Lamb of God
Richmond, Virginia's Lamb of God is a refreshing anomaly in the world of mainstream metal. They love a swinging 6/8 beat more than a solid 4/4 thud, they feature a clean-shaven guy with short hair, and on Ashes of the Wake, their third album, they espouse a staunchly anti-Dubya, heartily patriotic worldview that values peace in the Middle East over boneheaded Second Amendment poppycock. Make no mistake: Ashes is unrelentingly brutal, a dense wall of unmitigated electric-guitar chug, tightly composed steel-wool lead lines, singer Randy Blythe's lamb-of-Satan growl and more double-bass percussive pounding than a room full of hippies in a ginsenged drum circle. But there's a searing, calculated intelligence to the mayhem here that's more often found in records by math-core brainiacs like the Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah; listen to the way the stutter-stepped riffing in "Omerta" gives way to a headbanging sludge-rock chorus. And though they're riddled with the usual heavy-metal array of "screws of vengeance" and "blank stares from broken men," Blythe's lyrics point their violence in useful directions: "Bombs to set the people free," he sneers in "Now You've Got Something to Die For," "blood to feed the dollar tree."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.