A little over five years ago, the first ever post on this site was a review of Lamb of Gods “VII: Sturm Und Drang” album. A lot has changed in that time, for both Noise Pollution and Lamb of God – most importantly, growth.
I’m not quite sure why, but I love the decision to leave this album without a title. It just seems to make sense. The band has had some tumultuous times that have lead them to this point in their career, and with new drummer, Art Cruz in place, it’s like the band is using this self titled album to proudly state, “this is who we are now, and we are proud of it”.
While LOG have been a well known, and respected band for some time now, this self titled effort should absolutely cement their place as one of the titans of the metal world. This record is truly great, and possibly a career best.
Opening with “Memento Mori” is a tremendous move. The opening moments are somber, and somewhat delicate, but you know it’s building to something. When it launches its full form forward, it is a monster of a track – and the album never really lets up on its relentless delivery from that point on.
Randy Blythe is never one to mince words, and as the album moves forward, his lyrics look to sensitive subject matter. Mass shootings (Reality Bath), and protests (Routes) are looked at in the lyrical content, and the bands point is made intelligently, amid throat shredding screams and precision musicianship.
If anybody had any concerns about Art Cruz’s ability to fill the drum stool, rest assured, he is very much up to the challenge, and seems to have adapted to Lamb of God seamlessly. Need proof? Listen to “New Colossal Hate”, where is drumming is bold and mechanical – and arguably his best performance of the album.
Guest appearances from Chuck Billy on the aforementioned “Routes” and Jamey Jasta on “Poison Dream” both make for highlights on a really strong record, that takes the best of Lamb of Gods earliest style, found on albums like Wrath, and combines it with some of the newer styles found on Sturm Und Drang.
This is a killer album, and I wholeheartedly hope that Lamb of God don’t wait so long to give the listeners more.