Among the countless bands that came up during the “New Wave of American Heavy Metal” period, the most well known was clearly Virginia based Lamb of God. Over the course of fifteen years they redefined what modern metal was. In my opinion this band, along with Mastodon have become the landmarks of this movement. Today I give to you the top ten songs by Lamb of God.
10. Omerta, Ashes of the Wake
For me, there’s always been something about the opening monologue that vocalist Randy Blythe brings out that makes the song that much more potent and riveting. All over the song we hear the deliberate pace of the song, and the drums are one of the best aspects of the entire song. That’s not to say that everything else isn’t constructed and handled with exactness, because it is. When people talk about modern metal bands, one of the best examples of it being done well is Lamb of God, and this song, off their fourth album(If you count Burn the Priest), is a great example.
9. Contractor, Wrath
While this album is the first one that made that didn’t completely blow me away, this super intense song has everything you’d want in the band. It’s much faster and crazier than some of their other tracks, but it’s a superb song. It’s a song about destruction,and the bass part midway through is a gateway to the nightmare that continues as we dissect the illusions of the American Dream. Track nine on the Top Ten Lamb of God songs shows us just how precise the band is, and as the song reaches its ultimate climax, you know the purpose of the band, “guaran- fucking- tee.”
8. Now You’ve Got Something to Die For, Ashes of the Wake
This song starts with a bouncy beat thats reminiscent of the power groove we discussed with Pantera, and it’s obvious that the band was inspired by the “Cowboys from Hell.” There’s only so many bands that can pull off a strong, forceful beat that makes you move adequately, but LOG does it well. The lyrics are dark and uneasy, and tells of “Send the Children to the fire” really set the tone. For me this song is about retribution and the way the government forces things down our breathes. With his lyrics, Randall Blythe has always skirted the line between faith in the world and the corruption of those in charge, but on “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For: he sets the bar even higher than normal.
7. In the Absence of Sacred, New American Gospel
Even from this early album, you can sense the visions and direction the band had in mind, and over their albums they cultivate a sound that only builds on the framework that “New American Gospel” represented. One shining star on the album though is “In the Absence of Sacred,” which finds us at Number seven on our Top Ten Lamb of God songs. It’s a continuously brutal song, and the drum work of Chris Adler, toppled with the guitar and rhythm sections from Willie “Shit his pants” Adler (That’s a joke from their first home video if you haven’t seen it) and Mark Morton really shape the song into a determined beast.
6. Descending, Sacrament
From the building guitar parts that open this song, you know you’re in for one hell of a ride. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes you hear a song that just moves you in a way that many don’t, and this song was one of those for me. It’s still one of their most powerful songs, and all around it’s a powerful track. When Blythe screams “The Pieces to all that we’ve lost,” you feel it in your bones, and it’s as if he’s fighting for his very soul, and the music brings it all around in a wonderful, albeit dark way. The track blends back and forth and delivers messages that are on the edge of darkness and light, but if you listen closely, it’s almost as if Randy feels like they're the same entity and both of them are out for themselves, and whatever damage they bring about is fine with them, as long as they win.
5. Ruin, As the Palaces Burn
The song that opens what’s probably considered their best album finds us at number five on our Top ten Lamb of God songs. “Ruin” pummels you from the instant it begins, and the mechanisms it brings to the table are turning at a high rate of intensity. This track has a dirtier feeling that some of the other tracks, but it’s all in purpose to the theme of not only the song, but the album. The album title “As the Palaces Burn” fits perfectly because the entire album, and this song completely fit the bill and set the stage of a world where dissolution needs to happen, and that long standing structures need to be torn down piece by piece to make way for a new world. “This is the Art of Ruin.”
4. 11th Hour. As the Palaces Burn
Another one from this landmark records finds us at Number four. This was for many the first taste of this great band, and it’s a perfect way to showcase them. This song lacks in almost nothing, and it fulfills all the things a good metal song should do. It has dark lyrics, the musicianship is strong and necessary, and the visuals painted bring out the purpose of the song in the best way possible. Also can we talk about the breakdown at the tail end of the song? It’s kind of incredible,and when you hear the words “Ever again and again and again” you lose your mind to the music in the best way possible.
3. Walk With Me in Hell, Sacrament
The real star of this song is the guitars that are employed. The riff’s are simply amazing, and with Adler and Morton working in tandem there’s not really anything else you could ask for. It’s a great way to kick off the album. “Walk With Me in Hell,” on our Top Ten Lamb of God songs at number three, brings the determination of the writers to a place they hadn’t previously reached. It’s a song about loss, and about the pressures of stepping into and being embroiled in something you aren’t sure you can escape. MORE
2. Vigil, As the Palaces Burn
The finale of “ATPB” finds us in a slower, but equally ominous world. As a dark figure hovers over sleeping children, the evil that is present takes hold, and from there on out we’re surrounded by sin and carnage. Blythe’s vocals here are as deep and ghoulish as anything he’s ever written, and the band as a whole really knocks this one out of the park. Having seen this song live also is a great representation of the talent of the band. Quite often you find that last songs on records aren’t the strongest, but in this case it couldn’t be more untrue. Everything, even the bridge at the three minute mark is brilliant, and the venom spewing from the lungs of the band is at it’s most potent. When Bkythe screams “I Defy you to Continue” you know you’re never getting out of the depths you were banished to.
1. Black Label, New American Gospel
If you've ever seen the band live, you are aware of the insane brutal event that goes with this show closing number. That event is the infamous “Wall of Death,” which sees the crowd split in two and forced to charge each other at the breakdown of the song. It’s so hardcore the band was told not to do it at Ozzfest. Yea. The song though, lives up the intensity of the act, and even though it’s off their first album, it’s an unbelievably high energy song that really gets the blood flowing. This is the first song I ever heard by the band, and obviously it ,meant a great deal to me since I clearly still am a fan of the band. For me, this song is in the hall of fame of Modern Metal, and it’ll likely inspire plenty of headbangings for years to come. Number one on the list of Top Ten Lamb of God songs, “Black Label” from the album “New American Gospel.” See you Friday.
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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