Lamb Of God

Resolution

Written by: AP on 25/01/2012 14:58:49

Following the underwhelming "Wrath", groove metal masters Lamb of God make a welcome return to form on their newest offering, "Resolution". The album is all at once a consolidation of the band's status as staple purveyors of blue collar metal; proof that Lamb of God are against any form of stagnation when it comes to shaping their sound; and a reinvigoration of the elements that earned the band so much praise on previous albums. Such a conundrum inevitably sounds as though the band is being towed in three incompatible directions, but the result is surprisingly focused, and - as the title suggests - full of resolve.

Songs like "Desolation" and "Ghost Walking" witness the band at their most familiar, with Chris Adler's energetic drumming laying the groundwork for a salvo of thick grooves, whizzing around Randy Blythe's characteristic growls like a hail of bullets. It is heavy as fuck, and makes you want to headbang like a boozed up redneck: two key essentials when it comes to Lamb of God. But where "Wrath" settled for such a simplistic approach, here the band have taken immense care to ensure that the songs are also extremely memorable, and bulging with expert songwriting. Still, although traces of the vicious malevolence of older albums certainly bleed through the likes of "Guilty" and "The Undertow", "Resolution" follows more closely in the footsteps of "Sacrament" and its arguably more commercial vibes.

Evidence of this is best heard on the most striking tracks of the album: the driving assault of "Insurrection" is broken up by spoken word verses and clean sung passages that are guaranteed to send the most veteran fans re-evaluating their relationship with the band, while "Terminally Unique" introduces a distinct radio rock structure to the palette, and "King Me" concludes the album in startlingly ambitious fashion, with contribution from a symphonic orchestra and opera singer Amanda Munton. But even so, the overall approach of Lamb of God's craft is as raw and acerbic as ever, and there is plenty of heavy metal bliss to be digested on the more conventional pieces that form the backbone of the album, such as "Cheated" and "To the End".

Although the inherent rawness and pummeling aggression give little reason not to enjoy "Resolution", especially with such skilled musicianship on display, the album is ultimately hindered from true greatness because its outward steps do feel somewhat subdued, making it sit a little too comfortably in the band's existing catalog. Such a minor flaw should not dissuade you from listening to the album however, as it does deliver in terms of solid, instantly gratifying blue collar groove metal. Sometimes good old fashioned violence is all you need.

8

Download: Desolation, Ghost Walking, The Number Six, Terminally Unique, King Me
For the fans of: A Life Once Lost, Chimaira, DevilDriver
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Release date 24.01.2012
Roadrunner Records

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