VII: Sturm Und Drang Leaves Dark Days Behind for Lamb of God
By: Saj Perez
Prior to 2012, a new Lamb of God (LoG) album would be celebrated as another slab of American heavy metal from the premier. Unfortunately, due to Randy Blythe’s manslaughter trial in the Czech Republic, it’s more of a celebration today that from all Blythe and the band went through they were able to release any music at all. The band has come out swinging and made sure that the metal world has been put on notice and that through it all, Lamb of God have returned with VII: Sturm Und Drang.
It must be hard for Randy Blythe to talk about what he experienced, but Blythe has always been an open book, never afraid to say what’s on his mind. Songs throughout the album speak about his time in a Czech prison as well as his views on the media.
The album starts off with “Still Echoes,” a hard-hitting and classic sounding LoG song, which serves as a reminder that they remains steadfast in their sound.
Following that is “Erase This,” which along with “Still Echoes,” is a one-two punch that comes charging with the sound that has defined LoG for almost 20 years.
One thing that LOG have never really used are guest-vocalists (they have used guest musicians in the past including Devin Townsend, Alex Skolnick and Chris Polland).
The songs “Embers” and album-closer “Torches” change that with Chino Moreno from the Deftones on the former, while Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan appears on the latter. Both songs add a depth that both vocalists bring, with “Embers” putting good use to Moreno’s melodic and somewhat haunting vocalizations, and Puciato does the same for “Torches.” Again, LoG doesn’t do this often, so for them to add these sorts of things shows a band that reaches outside of itself to add layers to their sound.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
One song that has fans talking is “Overlord” in which Blythe uses clean vocals for an extensive time in the song, and while many may be surprised, they shouldn’t be; they have been doing songs like this since As the Palaces Burn. It may be more melodic with Blythe singing clean vocals but it’s more of an extension of what has been done before, with the spoken passages of past songs and in some of the bigger choruses from songs like “The Number Six” from Resolution. No matter how some may perceive it, it’s still LoG, just a slightly more melodic track.
Songs like “Engage the Fear Machine” pick things up in stunning fashion, with the lyrics concerning the over-saturation of information that the media provides to just get a rise out of the people.
The album closes in epic fashion with the aforementioned “Torches,” which follows in a long line of epic album closers for LoG.
With the concern that the band may have packed it in and called it a day due to the turbulent times from 2012, this album shows the band in fine form; emerging from a premature sentence, and reclaiming the title of best metal band in the world.
Sturm Und Drang may mean “storm and stress” in German, but for LoG fans, the sun is shining once again.
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