Love them or hate them, there is little denying Lamb Of God’s success as they have risen from playing generator-powered keg parties in front of literally no one (under the very PC moniker Burn The Priest) to hitting the biggest stages with some of the biggest bands in the world in front of thousands.
Many of those have been become dedicated fans and follow their New American Gospel word for word and note for note. Lamb of God have just released their seventh studio effort, Resolution, a release that will satisfy many and may even raise a few eyebrows.
LOG’s albums are not known to start off soft and subtle. Resolution is no exception, but “Straight For the Sun” begins a little differently, with Randy Blythe bellowing as the band churns out a dark and driving doomy groove that rides along at a moderate pace. Shifting up a gear, Lamb of God puts the foot down as they hammer right into “Desolation”, a fast paced four minutes that delivers the goods. It has the heavy staccato guitar lines, Chris Adler’s lauded drumming and that brooding, dominant vocal shout from Blythe. Like Wrath’s “In Your Words”, “Desolation” is like a brief summary of what the band is about.
At this stage you might think that Resolution is going to head down a similar path to the band’s last few albums. For the most part, you’d be right. There are songs that could sit beside plenty of tracks from LOG’s back catalogue from any of their albums. This has the constant violent barrage of “Guilty” (reminiscent of the As the Palaces Burn days), “Invictus”, a track laden with southern fried groove, the octanic Neo-thrasher “Visitation” (where guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler let loose, laying down some frenetic fretwork) and “Ghost Walking”, an almost proudly carbon copy of 2006’s “Redneck” with a killer solo from Morton. There’s the metalcore stylings of “Terminally Unique” that bucks like a bull with a prod right up its arse, “The Undertow”, a track that could be defined as a summary of the best aspects of Ashes of the Wake, “To The End” with its uber groove enhanced by a thick bass line right up in your face courtesy of bassist John Campbell and “The Number Six”, a catchy track that is no doubt tailor made for the live setting with gang vocals and a pumping groove that should incite many a pit to erupt. The middle section is interesting with LOG’s brief take on fusion and another spot for Campbell to shine.
There are a few instances where LOG try something a little bit unexpected. “Cheated” is a brief foray into hardcore punk territory but with a Lamb Of God twist, “Insurrection” allows a greater emphasis on melody without going the route of say, Soilwork, and then there’s album closer “King Me”. LOG has often been labeled as a Pantera clone, and in their heavier guise, this is not too hard to see. But this track shares a slight similarity to Far Beyond Driven’s “Good Friends and a Bottle Of Pills”, with Blythe intoning over a dark passage. What really suprises is LOG mashing their heavier sound with a good dosage of strings and keyboards that are right there showing they can do something different. This was unexpected. In most cases though, LOG are going with what they know for the most part and if they deviated from that formula, their fan base would mostly be up in arms.
Overall, Resolution is what Lamb Of God is in 2012. It will no doubt please the hardcore masses. Those who haven’t been won over by LOG’s past efforts won’t find anything to entice them into joining The Congregation. But when all is said and done, Resolution shows that Lamb Of God are who they are, they do the music they want to do and they aren’t going away anytime soon, much to many people’s chagrin.
1. Straight From the Sun
3. Ghost Walking
5. The Undertow
6. The Number Six
11. Terminally Unique
12. To the End
14. King Me