Review Summary: Introducing Lamb Of God-the most boring band on the Earth that somehow managed to put another album together with some killer songs
For those in the metal scene that are unaware as to Lamb Of God's existence, they really are not missing anything great. Aside from a few great tracks, their pre-Sacrament material was monotonous and boring, drilling the same riffs into your head a thousand times until one gets so sick of them they vow never to listen again. Ashes Of The Wake is the only album they have put out before Sacrament that one could find real merit in, and even that was dragged down by filler songs such as Omerta that chugged along and bored the life out of the listener. Sacrament was the 2006 installment in their discography and, whilst still being monotonous and boring, it is somehow a cut above the albums released prior to this and is a more than listenable release.
The guilty party is comprised of guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler on guitar, Chris Adler behind the drum kit, Randy Blythe screaming his lungs out and John Campbell on the completely inaudible bass guitar. The album was released to great praise and remains one of the highest selling bands the album has put out to date. Lamb Of God have often been compared to Pantera for their groove metal style and whilst such comparisons wouldn't be entirely unfounded, Sacrament remains one of their least groove-oriented albums. Instead this is more of a thrash album with pounding drums, fast paced guitar riffs and Randy Blythe screeching like the world was about to end around him. The lyrical topics on this album focus on hypocrisy in personality, the government and other political issues and various homages to the apocalypse.
The musicianship on this album is of a very high standard with various fast-paced riffs that fly past and hit you so hard you barely have time to get your breath back. However many of the songs are absolutely indistinguishable from each other as the band clearly focused on playing fast without creating too many memorable moments. The intro to Walk With Me In Hell has a sound akin to that of the world ending around the listener, and it very much fits the lyrical content and serves to build a solid atmosphere for the song. Grammy award nominated single Redneck also stands out as being very catchy and the riffs, whilst chugging along as is expected of Lamb Of God, still manage to stick in your head. Redneck also has a highly enjoyable chorus that one will be screaming along to. However, this song is also guilty of having some of the worst lyricism out there, with lines such as "This is a mother f*ckin' invitation" that really detract from the song itself. The band are clearly talented and this only take away from the sound.
The most talented member of the band is drummer Chris Adler, who lays down some varied and exciting drum beats that are consistently great and highly varied. He is often singled out as the best member of the band and his performance on here is flawless, with some fast double bass sections but also some great use of cymbals on songs such as Redneck and Requiem. Aside from the drumming however, Requiem is a boring song that fails to do anything new and feels like the band was just going through the motions to create a song that just chugs along and gets the listener from A to B. The lyrics on here are also highly immature with frequent usage of the F-word which is completely unnecessary in the context of the song. Swearing in music is not so much a problem when done tastefully but Randy Blythe is guilty of using it at the wrong times. Also another complaint that can be made about the lyrics is the lack of relevancy to them-many of the songs have political statements directed at George Bush, and therefore this was more an album of its time instead of now.
The songs themselves are mainly fast paced thrashers with Randy Blythe unfortunately not carrying them forward very well with his frequently samey vocal patterns and unusually small range. His performances on Ashes Of The Wake and later on Wrath and Resolution showed off that he has a decent enough range for a screamed vocalist so on here his two tones really do get annoying, and his Phil Anselmo tough-guy shouting is a cause for alarm. Without him they may be a little more tolerable but unfortunately, Randy only drags this album down. None of the songs are particularly TERRIBLE but many feel as though the band is just re-hashing things they have already done five times on this release already. For the best songs, check out Walk With Me In Hell, Redneck and Descending (which boasts some fantastic drumming and riffs that are actually more than memorable whilst being crushingly heavy). Stay away from songs like Pathetic and Requiem however as they are nothing more than chug-fests that your time is better served elsewhere. This is a solid enough album that just has too many flaws to be anything more than a great release that is listenable enough but only in small doses.