Lamb of God – Resolution

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Review by Jason Guest

When it comes to metal, sobriety doesn’t always do what it promises: James Hetfield packed in the pop and Metallica produced St Anger and Lulu; Dave Mustaine found God; and Blackie Lawless no longer fucks like a beast. Okay, that last one is probably no great loss, but it appears that with mental clarity comes a serene calm where all are forgiven and the fans suffer because their musical heroes have come to terms with their inner demons. Selfishness. That’s what it is. But, following Randy Blythe beating the bottle, Lamb of God haven’t let a silly thing like abstinence get in the way of wrath as Resolution is as aggressive, if not more so, as the most alcohol-fuelled musical tirade ever to be spewed forth by a bunch of angry metal heads armed with distortion and a frontman full of ire.

Clocking in at about fifty six minutes, the fourteen tracks are consistently high quality in terms of song-craft, riffs, musicianship, and vehement delivery. Throwing in a meaty surprise by opening with the doom track ‘Straight For The Sun’, the song is oh-so-very heavy indeed, Blythe’s throat-tearing roar scraping the absolute shit out of the mighty riffs and mammoth drums. And then all hell breaks loose with ‘Desolation’ through to closer ‘King of Men’ with the occasional acoustic guitar passage emerging before disappearing behind the barrage of bile. ‘Guilty’ and ‘Cheated’ are full on attacks delivered at blistering tempos. ‘The Number Six’ and ‘Terminally Unique’ are sinister in tone, their pace menacing, the latter’s bludgeoning extended middle passage compounding the threat with an uncompromising battery of rapid riffs and machine-gun drums. And with the guitar-work shifting almost into prog territory and the inclusion of orchestral elements colouring the track, LoG make their boldest statement in closer ‘King Me’. Again produced and mixed by Josh Wilbur, the sound has a raw edge to it meaning LoG’s rage cuts through sharper.

The similarities to Pantera are still present however, such as in ‘To The End’ with Blythe’s vocal delivery bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anselmo and the harmonic-laden riffs are trademark Dimebag; closer ‘King Me’ has the Southern drawl that Anselmo uses when he wants to sound pissed or stoned; and the grooves are akin to what put Pantera far ahead of the pack. Also, there are moments when LoG sound heavy for the sake of heaviness, such as the drums hammering away at a thousand miles per hour, the chunky, chugging, floor-slamming guitar riffs akin to Whitechapel or Suicide Silence, and there are the arpeggiated guitar lines accompanied by double kick beats and a roared vocal of metalcore. Given what Resolution is as a whole, this is but minor. With rectum-rattling drum work, stomping riffs, a monster vocal delivery, and provocative lyrics, this is a solid album that is ambitious and accomplished but it’s not quite what it could be…

7 out of 10

Track listing:

Straight For The Sun
Desolation
Ghost Walking
Guilty
The Undertow
The Number Six
Barbarosa
Invictus
Cheated
Insurrection
Terminally Unique
To The End
Visitation
King Me

Visit Lamb of God’s website here.