There’s a lot we could say about the Defenders of the Faith show in Brixton. We could mention Five Finger Death Punch’s use of nu-metal poses to start a mosh pit before 7pm. Or how Unearth rattle through more chest-thumping riffs in a 30 minute set than some bands do in their entire careers. Or maybe how Dimmu Borgir should really start crediting their smoke machine as the seventh member of the band. But really, Sunday night in Brixton was all about one band – Lamb of God.
When the annals of metal history come to be written, let it not be said that the Defenders of the Faith II tour was when Lamb of God truly arrived in the UK – it was when they invaded. Although their latest album, Wrath, isn’t officially out for another week, the massed throwing of horns, pumping of fists, and raising of hell going on, shows that more than a few people might have stumbled across a cheeky bitorrent leak or two.
Although Brixton Academy’s soundsystem attempts to swallow Lamb of God’s sound – tragically much of the should-be-skull-breaking opener, ‘Hourglass’, is lost in a damp fog – the skin-scorching fury from Randy Blythe and co is too much for even the temperamental PA to swallow.
The teething problems brushed aside, the Virginia five-piece storm into a set where every song connects like a kick to the head from a steel toe-capped boot. Randy Blythe paces up and down the mammoth stage, a spitting gargoyle of barely-contained rage, while Mark Morton and Willie Adler lay down riffs so thick they make the air itself difficult to breathe. Tonight Lamb of God didn’t just defend the faith, they baptised 5000 followers into a new religion all of their own.
Defenders of the Faith @ London Brixton Academy photo gallery by Abi London