As the legend that is Randy Blythe is gracing this month’s cover of Metal Hammer, we thought it right to give you lot the complete 26-point alphabetical breakdown on why Lamb Of God are one of the best bands on the planet. Don’t believe us? Check this out…
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A is for Aaaaargh There Are Too Many Things That Start With A
OK, there are way to many significant Lamb Of God landmarks that begin with A so listen up. A is for As The Palaces Burn, the album that formed the nucleus of the band’s sound and includes a whole host of bona fide, timeless metal classics. There is a movie of the same name which is essential viewing also, telling the history of the band and the treatment of Randy Blythe through his harrowing court case and incarceration in the Czech Republic. Last and by no means least, there’s the album Ashes Of The Wake. Throwing a little Megadeth influence into proceedings and stretching their creative wings to further than they had up to this point Ashes Of The Wake is basically as good as 21st century metal gets. Phew. Bet we don’t have this problem when we get to Z.
B is for Burn The Priest
Somehow managing to find a name that sounds more outrageous than Anal Cunt, Lamb Of God’s original name (and the name of their “debut album”) is one guaranteed to cause an extreme reaction. Whether that’s giggling or being OUTRAGED totally depends on your character but it was never going to look right on the Download poster, was it? If you’ve never seen the gnarly artwork for the LoG Burn The Priest album, check it out. It’s ‘90s at fuck but that’s why we love it.
C is for Chris Adler
It’s a hard thing for a drummer to stamp their signature sound on a band but, much in the vein as Slipknot will never sound the same without Joey Jordison or Pantera wouldn’t have had half the groove if it wasn’t for the big bollocks swing of Vinnie Paul, Chris Adler has a signature sound that is key to Lamb Of God. Don’t believe us? Sit with a mug of tea and a biro and tap the mug with said biro along to that ride cymbal on Hourglass. See? That’s what we are saying. In all seriousness, Adler’s driving rhythms, inventive fills and unorthodox bass drum rhythms are as essential to Lamb Of God as any riff, lyrical or growl. He is, frankly, the shit.
D is for Disney
Did you know that Ghost Walking was originally going to be used in Monster’s University? No, you didn’t because we just made it up but Lamb Of God have certainly had their run-ins with Mickey and his Goofy buddies as, in the US, the band were banned from playing Disney owned House Of Blues venues across the States. This ban has also seen Machine Head, Exodus and others forbidden from playing said venues. Malificent looks like a metalhead. Sort that shit out, girl!
E is for Eight
Lamb Of God are about to enter the studio to record their eighth studio album. The biggest album of the band’s career, the eyes of the world will be on this record after the events of the last two years. Find out what Randy has to say about the album in the new issue of Hammer (opens in new tab). To say we are stoked would be selling our excitement for this upcoming record really, really short.
F is for FIIIIIIIIIIGHT!
As brutal as anything you’ll see in the UFC, one of the most famous moments of Lamb Of God’s career comes in the shape of a fist fight between Randy Blythe and Mark Morton on the band’s Killadelphia DVD. Let’s not get sensationalist about this, if you lived with nobody but four other guys on a travelling vessel for 18 months of every two years, they’d get on your tits too. Shit happens. Even still the brutality of the punches and the awkward car crash nature of not wanting to look but being transfixed makes this an integral part of the LoG story.
G is for Guest Slots
Amongst the avalanche of musicians who have played on Lamb Of God records, you can find Alex Skolnick of Testament. Devin Townsend and Steve Austin! No, not that Steve Austin. The one from Today Is The Day. Elsewhere, Randy Blythe has guested on Gojira, Shadows Fall and Jasta albums and Chris Adler features on the latest album from Protest The Hero. We also highly recommend checking out Randy doing Pool Of Booze, Booze, Booza with Volbeat at Rock Am Ring. We are taking an educated guess that this came while Randy was still on the sauce.
H is for Hardcore
Much in the same vein as Mr Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God’s leader Randy Blythe comes from a background in the punk and hardcore scene and pays homage to the hardcore musings of Discharge, Agnostic Front, Madball, Misfits, D.R.I. and more. If you want to hear the records that spurred Randy’s early years, do your research. We recommend Negative Approach.
I is for Instagram
As much as we love to look at pictures of cats with jaunty angled hats on or what food you’re going to shit out later, Randy Blythe is the best thing on Instagram. Thoughtful and prophetic in his words and with a real eye for taking intriguing and engaging images, Lamb Of God’s fearless leader narrowly beats @VineFail to be the best thing on the huge social media platform. @DRandallBlythe, if you don’t already follow.
J is for Justice
K is for Killadelphia
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Filmed in Philadelphia on the Ashes For The Wake tour, this is a live album and DVD collection that will rip your balls or boobs off and make you wear them as a hat. It’s probably best known for the fight we mentioned earlier on but, much more importantly than the tittle tattle, this is a collection that captures one of the best live metal bands of this or any era firing on all cylinders.
L is for Laid To Rest
Alright, let’s take a show of hands here. Who’s first exposure to Lamb Of God was bashing plastic buttons on an imaginary guitar and trying to keep your tongue in your face while you exact complete concentration on the task at hand? Yes, Guitar Hero plays a significant part of the Lamb Of God story. Arguably the heaviest band ever put onto the franchise, this rollercoaster ride of tempo changes, snarling vocals and an avalanche of riffs put Lamb Of God firmly in the minds and ears of not just metalheads but everyone. See who gives a fuck? Pretty much everyone, Randy, you beautiful bastard.
M is for Mosh
Alongside Devildriver, no band from heavy music in the 21st century have garnered a bigger reputation for having great pits. If you see someone fall down pick them up and look out for one another but, in what has become tradition for the band, when they close their set with a punishing Black Label, just take a look at the crowd. Beaming with happiness, the wall of death climax of this song is one of the best things you will ever see in live music. Be it in a sweaty club where everyone knows each other by name or at a festival where it looks like the battle scene from Braveheart, Lamb Of God and their audience in complete tandem is as good as it gets.
N is for Nosek, Daniel
Rest In Peace, our brother in metal.
O is for Omerta
Named after the Italian mafia code of silence, this track from Ashes Of The Wake is one of the most intense and sinister in the band’s back catalogue. Alongside Desolation’s doomy Straight For The Sun, Omerta is Lamb Of God taking the pace out of proceedings and bringing doomy tones to the table and showing what a varied and versatile band they are. Also, Randy’s opening speech makes the hair on the back of our neck’s stand on end when this is wheeled out live. Every. Single. Time.
P is for Produced By Devin Townsend
Metal’s best loved oddball was responsible for producing As The Palaces Burn and capturing Lamb of God’s signature sound in the way it is known and loved today for the first time. While he has openly been critical of his own production job on the album and people who can best be described as “square” occasionally pipe up about uneven sound levels, the songs and legacy of the record speaks for itself. To find out more on this subject, we highly recommend the DVD that comes with the 10th Anniversary package of the album.
Q is for Quiver
After searching the internet for days, we stand defeated on the letter Q. A quiver is a term for a collection of surfboards. Extreme sports have always been part of Randy’s life, with particular focus on skateboarding and surfboarding. Surfing was also the hobby Randy turned to in the aftermath of his confirmed freedom following his manslaughter trial. Check his Instagram for more of those particular tales of reflection.
R is for Redneck
Walk. Davidian. Duality. Blind. My Last Serenade. Every significant metal band has that song that is their moment. Coming from the Sacrament album and featuring one of the catchiest yet technical riffs in the Lamb Of God arsenal, this is a swaggering slave to the groove that could bang the head of any motherfucker out there. If you were to do a Now That’s What I Call Metal, compiling the most significant metal songs ever recorded, this would be on there. You need no more motherfucking invitations to worship this bad boy.
S is for Sacrament
Upping the groove elements of their music to an all time high, Sacrament was the album where Lamb Of God stopped becoming the world’s best underground metal band and fist-fucked the mainstream for the first time (check the video of them playing Redneck on Conan O’Brien to see exactly what we mean). Cracking the US Billboard Top 10 by reaching number eight, the likes of Walk With Me In Hell and Pathetic saw the band rivalling Pantera for the band that has best melded metal and groove, period. That it puts them in league with one of the greatest bands of all time tells it’s own story.
T is for Tony Stark
He listens to Lamb Of God. Nah, only joking. He’s more of an AC/DC man. Lamb Of God and Iron Man do have ties though as their track Hit The Wall was featured on the multi-platform video game, Iron Man 2. We’d also recommend them reworking their own song titles such as Walk With Me In Hellboy, Magnetomerta and, our favourite, Now You’ve Got Something To Die Thor. Yeah, we put this entry in purely to tell that joke.
U is for Unholy Alliance
Touring with Slayer is a badge of honour for a band. When you talk to any band member who has suffered endless Slayer chants and having all manner of shit thrown at them as they toil away on stage, they say so with a Vietnam style “you weren’t there, man” and may as well be sat there in an “I Survived Touring With Slayer” shirt. Not so with Lamb Of God who have toured as part of Slayer’s Unholy Alliance on both sides of the Atlantic and never been greeted with anything but unanimous positivity. For more Lamb Of God/Slayer trivia, the band played their first UK shows supporting Slayer approaching 13 years ago at London’s now defunct Astoria. It will not surprise you to know that they crushed it.
V is for Virginia
Well known for being one of the crime capitals of America throughout the ‘80s and into the 90s when Burn The Priest and Lamb Of God were born, Richmond, Virginia was ranked the ninth most dangerous in the United States as recent as 2004. A city ravaged by poverty, just listen to Randy Blythe’s stories of growing up there. He may well tell the stories with an almost Morrissey-esque eye for seeing the beauty in torn up, working class areas that are firmly on the breadline but it sounds like a gnarly place to have grown up. A gnarly place for a gnarly band.
W is for Wrath
A melding of everything Lamb Of God do well, Wrath is a commanding album that’s big on riffs and grooves but also delivers brutality and fast paced thrills. Set To Fail and Contractor may have got the plaudits on release but the piledriving Grace and Choke Sermon are just some of the under-appreciated gems on offered. Just listen to that opening riff on Dead Seeds and try not to bang your head. Bands have Greatest Hits compilations that can’t hold a candle to this.
X is for (e)X Members
Seriously, you find something for X. While Lamb Of God are that rarest of breeds, a band that have been going for over 15 years and have never recorded an album without the same line-up in tact, Mark Morton left the band between 1994 and 1998 to be replaced by Abe Spear and founding member Matt Conner was replaced by Willie Adler. LoG have also had a whole host of replacement live guitarists including ex-God Forbid man Doc Coyle and Unearth’s Buz McGarth.
Y is for You Only Live Once
Mitch Lucker was one of the most charming and loveable people in metal and we miss him every day. Tragically taken from us before his time, his bandmates were determine to document his legacy as a musician in the best way possible and thus the Mitch Lucker Memorial Concert was born. Showcasing all of the people that Mitch held dear and the musicians that had toured with Suicide Silence doing guest vocal slots, Randy Blythe’s take on You Only Live Once was a moment that deservedly goes down in metal folklore.
Z is for ZED
Ha! You thought we couldn’t find something beginning with Z but when the band were called Burn The Priest, they released a split EP with a band called ZED. Thanks for being called ZED, ZED.
Pick up the new Lamb Of God issue of Metal Hammer here (opens in new tab) or read the feature on TeamRock+.