Lamb of God first infected me with their sound in Dublin, Ireland, when they were supporting Slayer in 2006. It was my first time seeing Slayer, but Lamb of God blew me away and made me forget about Slayer, which I did not think would happen! Incidentally, Randy Blythe also got his ass kicked in Dublin that night while out taking some photos, so on behalf of Dublin I would like to issue this apology!
Over the course of the week leading into the weekend I had seen a lot of bands. And I mean a LOT! Scheduled for the festival were almost one hundred (100!) bands, it was truly a celebration of metal music and a huge achievement for the organisers. The more I watched however the more something became clear, the American bands set a huge standard in terms of performance, quality and sound – and Lamb of God were one of those bands. The songs may have included mostly older material, but they just nailed everything they touched.
Randy Blythe’s vocals were off the scale, the guitar riffs which Lamb of God are so well-regarded for were played with punishing clarity including those awesome artificial harmonics they employ to close out many of their most famous riffs (‘Omerta’, ‘Walk With Me in Hell’, ‘Laid to Rest’, ‘Redneck’, etc.). Even John Campbell’s bass was loud and clear, which is some achievement considering the dual-guitar sound he was competing against and Art Cruz’s double bass drum work, a sound synonymous with Lamb of God, kept the rhythm together perfectly.
Lamb of God have opened all of their European dates with ‘Omerta’ from their fourth studio album. I’m not a huge fan of bands performing the exact same opening song on an entire tour, but at the same time I personally feel that ‘Omerta’ is a stunning example of metal music and a great way to headbang with a few beers and good friends. Next up were ‘Now You’ve Got Something to Die for’ from the same album and ‘Blacken the Cursed Sun’ from the Sacrament record. The crowd was loving it with circle pits and mosh pits forming all around me. ‘Walk with me in Hell’ soon followed along with ‘Descending’ and 2015’s ‘512’. They dedicated their second last song of the night to Testament’s Alex Skolnick who came out on stage to show his gratitude to the band and crowd. Alex obviously has a great relationship with the band and Randy who called Alex a “book-reading mother f*cker”! Alex provided one of the solos for the title track on Lamb of God’s 2004 studio album ‘Ashes of the Wake’, so he goes way back with the band. The band then closed out the set with ‘Laid to Rest’ from the same album and ‘Redneck’.
This set was the final to be played by Lamb of God on this tour and their next show isn’t until the wintertime back home in the US. Would I have liked to have seen more new material? Yes, I would have, but if there was any doubt as to how good they were, I went back to my room that night and listened to Lamb of God non-stop, they had infected me again just like they did that first time in Dublin.
Walk With Me In Hell
Now You've Got Something to Die For
Engage the Fear Machine
Blacken the Cursed Sun
Laid to Rest
Playing Time: 75 minutes
Randy Blythe - vocals
Mark Morton - guitar
Will Adler - guitar
John Campbell - bass
Art Cruz - drums