Po-faced metal misanthropes, Lamb Of God, return with album number seven and everything the surly, shouty and angry love about the band is here in abundance. You’ve got your wall-cracking riffs, your bludgeoning kick-drum assaults, bass runs threatening to make ears bleed and the now-sober Randy Blythe growling and roaring with the pissed-off fury of a serial killer with a victim shortage. So, all good then? Well, not quite…
There are some surprises, to be fair, opener, ‘Straight To The Sun’, being one of them. The Sabbath-esque slow-grind menace placing the cut firmly in the doom metal category and marking out a little distance between the band and those who feel they sometimes sail a little too close to Pantera’s waters for comfort.
Equally, closing cut, ‘King Me’ with its female vocals set against an epic symphonic backdrop also departs a little from the expected and although normal service is quickly resumed, the extra textures are to be admired. ‘Cheated’, too, deserves a mention for its old-school thrash attack and clocking in, as it does, at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scant two minutes and thirty six seconds, there’s no chance of it outstaying its welcome. So what’s the problem then? Probably that there is barely a track here that couldn’t have come from the ‘Wrath’ sessions and while there are those who will welcome the Lambs delivering more of what they do best, a certain frustration and, yes, maybe even a little disappointment is hard to avoid. You’ll search in vain for anything matching the brooding and sinister majesty of ‘Walk With Me In Hell’ for example.
Don’t despair, though; there’s sufficient brutality, mayhem and carnage for even the most bloodthirsty metal-head and, certainly, the band play as though their lives depend on it. You simply can’t knock the commitment shown here. Really, ‘Resolution’ is a good album. Yes, it is. But it isn’t a great one, and one suspects that once the novelty has worn off there will be many Lamb of God disciples reluctantly agreeing, even if only to themselves.
For more information read our Lamb Of God interview.