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Lamb Of God – Wrath

  • Review by: Vilasini Muralidhar

February 24th was an important day in my life. Other Lamb of God fans will understand how major an event the release of Wrath could be to a worshipper.

But all the excitement went out like the fuse of a damp firecracker. A couple of paragraphs down, and you’ll get what I mean.

Wrath opens with the melodic instrumental ‘The Passing’. (I think this was when Randy was preparing himself to go on the strange melodic trip for the rest of the album.) A beautiful short piece, this serves as the ‘Ecstasy of Gold’ for this set.

Leads in to ‘In your Words’. Sounds great, and suddenly, when the vocals begin, we see a Blythe possessed by Bjork ‘Speed’ Strid from Soilwork. His guttural tones even occasionally attempt a tune or two. And then begins the feeling of déjà vu. Halfway through, you recognize riffs borrowed from Children of Bodom (‘In your Face’) and patterns identical to ‘Blacken the cursed sun’. If you ignore the borrowings, ‘In your words’ is an easy favourite and a great way to start off the heavy-ness.

‘Set to Fail’, which has been played live a couple of times, marks the re-entry of wannabe melodic vocals. It is one of the better tracks from the album, and I suspect (from what has been shown in the promos), that it will have the first video release.

‘Contractor’ is what sounds like the Lamb of God that we are familiar with. One can almost imagine Chris Adler going berserk, with one guitar competing to be faster than the other.

Welcome St. Anger, and the sound of the tin cans. ‘Fake Messiah’ sounds like a Metallica song that LoG accidentally recorded. This just proves that the bands have been touring with each other a little too much.

‘Grace’ rescues the album at just the right time, making you withdraw your hand from pressing the stop button on your player. Though it is a good track, no doubt, the lead guitars don’t try anything different.

And this continues on to ‘Broken Hands’. The Sacrament sound is pretty evident on this one, minus the drum rolls and the element of originality.

‘Dead Seeds’ wins the best riff award in the entire album. The band had previewed this track too, prior to the release, and this album version is a lot better. (This also may be due to the fact that it serves as a pain relief of sorts.)

The next song’s title takes the cake. ‘Everything to Nothing’ duplicates the pattern of ‘More time to kill’ and seemed to me to be a filler. The album could have more than just survived even without it.

‘Choke Sermon’ passes by, without leaving an impression either. (This is actually the point when a once-excited fan’s shoulders droop, and in disappointment, she/he lowers the volume).

After an entire album of playing around, and not working with the right kind of experimentation, the final track, ‘Reclamation’, sounds like a Lynyrd Skynyrd feat. Lamb of God song. The track has traces of country music and acoustic guitar in it. Nice, but surely not a ‘Remorse is for the Dead.’

And the album draws to an end, leaving you with a feeling that you haven’t really heard something new. Wrath fails to live up to the brilliance of Ashes and Palaces, nor does it fail to give us singles like ‘Walk with me in hell’ for which we can commend the album.

When compared to an average metal album, Wrath will shine, and my judgement may seem harsh. Well, that’s only because Wrath is a product of Lamb of God- a band that has given us some epic stuff. This release not only reflects minimal evolution, but also is absolutely lacking in originality.

However, I still haven’t lost my respect for the band. I would recommend a buy if you are a fan, and at least a listen otherwise. Maybe a few of us expected too much from them. And that’s not wrong.

Thus, the wait for the band’s next release begins. Earlier than anticipated, but with fingers crossed.