Lamb Of God have seen the rise and fall of many a scene in their 25-plus career. But whether tangentially attached to metalcore, New Wave of American Heavy Metal, groove metal or thrash, the band have differentiated themselves from the rest by playing the game entirely on their own terms. That in mind, we sift through each of their studio releases (yes, including the ones they made under their original name Burn The Priest) to separate the good from the great and see just why Randy Blythe and co are regarded as one of metal’s most reliably brilliant bands.
10. Burn The Priest (1999)
Lamb Of God before they became Lamb Of God, Burn The Priest’s self-titled debut differed from their later incarnation in more than just name. Still wet behind the ears and lacking the finesse they would acquire further down the line, their debut album is a whirlwind of furious energy more akin to Today Is The Day (whose frontman Steve Austin produced and guested on the record) than the arena-conquering behemoths LoG would later align with.
9. New American Gospel (2000)
Changing their name didn’t transform LoG overnight, but New American Gospel definitely pointed them in the right direction. Opener Black Label was a step-up in quality and power that provided the band with their first bona fide anthem, but its parent album still feels overly raw and unrefined.
8. Wrath (2009)
By the end of their first decade LoG were riding high on a string of exceptional releases. Wrath doesn’t see the quality drop as such, but also doesn’t match the peaks predecessor Sacrament scaled, though Set To Fail, Contractor and Broken Hands give it a good run.
7. As The Palaces Burn (2003)
With Devin Townsend at the mixing desk the serious sonic heft that would become LoG’s signature really took shape. Ruin sees the band put their best foot forward on the first track, but this time out the following material has enough force to land some solid blows of their own, promising sore necks and bruised limbs aplenty.
6. Legion: XX (2018)
Returning to the Burn The Priest moniker after almost 20 years, LoG dug into their hardcore roots for this covers record. From Bad Brains and Ministry, the band subsume the source material to create some deliciously groove-inflected excellence in keeping with the tightly-refined machine the band had become.
5. Resolution (2012)
It seems almost prophetic that Lamb of God kicked off the most hellish year in their career with a record overflowing with fire and brimstone. Resolution is everything great about LoG in one place – implacable fury, colossal grooves, arena-conquering choruses and sheer, unstoppable talent. Ghost Walking and King Me in particular show that LoG were looking for new tricks to add to their impressive sonic arsenal.
4. VII Sturm Und Drang (2015)
Sturm und Drang burns brighter for all of the darkness that fuelled it, inspired by Randy Blythe’s experiences while on trial for manslaughter. There is a sense of palpable catharsis on each song that lends it greater emotional resonance, while band’s foray into reflective melodiousness on Overlord showed the band were still committed to evolving sonically after dipping toes on the previous record.
3. Lamb of God (2020)
Consistency may have been key to LoG’s career, but their self-titled tenth record brought back the band’s ear for an anthem in a way that hadn’t been heard since Redneck. Each of the record’s first three songs feels as all-conquering as you’d expect of a band crushing arena crowds worldwide every night alongside Slayer, while the ensuing songs lock in as a masterclass in how to devastate with groove alone.
2. Sacrament (2006)
The choice between Sacrament and Ashes Of The Wake can so often come down to reasons as arbitrary as which you heard first, or a preference for howl-along enormodome anthems vs body-smashing mosh-inducers. Sacrament skews decidedly more towards the former, from start to finish sounding head and shoulders above their contemporaries in the NWOAHM scene – or near-enough any other band in metal at that point.
1. Ashes of the Wake (2004)
Ashes Of The Wake/marked the point where Lamb of God truly came into their own, perfecting the bones of their sound while delivering banger-after-banger-after-banger. Its no coincidence that the record still (narrowly) dominates the band’s setlists even today, the first five tracks alone essential picks on any LoG greatest hits and guaranteed to turn any club, field or arena into a writhing mass of sweating, crashing bodies.
Louder – Every Lamb Of God album ranked from worst to best
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March 29, 2021