On to their latest record, Resolution. In a word: solid. In a few: killer, massive, consistent. So what's the same? Chris Adler's drumming is frenetic as ever, not without evident skill, but perhaps monotonous. He is no weak link, certainly not, but you have heard it before.* The guitar work is heavy, aggressive, viscous, and vicious, as if Mark Morton and Willie Adler took all that came before and added to it while maintaining the basis for sonic abuse necessary for LoG. John Campbell's bass work actually creeps out to the front now and again, even channeling his inner D.D. Verni (Overkill) at times, which is no small feat. Lastly, Blythe's inimitable pipes get a proper workout while he tries out a few new tricks, some less successful than others (i.e., the intro to "Insurrection" that sounds more like God Forbid). Collectively, Resolution is a beast you know -- and either love or hate.
Still as the only logical heir apparent to Pantera -- there, that's out of the way -- the boys from RVA have done the CFH proud, even if it is always done unintentionally. So while what's the same has been covered, what's new has not. Take it from the top. Opening salvo, "Straight for the Sun," sounds like Kirk Windstein (Crowbar, Down) jamming with Pantera on a Black Sababth track. There are literally shades of "Zero the Hero," though slower and heavier than anything Tony Iommi intended. Brilliant! The asterisk from earlier regarding the drums applies here, where Chris plays most unlike himself on this sludge-filled slowfest and it really is refreshing. First "hit" from the album, "Ghost Walking," opens with a bluesy, acoustic take on the main riff, boasting something new undoubtedly from Morton. This is revisited on "King Me," replete with Blythe's best unintentional (?) Philip Anselmo (who doesn't know by now?) impression on a spoken word intro that also offers some jazz styling from Chris, as well as keyboards and choral backing vocals.
Other standout tracks include "The Number Six" and "To The End," though there really are no blatant weak points. In general, there are times when LoG stoops to sounding almost like Slipknot or Killswitch Engage, particularly in the synchronization/interplay between the axes and double bass pedals, but that is a perhaps minor quibble as LoG is a card carrying member of the NWOAHM. So while predecessor Wrath was perhaps not fully appreciated by this writer while the arguably overpolished Sacrament was -- critics and fanboys be damned, "Redneck" is a masterful jam -- Resolution is a mighty fine slab of heavy that treads some new ground on an otherwise familiar path. Check it out, kiddies.
[Back to the Pantera thing, which really is unavoidable because Lamb of God play a non-commercial form of Metal while still getting major label support, it goes beyond being influenced by Southern Rock, or having grooves, or annoying fans, or whatever complaint one might have. Plain and simple, the brothers Adler invoke the brothers Abbott, right down to Willie being perhaps inhabited by the spirit of Dimebag (R.I.P.). Just can't shake that having seen both bands in their prime. Look at the younger Adler while he jams and squint a little, and maybe imagine a hot pink goatee, one can't help but hear Dime's masterful influence, feel the vibe, see that smile. 'Nuff said.]
|1. Straight for the Sun|
|3. Ghost Walking|
|5. The Undertow|
|6. The Number Six|
|11. Terminally Unique|
|12. To The End|
|14. King Me|
|Buy other Lamb Of God albums|