Review Summary: Lamb of God. Legends
Lamb of God is back with a new studio album after a huge tour in support of their previous album “Wrath”. Whereas the previous album was rather rough sounding with some thrashy edges, this new album sees Lamb of God returning to the sound that made them well known in the first place. On this new release you'll find tracks that will surely remind you of “As The Palaces Burn”, “Ashes of the Wake”, and “Sacrament”. Nevertheless, 2012's “Resolution” also sees the Richmond-based metal formation explore new territories of heavy music.
Let's start of with the experimental edge of Resolution. Probably one of the best examples of Lamb of God's experimentation is unleashed upon us as soon as we start listening to this cd. The first track starts off with frontman Randy Blythe taking a deep breath and unleashing his roaring voice over an extremely filthy, slow sludge riff, which is something we are not very used to from Lamb of God. Of course, they've had slow-paced songs in the past (such as 2003's “Vigil” and 2004's “Omerta”), but none of these tracks were as sludge-like as album opener “Straight for the Sun”, which is almost good enough to be compared with sludge titans such as Crowbar and Eyehategod. I was blown away by this extremely heavy opening track since I love it when a band successfully tries something different.
Other experiments include Randy's clean vocals on “Insurrection”. As far as I know this is the very first time that Randy Blythe did a clean and melodic kind of vocal for a Lamb of God track. He does this very accurate and the double-tracked vocals (a deep voice and a higher cleaner voice) are mixed very well, which is of course a compliment to producer Josh Wilbur. Besides these two examples, there's also the epic and ambient “King Me” and silent/heavy contrasting “The Number Six”. These kinds of tracks might surprise the average Lamb of God fan.
Overall, Resolution sees the groove metal band return to its signature sound. Typical riffs such as the chorus riff of “Ghost Walking” shows much similarity to Sacrament's “Redneck”. “The Undertow” must remind you of “As The Palaces Burn”-like songwriting. It pleases me to realize that this band actually has a signature sound that made them what they are and I believe they should be given the space to showcase their sound. Unoriginality wouldn't be the right term to describe this for they are just doing what they're good at.
The album is well-produced. It sounds much more solid than Wrath, but thankfully not as overproduced as Sacrament did. Drums sound solid as usual. Of course the bass drums are triggered as usual. I'm sure a lot of people will have complaints about the fact Chris Adler uses this, but I personally think it fits Lamb of God's polished sound. I don't believe it shows the laziness of the hairy drummer. Sometimes I get the feeling the vocals are a bit low on volume in the mix. Besides these kind of minor details, the album sounds rock solid.
Lyric-wise, I am always very impressed by Randy and I was once again not disappointed by the words written by this noisy frontman. The Bible references and political edges to his lyrics have always been great in my opinion, and you shall find his signature kind of lyrics once again on Resolution. The track “Invictus” is lyrically my favorite so far.
To wrap it up, this album is just kickass. Though I think it won't be a classic like Ashes Of The Wake, it sure as hell is a great addition to Lamb of God's discography. Fans of the Virginian band who are in for some experiments and also love the traditional LoG-sound will surely get what they wished for. I was impressed by this record. Lamb of God remains the same old great band and at the same time they try things they've not played or recorded before and do it with great style. No doubt that this release will end up in a lot of top-metal-album-lists at the end of the year!