Lamb of God – VII: Sturm und Drang

Lamb of God - VII: Sturm und Drang

Lamb-Of-God-VII-STURM-UND-DRANG_BINARY_732408

In case you have been living under a rock for the last few years, Lamb of God had a new record come out, and it is kind of a big deal. “VII: Sturm und Drang,” released on July 24, 2015 through Epic Records in North America and through Nuclear Blast outside North America, marks the first record the band has done since their 2012 album “Resolution.” Sturm und Drang, conventionally translated as “Storm and Stress,” is a proto-Romantic movement in German literature and music taking place from the late 1760s to the early 1780s, is a fitting title to the album considering all that has led up to its creation.

From a lyrical standpoint on “VII: Sturm und Drang,” Randy Blythe is vicious as hell. Whether he is telling his own version of ‘London Dungeon’ in ‘Still Echoes,’ speaking of politically motivated self immolation in ‘Torches,’ or recounting the bloody aftermath of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler’s “butcher of Prague” in ‘Anthropoid,’ he spits the words out with as much venom as ever. One of the two tracks Randy wrote while in prison, ‘512,’ represents his cell number, but nothing else as he screams “My hands are painted reeeeeeed!” Speaking of vocals, Chino Moreno of the Deftones sings the closing verse of ‘Embers,’ and Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan backs up Randy on ‘Torches.’

Mark Morton and Willie Adler wrote together more on this record than any of the past, and it shows. Between the heavy grooves of ‘Erase This,’ the oceanic flow of ‘Embers,’ or the bluesy riffing of ‘Overlord,’ they crush it. As for ‘Overlord,’ this is the song that has given the “Lamb of God sold out” train a lot of steam lately. In my opinion, this is the best song on the record. Randy’s clean singing voice has an eerie quality, kind of like a serial killer soothing its victim. The choruses only raise this mood a touch, but the bridge absolutely explodes. The first time I heard it I reverted to my teenage metal nerd self, audibly giggling and saying “Fuck yeah!”

The commercialization of Lamb of God has been greatly exaggerated. For all the fans who say the band has slowly sold out since “New American Gospel,” or that they have not had a good album since “Sacrament,” I call bullshit. Obviously, a band is going to change and grow with time. Not all bands are AC/DC, just as not all bands are Opeth. Most arguments over the new album “VII: Sturm und Drang” have been about its lack of innovation, I disagree with that as well. Most assumed this would be an album filled with songs about Randy Blythe’s incarceration, trial, and eventual acquittal of manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic, stemming from a fan’s death after a 2010 Lamb of God concert in Prague. However, this is not a Randy Blythe prison record; it is a Lamb of God record.

Tracklist

1. Still Echoes 4:22
2. Erase This 5:08
3. 512 4:44
4. Embers 4:56
5. Footprints 4:24
6. Overlord 6:28
7. Anthropoid 3:38
8. Engage The Fear Machine 4:48
9. Delusion Pandemic 4:22
10. Torches 5:17

Playing time: 48:01

Release dateJuly 24, 2015

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Websitewww.lamb-of-god.com

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