Guest Music Review: Wrath, Lamb of God

Posted by Peter Hall - March 4th 2009 @ 8:18 pm

This review is brought to you by Randy Mull, whose not even one year old son is more metal than you are.  Previous reviews: Death Magnetic, The Crucible of Man.

Lamb of God
Wrath
Rating 6 of 10
Bonus Tracks Go to 11

It is official, with the release of Wrath, Virginia metal heavyweights Lamb of God have sold out to the almighty metal fan.  Like many of their predecessors such as Exodus and Slayer, LOG has decided that taking chances and growing as an artist is far too big a risk.  Instead, they’ve written a straight forward boring thrash album which shows absolutely no interest in expanding their songwriting craft, shows they’ve lost their balls, and will now churn out the same album every 2 to 3 years.  The sad thing is Wrath isn’t a bad album.  It is just that with each new release LOG has shown tremendous growth and wow factor and I don’t think this album is up to their standards.  They simply seem to be going through the motions.

A brilliant instrumental, and one of the few non-recycled pieces of music, The Passing, opens the album.  Harmonized guitars over a mid-tempo beat are featured here and distinctly remind one of old-school Queensryche.  Unfortunately, The Passing is just that and only clocks in at two minutes and then fades into a steady decline in songwriting until the middle of the CD.  Songs such as Contractor and Set to Fail seem to be written purely to prove how metal we are.  Set to Fail even goes so far as to have blast beats.  Oooohhh, haven’t heard that in a metal song before.  There is nothing particularly wrong with these tracks.  They are good songs but nothing new reaches out to grab you either.  I blame this lack of adventure squarely on the shoulders of the Adler Brothers.  They can’t seem to get out of the mindset of having to be metal 24/7.

This was blatantly evident in the making of Sacrament DVD when Mark Morton brought Descending to the rehearsal room and they both scoffed at it because it just wasn’t metal enough and the vocals would have to carry the song.  Oh no, we’re not metal if we do that.  Kerry King and all the Blabbermouth readers might disapprove.  It was then hilarious to see that Descending was one of the outstanding if not the best tracks on Sacrament, an album that Chris Adler has tried hard to distance himself from in recent interviews.  Apparently this is because it is not metal enough for him anymore and anything perceived as a sell out attempt by the fans was purely the suggestion of producer Machine and the band had nothing to do with it.  I absolutely hate when a metal artist slams things they’ve done in the past to sell a new record and convince people how much heavier their new offering is.  You were there, it has your name on it, don’t try to blame songwriting on the producer.  At least own up to it and admit that was where your head was at the time and it felt right when composing it.  Like anything LOG could ever do would be considered a sell out in the Metallica Black Album train of thought anyway.  Does anyone really think that with Randy Blythe’s growling vocals, you’ll ever find them on traditional rock radio?

Finally, on track six, Grace, LOG shows that they can grow as songwriters.  Clean guitars open this one up which break into a blistering guitar riff.  A harmonizing solo is the highlight in this song and really adds to the overall dynamics of the composition.  However, after this track, you guessed it, more straight forward Adler Brother metal for another four songs.  These three minutes each compositions bring nothing to the table and show LOG once again playing it safe.  Again, decent songs, and one maybe two at most need to be left on the album for variety, but it seems LOG is trying to please the metal masses like Blabbermouth reviewer Ryan Ogle, who summed this album up by stating that “Thankfully, Lamb Of God has yet to reach that point where they feel the need to re-invent the wheel, or even themselves for that matter.”  Yeah, great, now they can make a career of playing the same album over and over just like AC/DC has done with the same four chords for almost forty years now.

The album closer, Reclamation, is by far one of LOG’s best tracks to date and features some excellent Randy Blythe lyrics.  LOG lyrics usually penned by Blythe and Mark Morton are top notch and I always look forward to what great lines they’ll think of next.  The twists and turns taken on this song hearken back to Ashes of the Wake craft and take the listener on a journey.  If only the band would have let their metal guard down for two seconds and written more tunes like this one, we would have a better-rounded and actually more metal album.    This leads us to the two bonus tracks that come with some exclusive and deluxe versions of the CD.   Both of these tracks are superb and why they weren’t put on the proper album version is beyond me.  Oh yeah, that’s right, they are unconventional and not straight forward METAL.  Well we just can’t have that now can we.

We Die Alone, a song much like Sacrament’s Descending, is carried by the vocals and an unorthodox yet simple drum beat at the beginning.  The middle section breathes fresh new life into the LOG catalog of riffage with a dueling, overlaying guitar solo which is something new for the band.  Shoulder of Your God is another great composition which will need to be listened to over and over again to hear all the intricacies it contains.  The fact that these two songs and the Japanese bonus track Condemn the Hive were left off the regular album are blatant proof that LOG was playing it safe and that is a shame.  If they had left these tracks on the album and taken off some of the straight forward thrash metal snoozers like Everything to Nothing and Choke Sermon, you’d have possibly their best album yet.  As a big LOG fan I hope that they can get back on track with their next release and will write an album that they want to write and not worry about what the metal fans expect to hear.

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rss 34 comments
  1. Jesse
    March 5th, 2009 | 12:45 pm | #1

    You’re an idiot, this album is vastly different from anything they’ve done before, and much better than Sacrament.

  2. March 5th, 2009 | 4:28 pm | #2

    I have a rule against listening to any CD that features a pterodactyl skeleton for cover art.

  3. March 5th, 2009 | 7:22 pm | #3

    Yeah Chris, how dare you review something and not like it, when Jesse obviously does.

    You should be ashamed of being so stupid. Stupid face!

  4. Randy
    March 5th, 2009 | 7:57 pm | #4

    Idiot, really, that’s it? Ah the instictive protection of a metal fan’s favorite band, got to love it. Can’t say I haven’t reacted the same way from time to time. This album is nothing more than Palaces part II for the most part. There are very few new elements brought in to the fold on this album, those of which I highlighted. That’s fine if you disagree, I think I put up a valid argument and a vaild review.

  5. March 5th, 2009 | 9:07 pm | #5

    “I have a rule against listening to any CD that features a pterodactyl skeleton for cover art.”

    Ironically, I have the opposite rule, in that I must listen to any such album.

  6. March 6th, 2009 | 8:21 am | #6

    It needs a raptor to be truly kvlt.

  7. March 6th, 2009 | 8:21 am | #7

    And why do I always get Chris and Peter confused.

  8. March 6th, 2009 | 9:40 am | #8

    Sean, I don’t know what “kvit” means, but as long as a sentence includes the words “it needs” and “raptor,” I always agree.

  9. Ripp
    March 6th, 2009 | 11:05 am | #9

    “Yeah Chris, how dare you review something and not like it, when Jesse obviously does.”

    “And why do I always get Chris and Peter confused.”

    I’m confused… Randy wrote the review and Peter posted it.

  10. TJ
    March 6th, 2009 | 2:56 pm | #10

    You’re all idiots. I’m more metal than a fucking metal factory made of metal in Steeler town, Metalsvania.

    With that said, “Condemn the Hive” is the best song, and only the Japs get it :-\ Hell, I love thrashy/melodic all day, but these songs really aren’t doing it for me like some previous LOG. The rest is standard thrash. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t hook me in like the magic bestowed upon me in 2003 via “As The Palaces Burn.”

    “Contractor” is like metal I take a nap to (yes, I actually take naps to metal).

    “Fake Messiah” is like metal I take shits to (yes, I actually take shits to metal b/c I’m so fucking metal).

    I like the way “In Your Words” tends to explode off the 1st track, and although it throws in some standard blast beats, I’m glad they don’t blast beat the entire song, ala Carnal Forge (listen to Carnal Forge’s “Aren’t You Dead Yet?” for ten tracks of the same blast beat – see my review at itdoesntexist.com). The 2nd part addresses the tale end of that the “story”… this is LOG, this is what we’re here to hear.

    A song’s like a story; it’s a fucking adventure. If your adventure sucks like some crappy Kate Hudson/Matthew McConaughey movie, then they’re are mercury-filled substance with the lack of metal love HIM would sing about with their gay Love Metal- at least they’re loving their music.

    The only Wrath one needs is the “Wrath of the Cookie Monster” by Terror 2000.

    And, the first commenter, Jesse- you probably started listening to LOG after you picked up your direly beloved copy of Guitar Hero.. “ZOMG LAID TO REST!111!!!11″

    I’m fucking amazing.

  11. TJ
    March 6th, 2009 | 3:08 pm | #11

    Oh, and good job, Randy. Fight the machine and poster #1.

  12. John
    March 6th, 2009 | 3:30 pm | #12

    All of this nonsense will be proven irrelevant when the skye cracks later this month.

  13. TJ
    March 6th, 2009 | 3:49 pm | #13

    Stoner grindcore, aka Mastadon, is for wannabe hippies that like to wear black with their green.

    Listen to some Sleep Terror and redeem your soul.

    Hell, Underneath The gun – superior grindcore/gorecore from 17 year olds – would close that proverbial ozone hole of suck.

  14. March 6th, 2009 | 4:21 pm | #14

    Grindcore, gorecore, metalcore…it is time for everyone to grow up and realize any style of music that includes the word “core” in its name is inherently terrible.

  15. March 6th, 2009 | 4:31 pm | #15

    But…I did just find this: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=raptor-core

    Which, if true, kinda makes me retract everything I just said.

  16. John
    March 6th, 2009 | 5:40 pm | #16

    *yawn*

    I’m sorry, what?

  17. Cody
    March 7th, 2009 | 2:52 am | #17

    Mastodon rules. I can see where Brian and TJ would have differences as TJ sings more of a pterodactylcore.

  18. tarquin
    March 7th, 2009 | 5:47 am | #18

    8.5 for death magnetic?? and 6.0 for this? Not really an advocate for either of the two cds, and I am a metal fan. Just felt like both albums were blah. But then again death magnetic gets a higher weighted rating because metallica hasn’t released a good album since 1988.

    Listened to this cd on myspace mostly before release. Worth a listen on a drive up to baltimore or richmond from PWC/manassas area maybe once or twice. It’s not worth a permanent spot on your playlist or in your cd changer. Forgive my inability to put a numbered rating on it.

    <– this asshole recommends opeth – ghost reveries or disillusion – back to times of splendor.

  19. Randy
    March 7th, 2009 | 7:15 am | #19

    I agree with John, I think the new Mastodon will be awesome. Really like the first single. TJ,
    That’s all I’ve done is fight the power, it just gets harder to do it old age.

  20. Randy
    March 7th, 2009 | 7:53 am | #20

    Also, just saw on the news that two of the top selling stores in this recession were Wal-Mart and….Hot Topic. Guess you can’t stop the power of mall metal, even in a recession

  21. TJ
    March 8th, 2009 | 3:42 am | #21

    turn this website into a metal review site… i don’t think anyone cares about horror movies. i mean, how many times do the comments reach 20+?!

    metalsnotdead.com

    i’ll start my new site, thatbitchisdead.com, talking about websites that have died… like horrorsnotdead.com because metal is so much more baller.

  22. Ripp
    March 9th, 2009 | 12:49 pm | #22

    TJ, Peter already owns metalsnotdead.com. He announced it months ago but, like everything else, he hasn’t done anything with it. LOL! Legend has it that when he moves progress will be made on a few fronts.

    And since we’re talking about all the retarded ass names for sub-genre’s I’d say I’m more of a power-slop fan.

  23. TJ
    March 9th, 2009 | 2:54 pm | #23

    Legend also has it that… Peter is extremely lazy. So, I expect no movement on these fronts.

  24. Jesse Carey
    March 15th, 2009 | 9:27 pm | #24

    This album is an exellent piece of musical talent, and yes, it is metal as fuck. A true Lamb of God fan wouldn’t cut down their choice of playing style. So, if you don’t like Wrath, your basically a complete fuck with no God damn common sense whatsoever. Wrath is awesome, suck my dick, your mother’s a whore.

  25. bobby
    March 20th, 2009 | 2:47 pm | #25

    your an idiot-this is by no means a sell out record, you obviously love sacrament, whcih was there worst record by far……….and had many sell out songs such as “redneck”

  26. March 20th, 2009 | 3:24 pm | #26

    “your an idiot” — This is the kind of person posts about heavy metal bring to HND. Please, never again!

  27. March 22nd, 2009 | 5:18 pm | #27

    this guy is a fuckin idiot

  28. Randy
    March 23rd, 2009 | 3:36 pm | #28

    I guess all the angry people aren’t reading what I wrote in my review. I said that Wrath was a sell out in the sense that it has very little imagination, not that it was a sell out as in a cash-in album. I don’t love Sacrament, and I don’t love sell out songs such as Redneck (my favorite album is Ashes or maybe Palaces on certain days). Yes, Redneck was a blatant attempt to sound like Pantera and sell records, the video was a Twisted Sister like piece of early 80s garbage. Sacrament as a whole was far from a sell out album though it just had a slightly weird production and was different from what they had done before. My point in this review was that there was nothing really new or exciting with this album, they simply retreaded the same ground from previous LOG albums or just metal in general. The few points where they actually did do something new and inovative I pointed out. Again, as I said, the songs aren’t bad, they just aren’t great and not up to the usual LOG standards. In my opinion LOG is more than capable of writing a bunch of songs like Reclamation and the bonus tracks instead of an album of mostly filler. Sorry Brian, Peter is letting me review the new Mastodon album this week, hopefully I’ll give it never ending praise and there will be less idiot comments.

  29. Ripp
    March 23rd, 2009 | 4:16 pm | #29

    @Brian

    As Peter’s audience grows, I’m sure you’ll find more and more “your an idiot” style posts that are volatile, half thought out and void of attention to punctuation and spelling. To single out metal as a cause of these postings… well…. you’re an idiot. I assume you’ll see the music stuff go away if Peter ever gets MND.com up and running. It’s no longer the same 10 familiar names popping up in comments these days. If you’re looking for a place that is always sophisticated and intelligent perhaps the internet is not for you.

  30. March 23rd, 2009 | 4:44 pm | #30

    Metal is the cause of all the world’s problems, Ripp.

  31. Ripp
    March 23rd, 2009 | 6:10 pm | #31

    No, just the internet. IDIOT!

  32. TJ
    April 30th, 2009 | 12:00 pm | #32

    you’re all idiots. don’t fuck with MULL’S METAL MASSACRE. how about some Behemoth ftw?

  33. Mike
    July 18th, 2009 | 3:13 pm | #33

    This album was a huge disappointment. I’ve been a LOG fan since the Burn The Priest days and this album was a disgrace. Almost every single song I had this sinking feeling that I’d heard it before and absolutely could not get in to it. I miss the days of As The Palaces Burn and Ashes Of The Wake. Literally wanting to thrash out in my room to Black Label was awesome. Bring back the true metal.

  34. Jon
    July 28th, 2009 | 9:11 pm | #34

    I have been a fan their entire career and own all their merchandise; whether it is all their cd’s, dvd’s, shirts, etc. I can agree that their first few albums are what brought them on the map. That’s what kickstarted their careers. It’s because of their brutal originality; it’s where they’re at today! When “Sacrament” came out; I was blown away by the difference in the approach and much variation of sound, than their previous records. The entire album hit’s hard! Many fans really liked it, while some fan’s, always have to be a critique and ruin it for the rest of us loyal L.O.G. fans, and whine like little babies that need their diaper changed. Come on people; if you don’t like the band, the genre, the sound…don’t listen to it, don’t compare them to other bands, such as Slipknot (since there is NO comparison!!!), and don’t write a bad review so us real fans have to waste our times reading the trash! “Wrath” actually let me down though. Don’t get me wrong…They all did an awesome job on the album! The production is great and I am excited they found a new producer, other than “Machine” but it just sounded like they rushed the album. I don’t think they spent as much time on this album, as their previous releases. I really am excited to hear something NEW though! It’s been since 06′ since they released “Sacrament”! Hey; I’m not one to complain…the album is phenomenal….Overall; I would highly recommend ANY Metal fan to go out and purchase “Wrath” in stores NOW!!! It’s well worth the money!

    -Jon W.

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