Lamb Of God - Leading the Charge Into Metal's Modern Era

There is a general understanding that the world’s priorities are in a very different place than they probably have ever been. The term unprecedented has been drilled ad nauseam, but the reality is that these are equally formative times. Change is happening, discussion is being encouraged, and passion are boiling over. Historically speaking, turbulent times like these result in artistic contributions that stick. The social context of great art, enduring art, seems to add substance that conditions the audience to pay closer attention. For Virginia veterans Lamb of God, their messaging and their music have remained uncompromisingly consistent throughout the course of their storied career. The band is on the verge of releasing their eighth studio effort and the songs couldn’t be more applicable. During a time when focus is understandably elsewhere and a new chapter of history is being written, the importance of a metal record just doesn’t compute. Then again, Lamb of God isn’t the average metal band.

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It’s been five years since Lamb of God released VII: Sturm und Drang. In the years since, the band would endure through a hiatus (or two), significant personnel changes, and crisscrossed the globe, touring relentlessly; and becoming one of metal’s most respected bands in the process. While it was the longest time in between records for the collective, the wait wasn’t all for naught. The band’s bassist John Campbell touched on that stretch in between albums and how touring so much was important. “Performing every night definitely made us tighter as musicians. To be able to do that night in and night out in front of the crowds we played in front of, if anything it spurred the creative process.” While the band accumulated mileage and maintained their chops musically, their perspective would continue to evolve from city to city, country to country, continent to continent.

Proving the old adage that good things are worth the wait, Lamb of God has gone almost 30 years before opting to release a self-titled record; with good reason. Campbell explains, “Generally speaking, titles are somewhat of an afterthought. Considering everything we have gone through as a band and where we are now, the title of the record is indicative of the band. And not to sound too egotistical but this is badass.” The subtle, albeit definitive statement of a self-titled record is one that is well earned for Lamb of God. In a career that boasts an incredibly consistent catalog, Lamb of God, makes a compelling case in becoming the band’s finest addition.

At least part of what merits such a strong assertion comes from the content of the music. In the months leading up to the release (which was pushed back from May due to the current pandemic) a slue of singles including “Checkmate,” “Momento Mori,” “New Colossal Hate,” and “Routes” surfaced. All of which seemed to foreshadow the kind of dissonance that is the reality of the current day-to-day. Subjugation, tyranny, discord, while none of the subject matter is foreign to the band, the songs have the kind of relevance that requires real insight. Implementing that kind of awareness in these songs is a responsibility that everyone in the band seems to take to heart. “We are all in the same headspace when it comes to this kind of stuff. Equality, freedom, unfortunately these things are happening now that needs to be addressed.” Campbell continues, “The songs aren’t about pointing out anyone specifically but rather a way of thinking.”

After nearly three decades and a lifetime of accolades, it would be understandable for an outfit the caliber of Lamb of God to deliver strictly the expected and not leave anything to chance. Their distaste for complacency and willingness to push themselves creatively was reiterated with the addition of Art Cruz into the fold. Having performed with the band for the last two years as a touring drummer, the self-titled record would be the first with Cruz contributing in the recording process for Lamb of God.

Coupled with that reality was the absence of the band’s original drummer, Chris Adler. Given the band’s stylistic signature, everyone was well aware of added scrutiny this effort would be up against, however, confident that the music would speak for itself. “Art was in there bouncing off ideas and he did a fine job of making his contribution to this record.” Campbell seemed to seal the sentiment of the band in saying, “We weren’t going to tell him how to play drums, we picked him to be in the band because we liked how he played drums.”

There is room in the discussion to rank Lamb of God among the greats in the genre. Given the band’s prolific output and their continued refinement of their craft, the reality is that their name is often included as modern contributors among historic pillars. Far from content with utilizing a formula and sticking to it, the band continues to be meticulous in their approach and steadfast in their delivery. For a band that has been screaming for almost 30 years, album number eight is as loud and pissed off as ever - delivered to a world that needs it.

Lamb of God is now available HERE

Autographed versions of the album are also available HERE