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Lamb of God: Ashes of the Wake

The successors to Pantera or Slayer? Well, we all know that Slayer is still slogging through the metal landscape, and Pantera has all but crumbled into oblivion, but my vote for the band to best succeed on similar musical territory when these two behemoths are all but forgotten is Lamb of God. Hailing from Virginia, Lamb of God have two albums under their belt, the acclaimed New American Gospel and As the Palaces Burn, prior to the release of Ashes of God, and this one continues on in the same style as those two shredding metal platters.

Songs like "Laid to Rest", "Omerta", and "Hourglass" bludgeon you with razor sharp complex dual guitar riffs, much like early Slayer. The two players, Mark Morton, and Willie Adler, are fine musicians, weaving intricate lines around each other, ripping into the occasional wild solo, but always laying down heavy riffage. Lead vocalist Randy Blythe takes a little getting used to, as he has a very gutteral death metal rasp, but you soon begin to notice that he really has a unique style that sets him apart from other singers in the genre. He's at his most maniacal during "Now You've Got Something to Die For", a brutal exhibition of death and thrash metal mania. The relentless rhythm section of drummer Chris Adler and bassist John Campbell shine throughout, especially on a tune like the steamrolling frenzy of "Blood of the Scribe", a tune with lots of time changes and complex guitar passages. The band even reaches into Mastodon-like territory on the crushing "Break You", a relentless number with loads of mind-numbing riffs and aggressive vocal screams. They even seem to be paying homage to Megadeth on the speedy & intricate thrash of the awesome title track, the albums lone instrumental cut.

If there's one minor setback, it's that the pace of the CD never lets up, and stays at a similar level throughout without much variety. For many this will not be a problem, but I would have liked to hear a slower, more atmospheric tune thrown in just to shake things up a bit. Regardless, Lamb of God is most definitely a force to be reckoned with on the metal circuit. The group labels themselves as a progressive metal band, and while your opinion may vary as to whether they should be thrown into that category, there's no doubt they kick some serious ass.

Track List
1. Laid To Rest (3:50)
2. Hourglass (4:00)
3. Now You've Got Something To Die For (3:39)
4. The Faded Line (4:37)
5. Omerta (4:45)
6. Blood Of The Scribe (4:22)
7. One Gun (3:59)
8. Break You (3:34)
9. What I've Become (3:27)
10. Ashes Of The Wake (5:39)
11. Remorse Is For The Dead (5:45)

Added: November 3rd 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Lamb of God Website
Hits: 4809
Language: english

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