Out Now: Lamb of God Roars into a New Era with its Punishing, Timely New Self-Titled Album (Listen)

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

The new album from Virginia “groove metal” band Lamb of God is a self-titled affair. “Putting only our name on it is a statement,” said vocalist D. Randall Blythe in the pre-release news announcement of the record. “This is Lamb of God. Here and now.”

Listening to the crushing, 10-track album, it’s easy to understand what Blythe means. This is a new iteration of Lamb of God, and marks the first album in the band’s 25+ year history that Chris Adler isn’t involved.

The founding member left the group in July 2019, with Art Cruz taking over behind the kit.


Given the state of the world, the time is right for a new Lamb of God record. Blythe, always outspoken with his lyrics (if you can decipher them from the otherworldly, guttural howl with which he usually expresses them) has plenty to say this time. As does the band as a unit, announcing its new era in the pummeling opening track, “Memento Mori”:

“Checkmate” was the first song released from the band for this album cycle — and Cruz’s debut — and features some of the most socially relevant lyrics for this divisive point in history:

A coup de tat on full display, a liar’s sick charade
A traitor’s grand parade
Narcissistic masquerades for those without a say
Systematic disarray.

Divide and conquer and close them in
and bury secrets deep
Make America hate again
and bleed the sheep to sleep.

Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and Chuck Billy of Testament turn up as guest vocalists, with Billy’s presence on “Routes,” inspired by Blythe’s visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota during the No DAPL movement, especially noteworthy:

Says Blythe, “I went to Standing Rock because I had heard reports of violence committed on the peaceful protestors there by both state law enforcement and private security contractors, and this violence was not reported in mainstream media for the most part. I went to bring supplies and support these people, who were trying to protect their water, and thereby protect everyone, as everything in the natural world is protected. I was there a week, made some great friends, and learned a lot. It was a very profound experience in my life, and I knew one day I would write a song about it.”

There are undoubtedly some factions of Lamb of God fans who will venture into this album with skepticism caused by Adler’s departure from the drum kit. A highly respected drummer and a key component of Lamb of God’s “groove-metal” sound, Adler’s dismissal left many fans concerned.

Cruz, however, proves himself more than capable of taking the reigns, as emphasized on tracks like “Resurrection Man,” a creepy composition beginning with this lyric from Blythe, delivered before the song turns into an ominous soundtrack of demons awakening from the grave:

I was born in a cemetery
And learned to walk on skulls and bones
Was taught to speak by the living dead
And raised beneath a funereal moon.

Horror stories, talking heads
Segregate the living dead

The end result of this new record is Lamb of God doing what Lamb of God does. Crushing riffs from Mark Morton and Willie Adler, crashing drums from Cruz, precise bass work from John Campbell and Blythe’s screeching wail delivering another powerful musical statement in the band’s vaunted career.

Stream the album below, via Spotify.

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