Ashes of the Wake
Review by Alexi on November 29, 2004.
Not only has Lamb of God again reinvented themselves, they have also crafted one of the most revolutionary “American Metal” records. Over the last few years, Lamb of God has been categorized with Cleveland’s Chimaira and Boston’s Killswitch Engage in the New Wave of American Metal movement. On Ashes of the Wake, Lamb of God have shown that they are far more musically mature then their contemporaries, and have the ability to make amazing music accessible to all headbangers. The album combines many styles of metal to form one cohesive, unique breed.
Two main forms heavily influence Ashes of the Wake. The first, a European influence from Sweden – At The Gates. You can also hear hints of modern Swede thrash bands such as The Crown, The Haunted and The Forsaken on this record.
The second, an American influence, comes primarily to compliment the aforementioned counterpart. One can hear the power of Pantera and the aggression of Slayer. The hyper speed of the Swedish sound is slowed down, creating a unique sound when drums are added. Riff building is also becoming very popular in American metal, and Lamb of God has embraced this idea on the record. The opening track, “Laid to Rest,” is a perfect example of the two styles of music merged. This fusion is the most evident and exciting feature of this album.
The musicianship on Ashes of the Wake clearly sets the band apart from other American releases this year. Drummer, Chris Adler (who at one point played bass for the band), accentuates the relentless guitar chops with his abilities behind the kit. Guitarists, Mark Morton and Will Adler do a great job writing an assortment of riffs and unrelenting gallops reminiscent of the bands thrashy roots, combining them together on each track and building excellent transitions. Vocalist Randy Blythe has shown a fair amount of growth since their last album, As the Palaces Burn. He is now able to scream comfortably both high and low, and is able to make great vocal transitions within a single song. Bassist John Campbell never disrupts the chemistry between the guitars and drums.
Ashes of the Wake is one of the best releases of this year, and for the first time, Lamb of God has a professionally-produced record. Standout tracks include, “Laid To Rest,” the heavily-Slayer influenced, “Blood of the Scribe” and the final track, “Remorse is for the Dead,” which features Chris Poland (Megadeth) and Alex Skolnik (ex-Testament) on lead guitars.
If you wish to hear a new wave of music and be part of a metal revolution that will go down in history, get off your ass and buy Ashes of the Wake.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8 out of 10