Lamb Of God has been around the music scene since 1998, and out of their four albums (the first of which was under the name Burn The Priest), they’ve never received the recognition they deserved. Their 2004 release, Ashes Of The Wake finally gave them the wide spread exposure they needed. To assist in those matters, they opened for Slipknot on the Subliminal Verses Tour. Their performance in that tour was sure to open many eyes to the musical prowess they so effortlessly display.
Lamb Of God came around at exactly the right time; many have dubbed them “the new wave of heavy metal”, and due to this particular genre of metal’s past decline, some have even deemed them saviors. Although the five members of Lamb Of God, Randy Blythe (vocals), Mark Morton (guitar), Willie Adler (guitar), Chris Adler (drums) and John Campbell (bass), claim they started the band for “the love of getting drunk,” they obviously love their line of work as well.
Since Lamb of God’s first album, they have steadily improved and refined their sound. Perhaps the biggest improvement in Ashes Of The Wake compared to their previous efforts is that the vocals are much more clear, making Blythe’s voice sound more concise and powerful. The guitar work is nothing short of brilliant, and the drumming can only be described as amazing.
Ashes Of The Wake starts off with their first single of this album, “Laid To Rest.” The guitar work bares an uncanny resemblance to Testament’s “Into The Pit.” This is not a cheap knock off however, it is more of a homage to one of their influences. The next song, “Hourglass,” contains hard hitting riffs and a solo of sorts that makes you wonder how many fingers each guitarist has. No album would be complete without a crowd pleaser, making “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” sure to be every concert goer’s mantra for the evening. This sort of assault continues for a total of eleven tracks, only slowing briefly in the introduction to “Omerta,” for a recitation of the rule of honor. This song continues into a slower chugging, groove oriented song. The only real relief comes from the closing track, “Remorse For The Dead,” which starts slow and ominous using smooth guitars and light drumming. It soon turns into heavy ominous riffs and vocals to match.
On a personal note, this album will probably always hold a special place in my heart as the first real introduction to this “new wave of heavy metal.” I cannot think of any other album to offer as good an introduction and because of it I am glad to be part of this chapter in music history.