They say that when a band gives their name to an album (except for the debut), it usually symbolizes a restart in their career. How could be otherwise in this occasion after all, when drummer Chris Adler decided to leave the band, something that probably didn’t surprise anyone. The motorcycle accident may have left him inactive for some time, but he had already recovered when Arturo “Art” Cruz (Winds Of Plague, ex-Prong) began touring with the band, until he became a permanent member.
With a statement that pretty much didn’t explain anything, Chris left Lamb Of God and broke an unprecedented series, since from their beginning (actually, when they left the name Burn The Priest aside) and for twenty consecutive years their line-up had been unchanged. Art has proven to be a great replacement, something that we had the chance to witness last summer in our country. Of course, it wasn’t possible that a band of their status would leave things to chance and hire someone who wouldn’t do for the spot.
So, five years after “VII: Sturm Und Drang”, the quintet from Richmond, motherfucking-Virginia returns with an album that does not disappoint. With ten songs and forty-five minutes total running time, it flows without realizing it and “Lamb Of God” asks to be listened to again and again. Of course, it may not have a composition that can contradict the anthems of the past, but that in no way makes it inferior to its predecessors, as I believe that all of the songs are at the same excellent level.
Addictive and neck-breaking groove, guitars that give some memorable leads and riffs, rhythm section that demolishes walls and a Randy Blythe that sounds like always: pissed-off. From the opener mid-tempo beast “Memento Mori”, to the awesome guitar work of “New Colossal Hate” that makes me want to open a pit with my furniture and from there to Randy’s opening… blegh in the awesome “Resurrection Man” with a mind-blowing breakdown that has a strong “Omerta” aura, Lamb Of God are doing a tremendous job, probably without wasting too much energy.
Favorite moment is the excellent “Poison Dream”. Groovy as hell with a devastating breakdown, in which there is also a dream duet with Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed, Kingdom Of Sorrow). However, he is not the only guest, as in thrashy “Routes” we hear the mighty Chuck Billy of the mighty Testament.
The production is of course flawless and the eighth album of Lamb Of God is one of the best releases of 2020. There is no point in saying something more than that. Things are simple here. Listen to it now.