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Lamb of God - Ashes Of The Wake
[i]Ashes of the Wake[/i] is the latest offering from [b]Lamb of God[/b] (LOG for short). LOG is one of those bands that according to some people, are a part of "The New Wave of American Metal", a term that is also labeled on bands like Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and God Forbid.

LOG released their first selftitled full-lenght release in 1998, a time when they still used the name of [b]Burn The Priest[/b]. In 2000 the band released [i]New American Gospel[/i], to be followed by a disc called [i]As The Palaces Burn[/i] from 2003. Early 2004 sees the band entering the studio with producer Machine, and [i]Ashes of the Wake[/i] is the result.

First things what the hell is "The New Wave of American Metal"? I wonder who came up with that one, because most of the bands that "fit" that label have been around long enough, so it definitly isn't new. It's probably because of the fact that record sales showed that bands like Killswitch Engage [b]can[/b] sell cds and sellout shows. It seems that suddenly these type of bands get a good deal, or they finally get the support they deserve.

For me, [i]Ashes of the Wake[/i] is definitly going to be in my yearlist, and I`ll tell you why. LOG put out a disc that is just quality metal. You`ll find no ballads or sing-along backstreet boys choruses on this one. From the opener "Laid to Rest" to the closer "Remorse is for the Dead", you`ll have to look very hard to find a spot where the record slows down.

Musically, this band is one of the tightest playing bands you`ll come across at this moment. But then again, when they're not on tour, they rehearse 4 or 5 days a week. Something tells me that has something to do with it. Drummer Chris Adler's precision is stunning, and he really knows when to hold back a little. This album has some great guitarplaying as well.

It wouldnt suprise me one bit if Willie Adler(Guitar), Mark Morton(Guitar) and John Campbell(Bass) are big fans of old thrash- and heavy metal bands. I can hear influences from Slayer to Meshuggah and Death, but the guys created their own sound with a big emphasis on the rhytmic structures of the music and an original melodic style. Their own biography talks about progressive elements, but those mostly show trough in some of the complex and odd patterns this band uses. I don't know if the fact that Chris and Willie are brothers, but as with Pantera, it seems that having that kind of (musical) relationship can really make a band sound better.

Singer Randy Blythe has a very distinctive vocal style, which is pretty hard to describe. I could say that if you would mix up Phil Anselmo and Bodom's Alexi Laiho, you'll be somewhere close. Alot of the lyrics are about the current state of the world, with America and the war in Iraq being the primary subjects. Lines like "Bombs to set the people free, Blood to feed to dollar tree" almost remind me of Rage Against the Machine.

In the end, [i]Ashes Of The Wake[/i] is a disc that might inject some fuel in the current metal scene, showing that a metal band can still make the music they want to on a big label, while setting standards for themselves and other bands while they're at it.

1. Laid To Rest 2. Hourglass 3. Now You'Ve Got Something To Die For 4. The Faded Line 5. Omerta 6. Blood Of The Scribe 7. One Gun 8. Break You 9. What I'Ve Become 10. Ashes Of The Wake 11. Remorse Is For The Dead