Lamb of God - _Wrath_
(Epic / Roadrunner, 2009)
by: Paul Williams (8.5 out of 10)
There was always something different about Lamb of God; something in the music, always more inspiring than Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage: it was LoG's want to develop an aural equivalent of being hit over the head with a steel baseball bat. Their relentless sound has allowed them to gain a lot of attention in the past couple of years, and with _Sacrament_ they reached new levels, captivating those even outside of the metal world.

On_Wrath_ the listener can definitely hear the improvement that has taken place and even the refining to the sound that was present on _Sacrament_. _Wrath_ is probably the best thing LoG could have produced after _Sacrament_; the fact that they were able to move on from such a successful album and take up some new ideas shows the quality of their musicianship.

Picking up pretty much where "Redneck" left off in terms of catchiness, _Wrath_'s "Contractor" and "Set to Fail" sustain the Southern grooves and heaviness. Meanwhile "Grace", with its surprisingly chilled intro, truly shows LoG in their element. Relying on good ole' fashioned riffs, a rumbling bass, and a dominant roar, these three songs are definite standouts. "In Your Words" mashes together the heavy weight riffing of _Ashes of the Wake_ , in the first half of the song, with the melody, production and structure that appeared on _Sacrament_; as is shown during the end of the song where the last couple of minutes rely on the atmosphere created by the music.

A pleasant surprise present on this album is another commencement in Randy's vocals range, including his growls, clear singing and his scream, the latter having not been present since _Burn the Priest_. This variation tends to add just that bit more texture to the songs, as opposed to keeping vocals to one style. A great show of his vocals is on the seven minute "Reclamation", where all is showcased to some superb changes in mood thanks to the chugging guitar stylings of Mark Morton and Willie Adler.

There are periods every now and again where some songs seem based on the ghosts of riffs gone by but this hardly causes _Wrath_ to fail, it is really the fact that after an album like _Sacrament_, that gained such high acclaim, a band can get stuck on trying to re create that same sound so as to deepen their pockets. Bigger bands have fallen to this curse, and it's good to see that after such a fruitful career Lamb of God have not tripped up and are still on track, developing their sound further and carrying the flag forward in heavy metal.

(article published 4/7/2009)

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