There’s no doubt about it: The shoes that strike the pedals behind the kit of Chris Adler’s former post are some pretty big ones to fill. Lucky for Lamb Of God (And for us, the fans), the man chosen to fill those shoes is none other than Art Cruz. In recent years, Cruz has lent his considerable talents and unique style bringing the heft and the groove to legends like Prong and Ministry and after a baptism by fire with his new brothers in Lamb Of God following a live run opening for Slayer on their Final Campaign tour, Cruz makes his recorded presence known on Lamb Of God, the quintet’s eighth full-length.
But I digress.
This beastie happened to be our most anticipated release of, quite possibly, the worst year ever but damn if the music coming out isn’t kicking some serious ass (You can see for yourself by clicking here). Easily their strongest from start to finish since Sacrament, Lamb Of God lurches and laments upon the state of the world today and provides a fitting soundtrack to the turmoil that’s tantamount in these current times.
Led once again by Metal’s most prominent warrior poet, D. Randall Blythe (Think Jack Kerouac with dreads) ferociously barks and bawls through a pair of opening tracks (The previously released “Memento Mori” and “Checkmate”) before lashing out on “Gears” and addressing the mass shooting problem within “Reality Bath”. “Resurrection Man” is blistering, starting with an ominous music box-style melody before the dual power of Mark Morton and Willie Adler’s guitars are truly felt leading into a monstrous wall of riffs that brings to mind “Requiem” (From the aforementioned Sacrament).
Jamey Jasta lends his signature pipes to the classic-in-the-making “Poison Eyes” while “Routes” sounds as if it could easily fit on any modern Testament record which is fitting since the Bay Area Thrasher’s legendary vocalist, Chuck Billy, helps out with his iconic voice on this one. “Bloodshot Eyes” is one of the coolest recorded Blythe vocal performances to date. Teased on VII, Blythe masters clean vocals here before going caustic with ease and then segueing into his own distinctive screech with John Campbell providing a foundation shaking bass line to accent Cruz’s behemothic bashing.
Any Lamb Of God record worth its’ weight closes out with the most unrelenting of all and number eight is no different with “On The Hook” highlighting Morton and Adler severely shredding and Cruz going all out on this Metal meets Punk banger which still retains the songwriting complexities that LOG is synonymous with as Blythe rages and Campbell rumbles towards a fiery conclusion.
Lamb Of God sees the light of day on June 19th via Epic Records. Pre-orders have been live for some time and can be perused, pre-saved, and purchased by clicking here. For the latest on Lamb Of God, including info on updated 2021 touring plans with Megadeth, follow them on the ole socials by clicking here, here, or here.