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Album Review

Lamb of God, 'Wrath'

February 23, 2009
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Metal
Lamb of God Wrath
Epic
ESSENTIAL "Reclamation"

Heavy metal weathers whatever storms batter the rock 'n' roll landscape. But metal bands quickly sink once their inspiration subsides. Count Lamb of God among those with steely staying power. "Wrath," the quintet's fifth album, easily places Lamb of God in league with such exemplary thrashers as Slayer and Pantera, unwavering champions of all that is dark, brutal, and menacing. With powerful new songs such as "Broken Hands," "Wrath" furthers Lamb of God's reputation for craft and innovation and argues to a broader audience that metal is a style rife with fresh ideas. Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler dazzle with the musical equivalent of aerial dog fights while singer D. Randall Blythe counters with a bruising and brooding delivery. The contrasting forces form cross hairs that target all manner of moral decay. Not that Lamb of God offers any sort of high ground. Rather, the band is an excellent guide into the pit. The acoustic guitars that surface on three tracks are nice touches, but even better are the many points on "Wrath" where Lamb of God cranks the fury beyond belief. (Out tomorrow.)

SCOTT McLENNAN

Lamb of God headlines the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival at the Palladium in Worcester on April 18.

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