Sturm und Drang. Storm and Stress. The cyclone that tested Lamb of God’s endurance during the last couple of years has left its mark in the title of the seventh album by one of America’s biggest contemporary metal acts. The arrest and the trial of singer Randy Blythe in Prague, where he found himself being accused of killing a fan, became the theme of the documentary ‘As the Palaces Burn’, of Blythe’s book, ‘Dark Days’, and of course traces of this adventure can be found in the intelligent lyrics of ‘VII: Sturm und Drang’. This story gave the band a lot of exposure; Then came the news that drummer Chris Adler was Dave Mustaine’s choice to replace Shawn Drover in Megadeth. An impressive momentum for sure.
Lamb of God did deliver the goods, and if they had not revealed half the album before its release, the first listen would have been even more impressive. They wrote trademark songs such as ‘Still Echoes’ and ‘Erase This’, brought in Deftones singer Chino Moreno and the Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato in order to make ‘Embers’ and ‘Torches’ even more fullfiling, and delivered the killing blow with ‘Overlord’: Alice in Chains meets Slayer in this different song that blends in perfectly with the rest of the material.
Maybe some people miss the never ending groove of the ‘Ashes of the Wake’ era, but in my opinion it’s the last two records that showcase the group’s creative peak.