The latest effort coming from the heavy-hitting group is reminiscent of the early days of their career, despite the departure of long-time and founding drummer Chris Adler — but does the music suffer because of it?
In short, no, the music is still just as gnarly (even though fans miss the rhythmic pounding from Adler.) Vocalist Randy Blythe stays true to what makes him admired most in the metal community; screaming what’s on his mind. In order to appeal to the true metal crowd, Blythe requires the listener to dig a little deeper into the lyrics in order to gather whatever meaning is being pushed out by the band.
Politics seems to be the main recurring theme of the record, which is immensely powerful given the current political climate at the date of the release — I’m sure you are aware! The phrase “make america hate again” from the blood-thirsty track “Checkmate” is a perfect summary as to what the album represents. Aggression and a passion for the opinions being stated over hatred of the current political state is exactly what the is album is meant to be about.
The decision to be so heavily political is a very risky path to take, due to the possibility that it may displease any fans with opposing views… luckily, however, even fans on the far-right could enjoy the album! Musically, that is.
What I mean by that is you’re going to need to schedule a trip to the chiropractor after listening to this record, because don’t be surprised if you slip a disk from all the headbanging the songs induce. The riffs of guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, the screams, the oh-so-lovely breakdowns, and the clean production of the music are the result of 20+ years of Lamb of God perfecting their craft and it’s safe to say that they definitely done so.
I find myself revisiting the last minute of the track “Resurrection Man” where you will find a sledgehammered breakdown that will resonate with your inner metalhead. The song is without a doubt a strong point of the album, along with “Gears,” another track any regular LOG fan would find comfort in. The arena-rocking chorus is a memorable part of the album; believe me, if I had the ability to shout it like Randy Blythe I would!
To understand the public reception of the latest effort, I asked around online forums, Facebook pages, or anywhere else to get the feedback and opinions of the metal community. Overall, the reception is great, and Lamb of God should be patting themselves on the back for this masterpiece. One praise that surfaced the most in my mission to pick the brains of the metalheads of the world was that it’s classic Lamb of God; no disappointments and an all-out killer record. The guest appearances from metal legends such as Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and Testament’s Chuck Billy were extremely well received from fans, since those tracks added a unique flavor to the album- also due to the fact that the featured tracks are some of the high points of the record.
In the end, the record is a breath of fresh air and the metal community can now relax knowing that Lamb of God seems to be doing just fine with the unfortunate departure from Chris Adler. Definitely check it out!