LoG guitarist Mark Morton’s Anesthetic album is an all-star show of force and soul

Randy Blythe, Alissa White-Gluz and the late Chester Bennington elevate Lamb Of God man’s debut solo album

Mark Morton
(Image: © Travis Shinn)

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Anesthetic tracklist

1. Cross Off (feat. Chester Bennington)
2. Sworn Apart (feat. Jacoby Shaddix)
3. Axis (feat. Mark Lanegan)
4. The Never (feat. Chuck Billy + Jake Oni) 
5. Save Defiance (feat. Myles Kennedy)
6. Blur (feat. Mark Morales)
7. Back From The Dead (feat. Josh Todd)
8. Reveal (feat. Naeemah Maddox)
9. Imaginary Days
10. Truth Is Dead (feat. Randy Blythe + Alissa White-Gluz)

To bring his solo debut to life, Lamb Of God guitarist Mark Morton has convened some of his well-known mates to help him out. Collaborators include LOG bandmate Randy Blythe, Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix, Testament’s Chuck Billy and the late Chester Bennington, along with a first-rate cast of rhythm players from the likes of Megadeth, Trivium, Alice in Chains and Clutch.

All-star projects are, of course, nothing new, and Anesthetic’s format recalls Slash’s first solo outing, with one guitarist anchoring a diverse roster of high-profile vocalists. Unlike Slash, however, Anesthetic exudes a fiery creative synergy and a boatload of soul. Opener Cross Off showcases an electrifying posthumous turn from Chester Bennington, whose concussive roar and jagged lyrics dovetail perfectly into Morton’s slamming riffage.

The safe play would have been to recycle a stack of unused LOG riffs and bring in some death metal growlers to pander to his core audience. Thankfully, Morton’s ambitions stretch further. Reveal, featuring multi-instrumentalist Naeemah Maddox, is a smouldering amalgam of blues and rock, underpinned by jazzy chord progressions. Likewise, Mark Lanegan poses a curious addition, but his portentous, ragged turn on Axis stands among the album’s many highlights.

But of course, you’re here for the bangers. Randy Blythe’s duet with Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz morphs from its bluesy intro into a full-tilt belter that will fill LOG fans with teary-eyed delight. Back From The Dead erupts with the squall of Morton’s booming riffage and the apocalyptic howl of Buckcherry’s Josh Todd. If you’re driving, crank this track at your own peril.

These days, a superior metal album might have four or five standout tracks; Anesthetic boasts at least six. From top to bottom, it’s a highly-potent, uncut shot of pure sonic adrenaline that establishes Mark Morton as a bona fide star in his own right.

Anesthetic is out now via Spinefarm/WPP

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.