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Lamb Of God Sacrament

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Lamb Of God - Sacrament
01. Walk With Me In Hell
02. Again We Rise
03. Redneck
04. Pathetic
05. Foot to The Throat
06. Descending
07. Blacken The Cursed Sun
08. Forgotten (Lost Angels)
09. Requiem
10. More Time To Kill
11. Beating On Death's Door
2006 Epic Records

OUR SCORE
8
USER SCORE
8

Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 8/24/2006

I've been following Lamb of God's career fairly closely since the release of their first proper album, New American Gospel. That album caught the ear of most of the underground metal community, but their popularity didn't really spread beyond that realm. Apparently though, Lamb of God had a five year plan, and it consisted of becoming this generation's premier metal band. I'm not saying they're the best or even the most famous, but they've managed to achieve immense success while largely maintaining their credibility and original fanbase. Their latest release, Sacrament, finds the band in top form after Ashes of the Wake, an album that just felt a bit bland.

I might as well get the inevitable Pantera comparison out of the way here, as there's definitely one to be made. Oddly enough though, it's not a musical one. There might be a riff here or a vocal line there that could've been lifted from Dimebag or Phil respectively, but it's not anything too obvious or offensive. The real comparison to be made is that they've found a way to make extreme metal catchy and accessible in a way that hasn't happened in American metal since Metallica and Pantera. Every song on Sacrament is riff-heavy and immediately memorable. It's almost like they've been stockpiling these gems for years so they could release an album so packed with quality riffs that it would knock the listener on their ass with every listen.

While my initial response to the pre-release single "Redneck" was lukewarm at best, the first few seconds of the disc's opener, "Walk With Me In Hell," were all I needed to reassure me that Lamb of God still knew exactly what they were doing. With Sacrament, they've crafted a record that retains every bit of their heaviness and speed but added in a bit more vocal variety and given it a slightly more "epic" feel. What made their first two records great was their ability to pen metal songs that stayed with the listener and demanded repeat listens. While I felt like that had gone missing on Ashes of the Wake, it had returned with a vengeance on Sacrament. Pretty much any song off this record had hit potential in the MTV2 arena, and I'd imagine they translate well to a live setting as well.

Perhaps the most surprising element of this record to me was that as familiar as Lamb of God's style has become, there were still enough interesting drum and guitar flourishes and departures there to keep it from sounding "done." Chris Adler's drumming has always been intriguing to me largely because of the restraint he shows. The brilliance that frequently flashes is never undermined by the machine-like competence with which he plays. As he is in many ways the backbone of the band, it's not surprising that this is also a good description of their overall sound. While they often skirt with genius, they understand the value of consistency.

While it's easy to extol the virtues of a band I enjoy as much as Lamb of God, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the few shortcomings of Sacrament. As noted before, I'm not particularly impressed by "Redneck" and hope it's not representative of the direction the band seems to be going. It and its follow-up "Pathetic" really are the only tracks that stand out as lackluster on the disc though. As an avid fan of metal in all its forms, I do sometimes feel that when a record sounds this pristine it takes away about of its raw intensity and personal connection, but it didn't bother me enough to prevent me from immensely enjoying this disc.

Bottom Line: Lamb of God have done an excellent job balancing their creative vision with their ascendance to worldwide fame. It's nice to see another genuine American metal band hold such a high place, something that hasn't really happened in awhile. If you've enjoyed Lamb of God's previous output, I can't really see what's not to like about Sacrament. Top-notch riffs, another strong vocal showing from Randy Blythe and great performances throughout make this one of the best mainstream metal albums of the year.

Comments
anonymous   posted 10/6/2010 9:50:15 PM
ive liked lamb of god since i first heard as the palaces burn 6 years ago. i love all heavy music: from pantera to death, decapitated, entombed, meshuggah, immolation, to shit like deftones, cult of luna, eyehategod, pig destroyer, nasum, etc. bottomline is that lamb of god is the best mainstream metal band out there. i dont need to make a point because it just is.
Electrickle_   posted 2/20/2007 5:18:37 PM
Cory,Cory,Cory......You give LOG an 8 and Mastodon a 6 sigh........I pity you greatly.
dwep_   posted 2/2/2007 7:31:21 PM
dwep
xBBBx_   posted 1/12/2007 12:25:18 PM
The new album really improved
Nice job guys!
throwbreedemgae10_   posted 12/20/2006 6:14:29 PM
10/10 deff one of the best metalcore albums of 06.

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