Lamb of God
About Lamb of God
Every now and then, a group comes along and demolishes the wall separating mainstream metal from the underground. In the 2000s, it was Lamb of God. There’s no overstating just how new and dangerous the Virginia outfit (formerly known as Burn the Priest) sounded when New American Gospel arrived in 2000. Here was a band, fronted by a truly intimidating howler in Randy Blythe, that could unleash riff-packed anthems every bit as catchy as anything on the modern hard-rock charts while also employing the kind of throttling heaviness restricted to the genre’s extreme sectors. Best of all, Lamb of God only ratcheted up the intensity the bigger they became. Released in 2004, Ashes of the Wake finds them adding a guttural menace (equal parts death metal and thrash) to their already dense matrix of Pantera-influenced chug, swirling metalcore breakdowns and hardcore toughness. Even on records released deep into their career, like 2015’s VII: Sturm und Drang and 2020’s Lamb of God, they continue to stretch the tension between rigorous musicianship and unchecked fury at the core of their music. Lamb of God were so thrillingly novel that they became torchbearers of an entire movement: the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Lofty praise—yet even that legacy fails to capture their historical significance. When Lamb of God began piling up gold records in the mid-2000s, it proved that the genre’s most brutal manifestations could break big on the charts. This triggered a shift in popular 21st-century metal wherein the spotlight, for years dominated by post-grunge and nu-metal acts, had to make more room for metalcore, sludge and even death-metal bruisers. Now that’s impact.