Release Date: January 24, 2012
When we come across the word “groove”, the first and the only thing which reflects in our mind is Richmond, Virginia’s ruthless giants, Lamb of God. With Doomsday ahead, Lamb Of God is known for destroying everything which comes its way. And when we have Resolution to start the journey then things do get exciting. Over 12 years and seven albums, the word ‘consistent’ is what defines Lamb Of God records; with blistering riffs and crushing solo’s, eclectic drumming, thumping bass lines. Musically, 2011 was wonderful with brilliant records by Machine Head, Megadeth, Mastodon, Anthrax, etcetera, so expectations were extremely high for Resolution; an album picked as metal’s most anticipated offering of 2012.
Wrath was a fantastic record and did carry the legacy of hardcore Lamb of God sound to some extent. I personally liked Wrath since it was a no-nonsense record packed with direct in-your-face sound from the beginning till the end. But what lacked was the “feel“, which was missing compared to masterpieces like As The Palaces Burn and Ashes of The Wake. At times repetitious over the last couple of albums, many in the metal community have wondered if now, with many successful records under its belt, will Lamb of God take risks and evolve past faceless Pantera/Slayer clones for a musical evolution or rehash the same Southern core/groove? Expecting the change in direction and keeping the band’s roots in mind, I start my Resolution journey as follows:
The first surprise came in the form of “Straight from the Sun”, which is dark and sludgy, like a shot of whiskey and a quick drunken kick to the teeth. A rumbling bass-line, slow pounding drums with Randy Blythe screaming the song’s title. LOG has paved the way for one of its best intros to date.
“Desolation”, on the other hand is the first heavy as fuck track from this album. The moment you hear first few seconds, the classic LOG sound slays everyone. It somewhat resembles Wrath‘s “In Your Words” to some extent. Randy’s vocals sound more brutal, with a crazy thrash driven riff followed by Chris’s insane drum work. This is simply phenomenal.
The first single, “Ghost Walking”, starts with a bluesy guitar groove, and in a matter of few seconds we have it turned into a classic thrash riff throw down. It’s surely one of the best songs written by LOG in a long time. What makes this song more interesting is the guitar solo by Mark Morton. It’s probably one of the best solos from the entire album. Kind of reminds me of the solo in Wrath‘s “Grace”. You just can’t ignore Randy screaming out the words as follows:
“You lived through hell, now you’re trying to die
The skin is healed but your bleeding inside
Shots fired just to numb the pain
There’s no one left to save”
“Guilty” on the other side is a speed metal assault. Right from the first second it just explodes with blast beats and fret burning riffs. This song will remind you of early LOG. “The Undertow” comes as a surprise to me since it revisits At The Gates sound. Influenced by At The Gates, Lamb of God just crossed all barriers and experimented with Randy’s one liner’s “I fight the constant undertow” which is surely going to be howled loudly when this track is played live. This song ends with an epic solo by Morton and not to forget the way Randy ends the track with some insane vocals.
“The Number Six” is, appropriately enough, the sixth track from the album. The song is the first track which is melody driven when compared to other tracks from the record. There are very few moments in this album where you find John Campbell’s bass-lines exploding like a pipe bomb, which is the case with “The Number Six”. Pretty much sound’s similar to Wrath along with another brilliant Morton guitar solo.
“Barbarosa” is a dark acoustic instrumental which was got nothing new to offer. It would have been better if they would have skipped this track. It feels like unnecessary filler. “Inviktus” and “Cheated” on the other hand are full of chaotic riffs with catchy hooks which clearly showcases the simple yet effective LOG sound. Randy’s insane skills are again highlighted on “Cheated”.
“Insurrection”, according to the title looks like a political track. Spoken words by Blythe and a Middle Eastern inspired strong harmonic riff makes this track the highlight of this album. The best guitar solo on this album is present on this track. The theme behind this song has a direct link with the cover art of Resolution. “Terminally Unique” is another groove-laden track with epic sweeping evoking a more sinister tone. LOG has crossed the boundary with most of the tracks on this record without compromising the aggression. Similarly the other two tracks “Visitation” and “To the End” are ripe with reptilian riffage and sweet solos with more addictive hooks.
“King Me” is the final track of the album. Lamb of God has always experimented a lot with the last track of previous few albums. Yes it’s surprising when we think of Lamb of God sound with orchestration. The thickly arranged choirs on top of the vocals and developing heavy guitar accompaniment are certain to draw substantial interest from existing and new Lamb of God listeners. The fast-moving pace raises the pulse especially when Randy Blythe’s vocalize delivers the anxiety over rich orchestra and guitar-based arrangements. This track stands out among the rest and gives you chill’s when you hear Randy Blythe screaming “King Me is killing me”. This is how a concluding track should be and LOG, as always, has recreated that magic. “King Me” goes in the list of another barnstorming outro along with “Reclamation” from Wrath, “Vigil” from As the Palaces Burn and “Remorse Is For the Dead” from Ashes of the Wake.
Resolution is roiling, rocking, and terrifying melee of sound with Lamb of God exploring new territories. It ends with another breath, an exhalation that makes the hour between it and the opening feel like a torrential scream. It’s the most technically proficient album by LOG till date.
Bottom-line: When it comes to brutality, it’s solid, ambitious, bone crushing, jaw breaking, filthy motherfucking Lamb of God at its best. Brace Yourself!
Devil Horns Up, Its EVIL LAMB OF GOD \m/