Lamb of God

New Year's Resolution

> > Feb 2012

Lamb of God - New Year's Resolution
By Denise Falzon"I've done a lot of shit in my life; a lot of crazy shit, a lot of cool shit, a lot of stuff that I'm not so proud of and I wouldn't change any of it," says Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe. Several years ago, Blythe found some notoriety after he got into a gnarly, drunken fist fight with his own bandmate (guitarist Mark Morton), complete with slurred trash talk, hair-pulling and head butts. Oh, and Blythe was wearing a kilt at the time.

It wouldn't be a proud moment for any band, but rather than ignoring or downplaying it, Lamb of God included all the damning footage on their 2005 concert DVD Killadelphia.

It's a telling gesture of exactly who Lamb of God are. The Richmond, VA groove metal band have been putting all their crap out on the table for nearly two decades, and not apologizing for any of it. "I know I did a lot of stupid shit," Blythe laughs, "but if I didn't do that I wouldn't be who I am, and today I think I'm a pretty good dude."

It's been a long journey from their early days of booze-fuelled debauchery, when they were called Burn the Priest. They've survived a name change, the rise and fall of grunge and nu-metal, and thrived in a metal revival scene that's flourished even as the music industry collapsed around them. Throughout, they've maintained a unique perspective on religion and politics, but have gotten more sophisticated about expressing those ideas.

Although the band members have all settled down with families, their attitude towards their music hasn't changed. With the release of their new album, Resolution, Lamb of God continue with the mantra they've preserved since their Burn the Priest days ― to make the music they want, when they want and how they want. "We make the music so that only five people can be happy," Blythe says, "and that's the five dudes in Lamb of God."

Mark Morton, drummer Chris Adler and bassist John Campbell formed Burn the Priest in their Virginia hometown in the early '90s. Morton left to pursue grad school and was replaced by Abe Spear, and the trio released a demo and two split EPs as an instrumental band before Randy Blythe joined in 1995; his lyric writing established the religious and political themes that remain to this day. Their sound ― a mix of thrash, death metal and sludge with punk and grindcore influences ― made them an anomaly.

"Nobody was making what we wanted to hear at that time," Blythe says. "Grunge had taken over. A few bands of the generation before us were still around of course, who were influences on us: Slayer, and Megadeth were still doing something, Pantera were still around, Testament were still doing stuff every now and then, but metal had pretty much croaked. We made heavy metal just 'cause we wanted to hear it. We never had any ideas of it turning into a career. We thought we'd drink beer and play some heavy metal, that's it."

Buzz began to build locally, and Morton re-joined the band in 1997, but it wasn't until the 1999 release of Burn the Priest's self-titled full-length that their line-up was finalized, when Adler's brother Willie replaced Spear as a second guitarist. But the attention garnered by Burn the Priest (produced by Today Is the Day's Steve Austin and released by Legion Records, later reissued by Epic) was being eclipsed by their controversial band name.

After the name got them banned from certain venues, they faced a difficult choice. "We spent a long time touring and writing under that name," Adler explains, "so when we changed it we definitely thought that we were shooting ourselves in the foot and washing all that work down the drain. I don't know if it really helped, but I know that today, as an adult with a kid, it's a lot easier to feel proud of what we've done, not having it be based on a gimmick."

The name change to Lamb of God retained a religious association without being offensive, and the band maintained the same lyrical and musical approach ― doing what they wanted. And it continued to fly in the face of popular aggressive music in the early '00s, which consisted of the down-tuned alt-rock/hip-hop fusion known as nu-metal, led by the likes of Korn, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.

After signing with Prosthetic Records, the band released their second album (and first as Lamb of God), New American Gospel, in 2000 and spent the next few years touring extensively before dropping As the Palaces Burn in 2003. Both records featured the same type of sound from their Burn the Priest days, but also introduced a groove metal tinge, often garnering comparisons to Texan genre heavyweights Pantera. Lamb of God landed on some large-scale tours, including the first Headbanger's Ball tour alongside God Forbid, Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage.

As the Palaces Burn marked a change toward more politically-focussed lyrics, which intensified on their next album, 2004's Ashes of the Wake. Recorded during George W. Bush's presidency, both contain themes of Bush's War on Terror military campaign, particularly the war in Iraq.
GET IT!
Mailing List
SHARE IT!
Google+
Google Bookmarks
StumbleUpon
Reddit
Tumblr
Really? You couldn't find a better band/artist to give the cover to? What a joke.
Start Conversation
Whatever dude, Lamb of God are a great band!
Start Conversation
Listen to Beherit - At the Devils Studio!! This album should be heard by the masses, new and old, because I guarantee any mall kiddies hearing this album will run for the safety of Mastodon or Gojira because they will never get this in a million years, and that's precisely as it should be.

It’s our world, kids; we just allow you to occupy space for fun and relentless banter.
Start Conversation
Mastodon and Beherit are great bands! Beherit are far from being as good of musicians as Mastodon but they still are a great black metal band. Lamb of god is for idiots! Nameless poseur #3 has it right!
Start Conversation
Pfft. Lamb of God is one of the most talented bands I've ever heard. Melodic, deep lyrics, and they can throw down hard!
Start Conversation
Lamb of God and Mastodon are amazing screamo bands. You must be pretty big noobs if you don't realize how innovative and brilliant they are in the screamo genre. Go back to your Brokencyde and Attack Attack, noobs.
Start Conversation
Lamb of God is one of the most talented bands in emo-rock genre!


Too bad people think they play metal music, they don't!!

They are too good to be metal, they are emo-rock-with power chords and it's sad people think they are a metal band.

My grandma loves Hanna Montana and Lamb of God because they're both safe and nice music.
Start Conversation
Oh, look! A bunch of nameless kids who think Mastodon and Lamb of God are scream. Do any of you even fucking know what "screamo" means?
Start Conversation
blam of goo backward hat looks like stink
Start Conversation
holy shit all that banter above was hilarious. good mix of fucking retards with a dash of people that know whats up... Screamo.. HAHAHAHAH shiiiit.
Start Conversation
Login
Keep me logged in
Prove You Are Not a Robot
To remove this step go back and login.

On the Cover Highlights

Picks

Most Popular Stories

  1. Partynextdoor - 'Partynextdoor Two' (album stream)MUSIC / VIDEO: Partynextdoor 'Partynextdoor Two' (album stream)
  2. Beyoncé - MUSIC / VIDEO: Beyoncé "Crazy in Love" ('50 Shades of Grey' version)
  3. Jeremy Fisher - MUSIC / VIDEO: Jeremy Fisher "Uh-Oh" (ft. Serena Ryder) (video)

Article Published In Feb 12 Issue