Review Summary: Brutal American Metallers return to the top with scorcher of an album!
Lamb of God. A band who, other than 'Redneck', had songs which just didn't interest me. That was until I attended Sonisphere festival in Knebworth this Summer. After witnessing the spectacle that was their set, I suddenly found a new band I could really get into.
Sacrament was the first album I bought, short followed by Ashes of the Wake and Wrath, but the former is still their crowning glory as far as I'm concerned. The brutality and sheer relentlessness of their sound is still evident, but the album is somewhat more accessible than their previous efforts. Album opener "Walk With Me in Hell" opens on cascading guitar melodies before breaking into a devastating riff of gargantuan proportions. From the very first chords of this riff, it's perfectly clear that the LoG are old are back and it's business as usual. "Again We Rise" and "Pathetic" are the more accessible songs on this album, following a more rigidly mainstream structure. That said, they are as brutal as you'd expect from such a band. Defining song, "Redneck", is deserved of a mention if only for it's sweltering shout along chorus.
As always, the guitar work is masterful and competent, the musicians getting the most out of their instruments in order to lay your eardrums to waste. Randy Blythe's vocals are as heavy as usual, and he somehow manages to make his screams go high, low, and even 'droned' at times. The double bass pedal on the drums as always in metal, is used excellently and is prominent throughout the album. In fact, the general drumming is very good. Also, surprisingly, there are a few solos (In Walk with me In Hell, for one) which are actually incredibly good and fit the songs very well. The second half of the album (that is, anything other than the first four songs) is standard Lamb of God material. It is not as easy to listen to as the first few songs, but nevertheless LoG manage to create both catchy and brutal tunes and amalgamate them into one song.
Definitely a more accessible album than Ashes of the Wake and New American Gospel, this album does not move too far away from the tried and tested Lamb of God formula. Also, at no point does the listener get the feeling that the band are trying to sell more records with their style, but moreso to try and drag as many people onboard the good ship metal as they can. Everything about the sound is heavy, both the lyrics and guitars are pounding. The drums are as resilient and unstoppable as ever.
This album truly exhausts the listener. At no point does the momentum let up, and the sheer wall of noise punishes the ears from start to finish. Songs such as "Blacken the Cursed Sun" and "More Time To Kill" seem gargantuan in size and are prime moshpit material.
If you're not a fan of Lamb of God's music, this album won't have won you over. But for fans, this is ideal. For people who want to give Lamb of God a try as a new listen, this is probably the best album to do so.
Here's to greater things, LoG!