ALBUM REVIEW: Annihilator – Metal II

There’s a fine line between “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and “there’s always room for improvement”, and more often than not the re-recording of old albums usually falls snugly into the former category. No matter how much more accomplished the revised version might sound from a technical standpoint, the overall results rarely change. Lightning in a bottle cannot be captured twice.

Continue reading

Lamb of God and BrewDog to Host Virtual Beer Tasting and Q & A

This past spring, Lamb of God and craft beer brewers BrewDog released their Ghost Walker beer, a specially created non-alcoholic beer with help from Willie Adler and D Randall Blythe. Now Randy and BrewDog will host a virtual beer tasting and Q & A sesh. on Thursday Dec 10 and Friday Dec 11 at 7pm EST. Tickets are $75 and include access to the 25 person Zoom Happy Hour, and a 12 pack of Lamb of God Beer and merch item that’s shipped to your home to enjoy during the event. Plus 15% of each ticket will be donated to NIVA – National Independent Venue Association – an emergency relief fund fighting to preserve independent venues across the US. More details and ticket links can be found below.

Continue reading

LIVESTREAM REVIEW: Lamb of God – Ashes of the Wake Live Stream

As of this writing, the music world continues to be in a state of suspended animation as the Coronavirus outbreak – particularly in North America – dashes any hopes of returning to music venues anytime soon. We’ve bungled the pandemic so poorly here in the states that our moron President and many of his colleagues have been diagnosed with the disease due to failure to follow social distancing measures. Having fans in attendance is starting to seem like a thing of the past, so more and more artists will start turning to live-streamed performances.

Continue reading

Lamb of God Shares Online Release Events, New Album Out Now

Lamb of God just released their new album, Lamb of God, last Friday via Epic Records (review here, exclusive interview with Willie Adler here). Following the Friday release of their new self-titled album, Lamb of God is connecting with fans through daily online activities today through Thursday, beginning with a “live quarantine video” today on YouTube. The video features three songs recorded by the band live from quarantine. Tune in to watch at the link below.

Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Lamb Of God – Lamb Of God

Every now and again, a record captures the mood of an era with such frightening accuracy that even though it might not be the greatest thing you’ve ever heard, it resonates so profoundly that you have no alternative but to sit up and take notice. Not since the ’80s, when the burgeoning thrash scene was fuelled by a world living in fear of murky politics and the threat of nuclear war, has the timing been so perfect for such a scathing indictment of present times. Continue reading

PODCAST: Episode #98 – Willie Adler Talks New Lamb of God Album

Ghost Cult had the honor of chatting with Willie Adler of Lamb of God recently, to talk all about the brand new self-titled album, due out on June 19th, 2020. Willie was in high spirits as we broke down the new album together, covering topics from the bands’ approach to the new album, his writing partnership with Mark Morton, how many throwback grooves went into this album, D. Randall Blythe breaking new ground asa singer, the bands’ veteran status in the scene, working with guests such as Chuck Billy of Testament and Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed, Willie’s hand in helping create their non-alcoholic Ghost Walker Beer, thoughts on 30 years of LoG history, and much more. You can pre-order the album at this link and listen to our chat below. Continue reading

Lamb of God Shares New Single and Lyric Video – “New Colossal Hate”

Lamb of God has dropped a new single from their upcoming self-titled album, ‘New Colossal Hate’! Lamb of God will now release on June 19th via Epic Records (USA) and Nuclear Blast Records (Europe). ‘New Colossal Hate’ is a classic Lamb of God song, brutal and uncompromising. Check it out now! Continue reading

Lamb of God’s “Wrath” Turns Ten Years Old

As the chaotic decade of the aughts was closing down, metal’s upper echelon of bands was never in better hands. Few bands embodied the changing of the guard like Richmond Virginia’s Lamb of God who ushered in the decade with New American Gospel (Prosthetic) after famously changing their name from Burn The Priest and really reset the bar of possibility for modern, popular metal bands. The upper tier of genre greats were struggling to find themselves, so along with other leaders of the era such as Mastodon, Gojira, Amon Amarth, and Machine Head, LoG spearheaded a new generation. The five albums (and one live album/DVD) the band put down in ten years really each marked their own distinct high point for the band. Wrath (Epic/Roadrunner) arrived with fanfare and expectations higher than ever. Three years after the slickly produced Sacrament, the band was craving the rawer, more direct approach of their earlier albums and went with producer Josh Wilbur at the helm. Of course, their musicianship was never higher and lyrically the album would touch on timeless themes of American politics, religion, fear-mongering, desperation, anger at systematic injustice, addiction, and self-analysis. Continue reading

Burn The Priest (Lamb of God) – Legion XX

Depending on where you mark the stages evolution of Lamb of God, it has been twenty years since they effectively began the concentrated march towards the Metal behemoth we know and love today. Most of you will know they were originally monikered Burn The Priest, and released an eponymous album in 1999 before revamping themselves as LoG around the time of the appointment of Willie Adler on guitar for 2000’s New American Gospel (Prosthetic) – the band’s only line-up change in their history.Continue reading

Lamb of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang

Lamb of God - VII Sturm und Drang - Artwork

About halfway through Lamb of God’s magnificent new album, Sturm Und Drang (Epic/Nuclear Blast) vocalist Randy Blythe screams into the microphone: “How the FUCK did you think this would end?!” It’s both a question and a statement of defiance, summing up five years that have been nothing less than challenging for this band.

You’ve all read about Mr Blythe’s trials and tribulations; I won’t waste space going into them yet again but surely there must have been points when the band must have wondered how it all might end – fearing that they might never make any record ever again. That they have returned and delivered an album this ferocious, this energised, this brilliant, is utterly remarkable and testimony to a sense of collective tenacity and drive that can only be admired.

Suffice to say, there is an air of valediction surrounding Sturm Und Drang. They are right to feel valediction too: this is a quite brilliant record, their most ferocious since As The Palaces Burn (Prosthetic/Epic) and, in all probability, the best thing they have ever done. Scratch that: there’s no “probability” at all – it’s their best record. Period.

There are so many things to get excited about: the song-writing has never been stronger and the musicianship a veritable showcase of individual and collective talent. Whether you opt for Chris Adler’s drumming, Mark Morton and Willie Adler’s astonishing gifts for killer riffs, John Campbell’s hypnotic, rumbling basslines or Blythe’s vocals (is there anyone who sounds more metal than him? That’s correct, there isn’t) it scarcely matters: on this record, the band haven’t just upped their game, they have decided to change it altogether.

From the scabrous and infectious opening of ‘Still Echoes’ which erupts like a line of aural hand grenades in your head, it is clear that Lamb of God aren’t content with throwing down the gauntlet, they are throwing down every gauntlet ever made. It is an instant classic, a song to cheer to the rafters and to howl along with in the circle pits. It is breathless and brilliant.


Lamb of God, photo credit – Travis Shinn

And so it continues: ‘Erase This’ pummels you into submission, a neck cracking riff allied to a chant along chorus line are terrific ingredients to blend together and the sonic cocktail they have conjured here is deeply intoxicating. It’s hardly a surprise that Blythe references the challenging times he has been through. On the blistering and belligerent ‘512’ (the cell number that Blythe occupied during his incarceration in the Czech Republic) we are treated to a deeply personal insight into the vocalist’s sense of outrage at the injustice he suffered; you get the sense that Blythe is straining every sinew as he spits out the lyrics with venomous bile. It’s an extraordinary display backed by a relentless band performance.

Lamb of God are not a band you’d readily associate with ballads but on ‘Overlord’, a song that has echoes of Alice in Chains, we see Blythe turn in a clean, nuanced and, ultimately, powerfully affecting performance. The song’s ambition is more than matched by the band’s ability to execute and it positively radiates.

It’s not just the massive riffs or the killer tunes that you warm to on Sturm Und Drang, although they are here in abundance: ‘Anthropoid’ and ‘Footprints’ are two further effortless examples in how to write killer heavy metal songs. What equally impresses on this record is the creativity and detail that has been taken. For example, when Deftones’ Chino Moreno makes a startling and very welcome appearance on the exquisite ‘Embers’ it sounds so right, so appropriate that you wonder why they hadn’t tried it before; similarly, The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato adds scope, nuance and texture to the album closer, ‘Torches’.

Sturm Und Drang takes all the emotions, frustrations and challenges of the band’s last five years and distills them into an album of relentless, authentic brilliance. It is everything you hoped this band could produce and more. Sturm Und Drang is the most exciting heavy metal album of the year by a country mile.

All Heavy Metal records should sound this good.