LAMB OF GOD has stormed the American Metal scene in the last few years much to Metal elitists dismay. Their interesting blend of Thrash, Death, and Groove Metal has taken most fans by shock and lead the band to become one of the most recognizable touring names in the United States. “Sacrament” is the culmination of their reach to become one of the most sought after Metal bands in the world.
“Sacrament” is not the usual LAMB OF GOD that most fans are going to expect. Their style that was present on the last album, “Ashes Of The Wake”, is not completely gone but it is definitely more thought out and manipulated. They have incorporated a variable to the fold, one of a bit of melody and pushing towards a musical approach to their style rather than a raw energy driven approach. I’m not saying that the music is by any means slow, unenergetic, and flat. When listening to “Sacrament”, one can tell they spent a little more time in the composing part of the album process. Mark Morton and Willie Adler add more complexity to the mix along with a focus on the lead guitar as opposed to the focus of rhythm from “Ashes Of The Wake”. The guitars are a dominating force on the album and Chris Adler’s drumming is nonstop professional grade playing. The music is still massively heavy and full of groove, but “Sacrament” is also more focused on varying melodies and lead guitar parts. There are even a few songs on the able where parts are almost reminiscent of PANTERA (for example the Southern swing in the track “Redneck”). For me, this throwback to “As The Palaces Burn” writing style is an excellent path for LAMB OF GOD to head down.
’t reached the potential I believe they have, but “Sacrament” is getting closer. There is a lot of room for improvement still but if they continue on the road “Sacrament” is pointing to then they will have earned the right to be one of the most popular metal bands in the United States.
The most notable change for LAMB OF GOD as compared to their previous efforts is in fact what I believe to be their weakest link – the vocals. Where originally the vocals were ‘pig squeals’ and later when they seemed very monotonous, “Sacrament” presents us with a progressive sound from Randy Blythe. He varies the sound of his guttural presentation to involve a little bit of everything and even a little more (thanks to producer Machine) and it finally adds a layer that LAMB OF GOD have been missing. Blythe whispers, screams and even does a pretty descent Thrash impression on the last song “Beating On Death’s Door”. Also something I think Blythe did right this time around is to avoid writing the lyrics politically. Nothing dates a song faster than political messages - unless they are cleverly written. The lyrics focus more on personal issues and demons rather than worldly ones.
Overall, LAMB OF GOD have come a long way from being a bar band to being one of the most popular bands. They haven
Songs to check out: “Walk With Me In Hell”, “Redneck”, “Beating On Death’s Door”.
(Online October 15, 2008)