock, “It’s our bestest album EVA!!1!” type stuff but our favourite bit was when guitarist Chris Adler said, “Wrath needs no hype,” during an interview performed with the express reason of hyping the record. Uh huh.
He’s right though. Lamb Of God have consistently delivered brilliant records for the past decade and there’s absolutely nothing from the unexpected here, as long as you expect the band to have progressed a touch and not just churn out the same old shit.
‘The Passing’ could definitely be the entry music to the Defenders Of The Faith tour because the way the acoustic guitar builds suspense and becomes a fantastically grandiose segue into the turbulent, dynamic and characteristically furious ‘In Your Words’ is mind-blowing.
‘Set To Fail’ gets Wrath’s groove on with hammering drums and some guitars that bend around corners whilst Randy Blythe works his vocal magic. Talking of hooks, try not to keep shouting, “GUARAN-FUCKIN-TEED,” at everyone after listening to the frenzied ‘Contractor’. FYI, that’s called tmesis.
Another hugely technical riff runs through the sludgy, measured ‘Fake Messiah’ but there’s not much else here. Luckily, they follow it up with ‘Grace’, which, whilst occasionally sounding like it’s borrowed the riff Breed 77 weren’t good enough to write, is so furious and complicated that you almost forget to put your foot on your sofa and headbang, such is its epic brilliance.
‘Broken Hands’ has a traditionally excellent riff that just sits there being fucking brilliant for the whole song. Some potentially annoying gang vocals beef up the chorus but this song is so big, it’s actually a little bit scary. We like that though.
Watch Lamb of God performing ‘Pathetic’ live on Conan O’Brien
That groovy cowboy swagger is back for ‘Dead Seeds’ but ‘Everything To Nothing’ is a bit of a nothing song, before the blind fury of ‘Choke Sermon’. Wrath just gets angrier than hell towards the end of the album. The album lives up to its name.
The album closer, ‘Reclamation’ however, deserves a special mention. This is new from LOG. This is unexpected. With rolling waves and an acoustic guitar flooding in, there’s emotion and thought aplenty in this seven-minute masterpiece. It’s brilliant and gets better with every listen.
Amazingly, this all still means that Wrath is still might only Lamb Of God’s fourth best album but when you have As The Palaces Burn, Ashes Of The Wake and Sacrament ahead of you in a top albums list, that’s not really a concern.
Where it ranks in their back catalogue is largely irrelevant, however, because with Wrath, Lamb Of God have created yet another album that is better than everything else around at the moment. If this doesn’t beat the rest of the metal releases of 2009 into heroic, world-beating submission, there must a hell of a lot more to come this year.
Lamb Of God – Wrath tracklisting
In Your Words
Set To Fail
Everything To Nothing