Tuesday, 18 November 2008

CD Review: Sacrament, by Lamb of God (2006)

Lamb Of God finally find a vase of melodic groove and thoughtful compositions into which they pour their unique sound of power and fury. The result is a dramatic leap in quality, with Sacrament representing by far their best CD to date.

Sacrament provides a unique triple-header of terrific songs straight from the start. Walk With Me In Hell opens with a thunderous wall of sound that almost feels as if we are joining the song mid-stream, and quickly settles into a powerful groove that sets the scene for the rest of the CD. Again We Rise follows with a simple and catchy guitar riff embellishing a crunching foundation. And then Redneck crashes through any remaining closed doors with a slightly faster tempo but without losing the strong emphasis on melody. The three songs together are a startling combination and re-announcement of the band to the world.

It would be impossible for the rest of the CD to maintain that standard, and it doesn't, although Pathetic almost makes it a quartet of brilliance.

Randall Blythe sounds sharper and more comprehensible than any previous Lamb of God outing, all the better to properly hear the unrelenting stream of foul language on some of the tracks, particularly the memorable ending to Again We Rise and the colourful invitation on Redneck.

The rest of the band effectively harness all their energy and power into a synchronized and cohesive unit, delivering heavy metal that is equally driven by all the instruments and not reliant on too many lead guitar solos.

A bit unfortunately, the CD goes on for longer than needed, and the last couple of tracks are good but not at the same standard as rest of the collection. More Time To Kill and Beating on Death's Door both meander a bit aimlessly.

That quibble aside, Sacrament is strong proof that a band can mature from the instrument bashing that was the hallmark of their early efforts to an entirely higher league of achievement without losing their core identity.


John Campbell - Bass
Willie Adler - Guitars
D. Randall Blythe - Vocals
Mark Morton - Guitars
Chris Adler - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Walk With Me In Hell - 10 *See Video Below*
2. Again We Rise - 10
3. Redneck - 10
4. Pathetic - 9
5. Foot To The Throat - 8
6. Descending - 7
7. Blacken The Cursed Sun - 8
8. Forgotten (Lost Angels) - 8
9. Requiem - 8
10. More Time To Kill - 7
11. Beating On Death's Door - 7

Average: 8.36

Produced and Mixed by Machine.
Mastered by Brian Gardner.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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