Friday, 19 June 2009

CD Review: Wrath, by Lamb of God (2009)


After the melody-heavy Sacrament (2006), Lamb of God take a trip back to some of their roots on Wrath.

While the band sounds as polished and corporate-produced as they come, the song structures go back to the unrefined and more simplistic jungle feel of As The Palaces Burn, New American Gospel, and Ashes of the Wake. For some fans this is probably a good thing, but for those who like more to their songs that straight-ahead energy, Wrath is quite the let-down.

In the overall context of the CD, instrumental opener The Passing and second track In Your Words belong more to Sacrament. In Your Words is by far the best thing on Wrath, with an imaginative and memorable staccato guitar theme that evokes an impending crushing attack.

But the songwriting quality unfortunately and immediately takes a noticeable dip through the monotonous Set to Fail and Contractor, and the weak Fake Messiah and Grace, all of which resemble paint-by-numbers and none of which offer anything remotely memorable.

All the remaining tracks are only a bit better: lots of energy, a general lack of imagination and a failure to do much with some reasonable hooks. Final track Reclamation at least breaks the monotony and introduces a slower more deliberate tempo compared to the rest of the CD, but even it cannot rise from the overall drabness.

There is no faulting the tightness of the band, the cleanliness of the sound, and Randy Blythe's dominant vocals. It's just the songwriting that regresses away from the promise of the band's previous progression.

Band:

Chris Adler: Drums
John Campbell: Bass
Mark Morton: Guitars
Willie Adler: Guitars
Randy Blythe: Vocals

Songlist (Ratings out of 10):

1. The Passing - 8
2. In Your Words - 9
3. Set to Fail - 7
4. Contractor - 7
5. Fake Messiah - 6
6. Grace - 6
7. Broken Hands - 7
8. Dead Seeds - 7
9. Everything To Nothing - 7
10. Choke Sermon - 7
11. Reclamation - 7

Average: 7.09

Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Josh Wilbur
Engineered by Dave Holdredge and Paul Suarez
Mastered by Brian Gardner

Wrath at the Ace Black Store.
The Ace Black Blog CD Review No. 33.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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