Lamb of God – Resolution
“It’s in-yer face and violent”, Mark Roche listens to Lamb of God’s new album Resolution ahead of its release later this month.
I have been a Lamb of God fan for long enough to worry what Randy and the guys are planning next; I can remember buying As the Palaces Burn as an innocent 13 year old chap and discovering an entire new facet to the music industry besides Tatu and Daniel Bedingfield. It was this album which persuaded me to turn off my radio and begin to discover my own musical tastes. This led to me buying a back catalogue and every subsequent album since. Almost a decade later and I’ve gotten my hands on their newest release Resolution without any lack of enthusiasm I can say that I’ve listened to this album for hours.
This is the album that defines a new desire in LoG without losing their southern roots. Everything is recognisable but it’s more refined. To me it trounces even the more popular album of Sacrament and Ashes of the Wake. ‘Straight for the Sun’ is an opening track that Tony Iommi himself would be proud of; a doom ridden song with pounding drums that add immensely to the menace wielded through the guitar tone. This sludgy track is no light introduction to what 2012 holds in store for Lamb of God and it opens Resolution promisingly with the trademark Randy Blythe vocals of which he can only be commended for as we progress through this album.
‘Desolation’ is a classic Lamb of God groove metal experience which ties seamlessly with the previous. Those who say it like a bad thing will surely note that this is perhaps the most obvious Pantera influenced track on the album; every time LoG release something new it seems to be a game to many to ‘Find the Phil Anselmo’. My own opinion is that if any group of guys had to pick up the mantle of Pantera and carry on the Southern Redneck Metal then there are none better for the job in 2012.
The first single from Resolution was released in 2011 and had me agitated and excited until I recently got my hands on the full album. ‘Ghost Walking’ opens with a fantastic acoustic riff that’s soon translated and electrified into pure rage. It’s already been tipped as one of the most promising singles of the year let alone of LOG’s career. It sports a particularly fine performance from Mark Morton on guitar
There really isn’t a bad track on this entire album and ‘Guilty’ carries on as the album has begun; an aural assault of unrelenting anger. [I seem to get more alliterative with excitement, apologies]. ‘The Undertow’ has one of the most beguiling guitar licks which curtails this tune into a timing which for all intents and purposes ensnares you in a head banging appreciation for all things Lamb of God.
The sixth track on this record is whimsically entitled ‘The Number Six’ and features some of the newer developments in the LoG camp. There is a phenomenal chorus which just soars beyond anything of similar form ever attempted by Randy Blythe; not to mention the Faith No More-esque interlude which slows down to nothing more than a shuffle from Chris Adler and then literally ruptures itself with a force that is questionably supplemented by Lucifer himself.
‘Barbaraosa’ marks the halfway mark in this album which runs for just shy of an hour. A brief but albeit dark instrumental featuring an acoustic guitar and lots of lead tones which again will inspire you to reminisce about Dimebag Darrel.; it’s a beautiful little track hidden among a lot of heavy music and it sort of explores in a more subtle sense the theme of this entire album.
‘Invictus’ and ‘Insurrection’ follow suit; the latter sporting one of the better solo’s. These two tracks are possibly the least memorable on the record; that is not to say they are not good songs but among so many it seems difficult to have fourteen favourites.
“One, Two, Fuck You” opens ‘Cheated’ which I found surprisingly to be quite hard-core punk with lots of thrashing guitars. Interestingly enough it finishes with the lines “Have you ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated?” the infamous last line of The Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten ever spoken on stage following a disastrous US tour due to the miscreant Sid Vicious.
Chris Adler has always been an instantly recognisable drummer and he is a complete show off when it comes to performance. The instrumentation of Adler on ‘Terminally Unique’ is second to none and to me shows yet another layer to his percussion capability. If like myself you enjoy a pinch harmonic here or there well then ‘To the End’ is probably going to be your favourite song. Harking back to earlier LoG material it does not sound recycled or boring; capturing the essence of proper southern rock, there are lovely licks which should be in any guitarists repertoire to build around.
I’ve never been a huge fan of speed metal, which is probably why it took a couple of listens for me to shine to ‘Visitation’. There are elements of almost every genre throughout this record and luckily it uses them to its benefit. A worrying slow introduction to ‘King Me’ features female vocals and more of Randy’s spoken of word, of which he is so very fond of. This track comes out of nowhere on the album and to be honest flips everything in the thirteen tracks previous on its ass. This is over six minutes of metal accompanied with haunting orchestral string sections and dramatic choruses. It moves through stages of brutal heaviness and yet recedes to this beautifully arranged piece of epic metal.
I have no idea what the theme of such a song is but I hope it’s to do with the upcoming presidential candidature of Randy Blythe. I’ll leave you with the musings of a metal vocalist turned political activist:
“The potential candidates in the race…look like pure shit” and also had this to add “When [Blythe] steps into office he won’t bullshit the country or the rest of the world because, he likes pissing people off and doesn’t give a shit about hurting anyone’s feelings. We need a…mean son of a bitch with a bad reputation who ain’t afraid to cock whip the shit out of some randomly selected pussy ass billionaire on live TV.”
Drop-d Rating: 8.5/10