Lamb of God – Resolution

Today is one of those Mondays that must have it in for me. Nothing major has happened yet (though I did almost drive off the road minutes after leaving the house) but every little thing that could possibly go wrong, annoy or enrage a person is being drawn to me like a hate magnet today. Taken separately none of these things have much weight, but when everything you touch falls over, breaks or drops onto the floor and every person driving in front of you is going 15 miles under the speed limit in a toxic-smelling work truck it starts the temper fuse slowly burning. But Monday can suck it because I have the antidote to its evil ways – Lamb of God. Their brand new “Resolution” is like a bullet train with an over-sized cowcatcher on the front plowing through anything and everything in its path. I’m getting on that train.

I live a couple hours north of Richmond, Virginia right up 95, yet other than driving through on the way to points further south I’ve never stopped in to check out what’s going on with metal down there. I’m not sure why, because there’s got to be a decent metal scene as the city has spawned three great metal bands in Lamb of God, GWAR and Municipal Waste. There was a GWAR-B-Q down there last year I wanted to hit, but it conflicted with something else.

Lamb of God has somehow managed to avoid peaking like all bands must eventually, because “Resolution” is their seventh album and they still keep getting better with every album. I’ve learned to expect their latest album to be a sonic improvement over the last, but no way was I expecting the jump in quality I’m hearing since “Wrath”. And I thought “Wrath” was pretty great.

What the hell is this? On track 10, “Insurrection” there was a couple brief lines of clean vocals. What trickery is this Randy? That was unexpected yet it sounded really good. And the harsh vocals crushed that much more when they resumed. “King Me” has quiet spoken passages that remind me of “Trendkill”-era Pantera (think “Suicide Note Pt1” and “Flood”) as well as a slightly gothic twist from female backing vocals and what must be keyboards.

Lamb of God is an interesting beast. Randy Blythe’s harsh deep vocals would be right at home in any death metal band. Yet if you remove Randy from the mix and just listen to the music you would not consider them death metal at all. The music is more thrash meets technical prog. I could easily hear Warrel Dane singing over this music. When combined, the music and the vocals create something that is melodic, technical, (dare I say) sometimes catchy and yet brutal as a shotgun blast to the face.

I saw Decibel only gave this album a 6/10. I did not read the review yet, and I can’t seem to find a copy online now, but I have to wonder about that. I saw another place I won’t mention that gave it 6.5. I suppose musical taste is all relative, but damn people, do you even like metal?? Maybe it’s just me; maybe I’m the one with no taste. Even if that were the case (and I don’t think it is) I would still say they are wrong to think “Resolution” is that mediocre. I think this album will only increase their popularity and standing in the metal community.

I hope they are planning to tour here again soon. Found out last Thursday they were playing a sold out show at the 9:30 Club in D.C. Saturday. I’m not sure how we missed hearing about that one until the last minute, but that sucks. They need to come back and play Rams Head in Baltimore.