Lamb of God don't experiment nor do they turn any sort of corners or veer off the path on Wrath. And that's a very good thing. The Virginia metal band gets back to brain-battering basics on an album that crackles with metallic intensity.
ound: Wrath is most similar to Lamb of Godâ€™s debut, New American Gospel, in that itâ€™s raw, unfettered, chest-heaving metal. While the band has progressed and polished things, relatively speaking, with each successive album, Wrath isnâ€™t any sort of step backwards; itâ€™s a pleasant surprise to see the band return to its sludgier roots for an albumâ€™s worth of material! Sure, Wrathâ€™s predecessor, Sacrament, housed the bandâ€™s most â€œaccessibleâ€ song to date in â€œRedneck, â€ but that song still kicked a whole galaxy of ass regardless of its somewhat singable chorus. On Wrath, LOG pump the gas and hits its stride at 150 miles per hour and never apply the brakes. Itâ€™s an assault on your ears and encourages maximum headbanging. While LOG arenâ€™t known for â€œshredding, â€ the guitar work offered up by Willie Adler and Mark Morton is the bandâ€™s most impressive to date. Strangely enough, the album gets better as you go deeper; LOG doesnâ€™t blow its load in the first two songs as many bands tend to do on an album. The best songs come later in the disc, with â€œBroken Handsâ€ (track seven), â€œDead Seedsâ€ (track eight), and â€œEverything to Nothingâ€ (track nine) rolling in like the kind of storm clouds that reak a whole lot of havoc on the earth. The songs are anthemic and will infect you with their catchiness. â€œSet to Fail, â€ which is the discâ€™s third track, and â€œFake Messiah, â€ which is fifth in the running order, also continue to LOG tradition of southern-fried grooves mixed with a technicality normally reserved for Swedish bands like Meshuggah. LOG have long been touted as Panteraâ€™s successor and with Wrath, theyâ€™ve proven that theyâ€™ll be like Slayer, too: a career band that never compromises or takes the intensity down a notch. Lamb of God follow their own rules and metal fans reap the benefits of this fact. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: D. Randall Blythe coughs up his signature guttural, phlegmatic vocals on the entirety of Wrath, barking about overcoming fear, weakness, masters becoming slaves and remaining stronger than all. He doesnâ€™t attempt any clean and clear singing and we donâ€™t want him too. Weâ€™re fine with reading along to a lyric sheet/CD booklet to learn what he says! Blythe doesnâ€™t wax about standard metal subjects, either; thereâ€™s a note of poetic empowerment in his words, which perfectly with the stabbing nature of the riffs. A sprinkling of Blytheâ€™s ominous, spoken word passages, which can be found on previous LOG efforts, pops up here and there, as well. Blytheâ€™s vocal spewing more than complements the venomous sonic backdrop. // 9
Impression: Lamb of God arenâ€™t making any drastic changes to their sound on Wrath and no one wants them to. But theyâ€™re not making the same album over and over again, either. The band adheres to a signature sound and continues to create caustic, quality metal anthems. Thereâ€™s something to be said about consistency and Lamb of God are nothing if not consistent, building upon their solid foundation with each passing album. Wrath is another victory for these down and dirty Virginians who are defenders of the faith doing their damnedest to stoke the eternal fires of heavy metal.