Lamb of God, one of the key leading bands of the « New Wave of American Heavy Metal" movement along with other bands such as “Shadow Falls, Chimaira, Killswitch Engage" and so on. Although many tend to say that Lamb of God is metal-core, they are awfully wrong. Lamb of God blend together, a mixture of thrash, death and heavy metal which is what makes there music so intense, fast and “head-bangable". If you are searching an album with clean vocals and clean electric guitars, then this is NOT for you. On this album, you’ll hear fast slayer-esque riffs, incredibly fast and solid drumming with a lot of double bassing and a singer who can do loudest roars up too the highest screams. Compared to As the Palaces Burns, Ashes of the Wake is heavier with songs like “Laid to Rest", “Hourglass" and “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For".
Chris Adler Drums
Mark Morton Guitar
Willie Adler Guitar
John Campbell Bass
Randy Blythe Vocals
Track by track review
• Laid to Rest: This is one of the heaviest songs on the album. The song starts with a heavy and fast guitar riff (which will be mostly played throughout the song) with a nice little overdub by Mark Morton. After this “intro", Randy Blythe comes in with his heavy singing. At one point, there is a good but simple breakdown where Randy shouts out “See Who Gives a ***". After this comes a medium-paced riff with some fast drumming which is probably the heaviest moment of the song. Those who really stand out in this song are Randy as he sings very energetically and the fast and heavy riffs done by Mark and Willie.
• Hourglass: Although this is a good song, the opening riff is odd but yet fast and catchy. The song continues with some decent riffs at a normal speed until a certain point where suddenly, they start playing a fast and crazy guitar riff which is the beginning of the heavy part and ends with Randy screaming.
• Now You’ve Got Something to Die For: This song could easily be my favourite song off the album. The beginning riff is very heavy and catchy and the verse is just the same but palm-muted and even crazier with Randy screaming “Infidel, Imperial". The interlude then has both guitarists having a sort of “guitar fight/competition" which then leads to my favourite part: the break down with Randy roaring at the very end. The highlight of the song would be Randy.
• The Faded Line: The song starts off with a slower intro but with some fast drumming over a slow guitar with Randy singing for a short period. At about 1:03, they start playing a fast and cool riff. The song speeds up at about half –away and then ends with a slow and simple guitar riff with some alarm siren which gives a really good effect.
• Omerta: The song begins with Randy talking about the “Rule of Honour" and then the slow but heavy guitar riff kicks in. The rest of the song follows the same structure which makes it very long, boring and repetitive. This is just a slow song with no variation what so ever.
•Blood of the Scribe: This song is much faster compared to the previous one. It begins with a fast, open palm-muted power chord riff but then slows down shortly after and just continues with a lot of different riffs. The “breakdown" at the end with Randy screaming and roaring is my favourite part. Although this song is quite fast and heavy, I have the feeling that the guitarists recycled a lot of their riffs and added them in this song but apart from that it’s a decent song
• One gun: The song starts off with a really cool riff (a bit like the one in “Master of Puppets") and Randy doing a really high-pitched scream. Then they start playing a fast and palm-muted verse with some fast double bassing by Chris. The songs then speeds up with a short but nice and fast solo and some crazy riffing and it then continues the same structure until it finally slows down and ends with some cool effects.
• Break You: The intro of this song is really fast and heavy but then it sadly slows down. It then gets faster after a short period with Randy screaming a few times and continues the same way as before. The song then ends with the riff of the beginning but with Randy roaring and Chris playing faster. In my opinion, this song is boring and repetitive.
• What I’ve become: The beginning of the song gets straight to the point: fast and heavy with a lot of palm muted "chugga-chugga" playing. Then we get to hear another but short solo. Near the end there is a cool guitar duelling with some fast drumming. This is one good, heavy song and Randy roaring seems to fit it.
• Ashes of the Wake: This is one incredible instrumental masterpiece. It starts off with a soldier talking about the war in Iraq. This song includes any typical Lamb of God riffs but with a lot of fast and insane like soloing with some good double bassing. The guitars start off slowly at very beginning but then speed up drastically when the soloing starts and it eventually, slow downs at the end. This song is maybe my favourite one off the album as it’s heavy, crazy, intense and fast even without Randy.
• Remorse is for the dead: The acoustic intro is really calming and relaxing even with some of the drumming (this should have been the outro). All of this suddenly stops and the guys kick in with some fast riffing, drumming and singing. At one point, Randy does some shrieking and starts roaring and at about 3:20, the speed of the song slows down, which makes Randy voice seem even heavier and more intense and it just continues the same way with the same guitar riff.
Ashes of the Wake is a very heavy and brutal album but it might not appeal to others as it is true that, they recycle and repeat a lot of their riffs (and use a lot chugga-chugga riffing) and some of their songs might be a bit too long and boring, but apart from that, both this album and Lamb of God have a lot of potential so if you ever get your hands on this, try listening to it a few times as I, myself didn’t like it in the beginning. Compared to “As the Palaces Burn" and “New American Gospel", Ashes of The Wake is a major improvement although the other 2 albums are just as good.
• Very fast and solid drumming by Chris.
• Randy’s singing has a lot of potential and energy.
• The guitar work is very intricate and complex which shows the talent of both Mark and Willie (End of “Hourglass")
• Some of the riffs seem to have been recycled, and many of them sound the same.
• Some of the songs always keep the same structure which makes them sound too long and boring; Lamb of God should put more variations and creativity in them.
•Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
• Laid to Rest
• Ashes of the Wake
• Remorse is For the Dead
Final Score: 4/5
This is my first review so be kind =)