Monday, March 16, 2009

Lamb of God - Wrath (2009)


Genre: American Heavy Metal/Thrash Metal
Label: Epic Records
Country of Origin: USA
Band Formation: 1990
Band Members:
Vocals: David Randall Blythe
Guitars: Willie Adler and Mark Morton
Bass: John Campbell
Drums: Chris Adler

Song list:
01. The Passing
02. In Your Words
03. Set To Fail
04. Contractor
05. Fake Messiah
06. Grace
07. Broken Hands
08. Dead Seeds
09. Everything To Nothing
10. Choke Sermon
11. Reclamation

Run time: 45 minutes (approximately)

Review: Before the release of this album, Chris Adler alerted the band’s fans all around the globe via the press by saying this - “This album is going to surprise a lot of people…We chose a different path…We have topped ourselves…”. Let me bring your attention to two keywords in that line; surprise and different. Precisely, that is what this album is.

SURPRISE: “This band keeps on evolving” - I said so as I gave it a first easy listen. On my second listen, I detected a fusion between two major bands in the world Pantera + Machine Head = LoG’s Wrath. The technicality induced into their current release takes them to a new level. The vocals by Blythe have not alone managed to be harsh and brutal, but there are occasions when melodic lines have been brought out in a brutal fashion as he establishes to be one of the top-notch vocalists in the genre. Neck-breaking riffs, drastic tempo changes and good vocals contributes to some Grade-A metal here.

DIFFERENT: You can hear stuff ranging from head banging riffs to laid back melodic ones exposing the other side of the band, perhaps.

Now, I spoke to numerous specialists who expressed that this is LoG’s best and some said , “We cannot for sure nail this one to be their best as they might surprise us later on” which implies “Wrath” is their best till date. Or, is it? Well, I don’t think so.

Check out the first paragraph of this review. Let me reveal to you that I was going to add a big word there - “authentic”. You see, to me, LoG has been one of the most authentic bands in the thrash metal genre. To just spit it out – it is tending to lose it. And, sure, that is a good thing for a few as the American New Wave of music is influencing them so that they can prevail for a longer time. But, what about the authenticity factor?

I receive several e-mails for band recommendations in specific genres. And, I am pleased to reveal that there are quite a few people who inquire about old-school metal where is when the band remained loyal to the roots of the genre they played within. But, now, things have changed.

In this album, LoG adopts a song structure similar to this – verse-chorus-verse. Seems fine, doesn’t it? This frankly, pop-like song writing when continuously listened to in a metal album makes your head bang in fury. Let us establish this that LoG has never been keen on portraying themselves as an experimental band. Still, I appreciate their attempt to be experimental via this album. But, I certainly did not expect them to seek assistance from the pop side of music. The song structure renders to be so weak that after constant listening, the choruses go practically unidentified and unheard. LoG has been known for their infectious choruses. But, in this album they seemed to have quarantined it.

When Hybrid cars entered the market, efficiency was the keyword. Only when efficiency as a main criterion was fulfilled did the car become popular. LoG introduced Morton and announced him to be one of the best guitar players who is talented enough to play soulful pieces and head banging solos. Once a band does that, it is only normal for a listener to expect solos from such a guitar player. Umm, I did not find any in this album. Or, maybe they went unrecognised as it was devoid of that LoG factor.

Make no mistake; this album is not a cataclysm. It does have some good riffs and beats. In my opinion, the vocals, drums and bass line saves this album. The lyrics might sound quite silly. But, the delivery adds an oomph factor to it.

There are two tracks that have been restrictedly released yet. They call it the B-Side that carries the bonus tracks “We Die Alone” and “Shoulder of your God” which in my opinion could change the face of this review because of their superiority over the other common songs.

Precisely, yes, one might be happy with this album. To me, this is enjoyable but not memorable. The tracks are good but not great. This album is certainly not a star in their discography.

Highlights of the album: Reclamation, Dead seeds, Broken hands and Choke Sermon

Links: http://www.lamb-of-god.com/
http://www.myspace.com/lambofgod

Ratings: 7/10
Originality: 7
Instrumentation: 7.5
Lyrics: 6.5

Copyright © Ajey Padival 2009 (Brisbane, Australia; +61-434360675; ajeypadival@msn.com)

8 responses:

Make Me Disappear said...

Bang! I was wondering if you would review this album too. And you did..!!
Frankly speaking, this album disappointed me. Not exactly the band I heard in albums like Sacrament and As the palaces burn.These albums had everything a Metal lover would want.
And if I talk about Wrath, this one did not lived upto the expectations I had from them. Yes, Randy's vocals are still powerful and aggressive, but the riffs have nothing new. Adler's drum fills are not up to the mark, IMO. Something definitely is missing. Though I respect them for the experiments they did with this album, but for me, it didn't exactly worked.

My top tracks - Set to fail, Everything to nothing, Reclamation and Broken Heads

Brosreview said...

@Make Me Disappear - Yea, I think this album was a most awaited one, wasn't it? So, I had to review this one.

Umm, I did it quite some time back; probably a few days soon after its release. But, I did not when to release it here.

Well, yea, so I am not the only one who felt the "LoG" factor missing, eh? But, somewhere in the corner of my mind, I do think that since they have come up with some different from their earlier stuff, we are finding it hard to digest them. Don't you think?

Nevertheless, a poor album is a poor one. Hopefully, their next one is good enough for us.

Walker said...

I will have to check this out.
If a band is evolving then its staying true to its origine and hopefully getting better but if its chasing trends then that's where it will faulter.

Brosreview said...

@Walker - Yea, surely do so. And, yea once done, do share your thoughts here. Thanks for reading!!!

Alexandra Garland said...

Hi Bros,
Great review!! I won't be running to buy the CD, but your review was very interesting and in-depth. Great work!!
-Alex

Brosreview said...

@Alexandra - Thanks for reading!!! Nah, I understand you not buying this album, hehe.

BloggerMouth said...

I loved Broken Heads by them but that's it. The other songs were disappointing. Nice review as usual.

Brosreview said...

@BloggerMouth - Thanks for reading.