Lamb of God – Resolution
Record Label: Epic / Roadrunner
Release Date: January 24th 2012
As a reviewer, there are only so many records and bands of a certain genre that you can listen to before you get jaded and bored. That’s why it’s important to challenge yourself to review things you’ve never listened to, or even a genre you’ve never listened to, or don’t usually listen to. For myself, metal, hardcore, and their many subgenres are those genres. I’m not into a lot of heavy music, but I’ve been listening to a lot of records of the same few genres lately, so I thought it was time for something a bit different. I was at Walmart last weekend, and I found a copy of Virginia thrash metal / groove metal band Lamb of God’s last album Resolution. I didn’t know much about this band, other than vocalist Randy Blythe’s legal troubles last year. I did know he was acquitted on every charge, and so everything’s fine now, but it was a rather tense situation for him and everyone involved. Regardless, I did know they were a metal band, and that’s the main reason why I decided to check it out. I’m not hugely into metal, or heavier music in general much anymore, so it’s hard for it to really capture my attention. Not that I don’t like it, it’s just not what I’m into. I do make exceptions, and this record is one of them. I was rather skeptical when I saw this record was about an hour long, but that didn’t keep me from listening to it with an open mind, and open ears. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with I found. It was a very fantastic thrash metal record with a lot of interesting twists and turns, including a few acoustic parts, and even some spoken word parts by Blythe himself. Speaking of which, Blythe has one heck of a scream; he also has a nice amount of range to his voice as well. For the most part, he has a growl to himself, to so speak, but he does manage to hit some highs and lows. There’s a reason why this band is so well respected within metal, and even music itself, really. With that being said, though, let’s get to a resolution, so we can dive into this record, shall we?
The record begins with “Straight for the Sun,” and immediately, Blythe’s piercing screams kick in, and a slow but heavy guitar riff dominates for the majority of the track. The track is only about two and a half minutes, but it serves as a nice little introduction for the record that’s about to follow. During the last ten seconds of the song, a very intricate drumbeat by drummer Chris Adler pummels through to the next song, “Desolation.” This is a monster of a track, and honestly, it sets the stage up for a majority of the record. One of the problems I have with a lot of heavier genres is that a lot of it can blend together if it’s not careful, and only a few bands can capture my attention nowadays, because they manage to keep things unique. Thankfully, Lamb of God has become another one of these bands. While a majority of the record is full of face melting guitar riffs (and some solos), pummeling drums, and Blythe’s piercing scream, there are a few moments that slow down the record as well, the first moment being in the beginning of third track “Ghost Walking.” For a nice change of pace, the song starts off with an acoustic guitar for a few seconds before changing into another ferocious song, akin to “Desolation.” The rest of the song is great, don’t get me wrong, as is the whole album, There’s a great guitar solo by guitarists Mark Morton and Will Adler in the middle of the song. There are no pointless and generic breakdowns on this record, either; this is not a scenecore or whatevercore band. That’s one thing I love about this band. They actually keep things interesting, I said just a bit ago, however, most heavier music tends to fall to the wayside for me, just because it can blend together. Not that it’s terrible, but as a whole, it tends to blend together if there aren’t enough moments on the record to truly keep my interest. This record does have that. Every song has something to offer, but there are a few moments that aren’t “brutal” and that aren’t so aggressive. That can’t be said for fifth track “The Undertow.” That features a really memorable guitar riff in the beginning and ends up being one of the more aggressive tracks of the record, which is absolutely fantastic, frankly. This is another track that has a face melting guitar solo in it, and it just absolutely slays, frankly.
Remember what I said about memorable moments on the record? Well, another one occurs on the aptly titled sixth track, “The Number Six.” The chorus has some clean vocals in it, to some degree. They’re not completely clean, but there’s definitely an attempt of a chorus. About two and a half minutes in, however, the song suddenly switches tempo and has Blythe speaking a little bit before the song just explodes again for a brief moment. This song is insanely schizophrenic, for the lack of a better word; it stops, and slows down, but then suddenly explodes and shreds, basically. After that, seventh track “Barbaraosa” is a minute and a half interlude, so to speak. It works nicely, because it fits within the narrative of the record, because it leads right into next track “Invictus,” which is another one of my favorite tracks on the record. So far, the first half of this record is absolutely mind blowing. I don’t listen to a lot of heavy music, but this band is surely an exception. The second half has a lot to offer as well, including tenth track “Insurrection.” This track is significant because this one actually features clean singing in the beginning, which is really interesting for Lamb of God. It works very well, because it doesn’t appear very much, yet still packs a punch, and remains memorable. As for the rest of the second half of the record, it does remain quite memorable, and interesting, but every song does start to sound similar and run together after awhile. The musicianship is insane, but when there’s a guitar solo in every song, it can get rather dull. That’s where closing track, “King Me,” comes in. This track is really weird, but in a good way, because it also has some spoken word parts by Blythe before turning into a behemoth of a track. It’s the longest track on the record, at about six and a half minutes, ending the record on a really unique note. This record is the first metal record I’ve listened to in awhile, and it doesn’t disappoint whatsoever. While the second half does blend together a bit, “King Me” does a nice job of bringing it back, and making sure that the record leaves an impression on the listener. Randy Blythe is one of the best screamers / harsh vocalists I’ve ever heard, and the musicianship on this record is absolutely fantastic, and even the mini complaint I had of the record blending together can be overlooked with how great it truly is.