Since the release of 2015’s VII: Sturm Und Drang, we haven’t heard much from Metal legends, Lamb of God. The band’s combination of Groove Metal, Thrash, Grindcore and Heavy Metal, made them a household name since the band’s start in 1994, starting their legacy under the name Burn The Priest, releasing a self-titled studio album in 1999, then changing their name to Lamb of God in 2000 and the release of New American Gospel, the band’s first studio album under the new name.
With the release of their 8th studio album The Duke, fans of the band were excited to hear that one of their favorite acts were working on new content, but can we really classify this as a new album?
Out of the 5 tracks on the album, only 2 are new releases, the other 3 songs are live versions of older songs, so that makes me think that this could just be a teaser for something bigger in 2017. A statement from the band to their fans, saying we’re still here working on music so here’s a taste to keep you hungry.
The first song on the album, “The Duke,” came as a bit of a shocker to me. As a fan of the band, I have grown accustomed to Blythe’s high pitched screaming and vocal cord shattering growls, but for the first song to open with him singing, I had to double check and make sure I was listening to Lamb Of God. Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the change of tempo for the band, but it caught me off guard. Before the chorus, Blythe releases his trademark screams, but then transitions back to his singing voice for the chorus. The lyrical content of the song has a deeper meaning, written in memory of a longtime fan who lost their battle with leukemia, so that could be a reason of the softer tones in Blythe’s vocals.
The second song on the album “Culling” is more of the band that I am accustomed to, this should have been the opening track for The Duke. It’s as heavy as you would expect, grabbing your attention with Blythe’s trademark vocals. It’s also an opportunity for guitarist, Mark Morton, to show his technical ability with his axe during the solo and chorus riffs.
The album contains 3 high quality live recordings of the band performing “Still Echoes” at Rock am Ring, “512” and “Engage The Fear Machine” at Bonnaroo, which in their own rights are great songs and I do enjoy a good live performance recording.
At the end of the day I still feel as if this is just a preview of something for us to expect in 2017, but we will have to wait to see if that happens.
The Duke is available through the band’s website for download, as well as iTunes and Google Play.