Lamb Of God - Ashes Of The Wake
Sony / Epic 2004
Line up :
Randy Blythe - Vocals
Mark Morton - Guitars
Willie Adler - Guitars
John Campbell - Bass
Chris Adler - Drums
Lamb Of God are one of the frontrunners of the ever growing NWOAHM ( New Wave Of American Heavy Metal), which includes bands such as Killswitch Engage and Chimaira. Their previous efforts (New American Gospel , and As The Palaces Burn) showed progression in their song writing in each release, this their 3rd album and 1st on a major label, can it carry on that progression?
The album kicks off with the leadoff single, Laid To Rest (3:50), with its typical LOG guitar riff intro , in comes the spoken word passage, then Blythe roars in as per usual. Blythe is on form throughout the song, with the great Testament sounding guitar riffs, this is one hell of a track. Next Is Hourglass (4:00), with its bludgeoning guitar intro riff another spoken word passage enters , at around 2:08 a great riff comes in, which gets doubled and then kicks into a Megadeth style riff, during the bridge section there is a great metal scream from Blythe. Now Youíve Got Something To Die For (3:39) is next with its Anthrax inspired riffage, contains a weird riff during the bridge though, itís a great track to headbang to though. Next is The Faded Line (4:37) chugs along but during the duration of the song thereís a few little guitar riffs thrown in which are little gems. During the outro the Air Siren blasting out gives great effect. Omerta (4:46) is next, with another spoken word passage to start the song off, contains a slow chugging riff, but just before the 3minute mark some more Megadeth style riffs come in. Blood Of The Scribe (4:23) is next, another typical LOG trademark intro, all out riffs but with Slayer sounding moments. Some more great vocal work on this track, more spoken word stuff during the song, during the bridge section thereís some great stop start drumming and guitar riffs. One Gun ( 3:59) has some great drumming throughout, now those who thought the art of shredding was lost fear not, this song features a well executed guitar solo, the song also contains some more great riffs throughout. Break You (3:35) has an interesting guitar riff to start off the song, the vocals come in with the guitar, at 1:15 during a great guitar riff thereís a awesome screaming / shrieking section from Blythe. The breakdown / bridge of this song is very reminiscent of Swedish Metal at times. Next is the shortest track on the album, What Iíve Become (3:28), this song thrashes out old school style, it contains another guitar solo but its doubled, like Randy Rhoads used to do on old Ozzy albums. The title track is next, Ashes Of The Wake (5:45), itís the only instrumental on the album, and it features Chris Poland (ex Megadeth) and Alex Skolnick (ex Testament), guitar solo freaks will love this track, full of spiralling guitar leads and solos, what happened to instrumentals like this? The track ends with some more spoken word which then kicks into, Remorse Is For The Dead (5:39). The final track on the album starts off with a slow clean guitar intro, with some great bass drum work, then at 1:15 the song truly kicks in full and proper with some more great shrieking,. At 3:20 there is another great scream, during the last 45seconds or so thereís a great guitar melody. At the end there is a great use of slowing down the vocals to give a demonic voice effect.
This album is metal personified, its heavy, its brutal, and its real. Ashes of the wake is a vast improvement on As The Palaces Burn (even though that itself is a great album), I couldnít stop tapping my feet or nodding along while listening to this album. Randy Blytheís vocals have improved and sound on top form throughout, even his shrieking is on form. The guitar work is amazing thanks to Mark Morton and Chris Adler. The drum work is also very good, One of the things I donít like is the bass drum sound its too muffled for my liking I prefer a thud/thundering bass drum sound.
Try: Laid to Rest, Hourglass, The Faded Line, Now You've Got Something to Die For, What I've Become, Omerta