Music News

Reviewing the Reviews

After more than a year of nonstop touring behind their latest album, Sacrament, Virginia thrashers Lamb of God are out on the road for one last leg before taking a much-needed break in 2008. But before the band closes the book on Sacrament, we caught up with ultra-friendly powerhouse drummer Chris Adler to get his take on some reviews of the disc. "Shit sandwich?" he joked at the outset; we assured him that none we found were nearly that bad.

"It's obvious why metal-heads consider Lamb of God the heir apparent to Metallica, Pantera, and Slayer. The group not only recalls all three of those forebears at once, it also proves that ugly, uncompromising thrash metal can still infiltrate the mainstream." (The Onion A.V. Club)

Wow, uhhh, that is very flattering. To be mentioned in the company of those bands is something that we didn't ever set out to do, so to have those kinds of things said about us, we couldn't be more proud. At the same time, it's daunting to think that people think that much of us, but we love what we're doing and we'll keep doing it.

"While the band might not take metal into bold new territory as bands like Mastodon, Between the Buried and Me, and the Red Chord have, their success is still well-deserved. They've perfected workmanlike metal to a science, and Sacrament will only make this band even bigger." (PopMatters)

That is a well-thought-out review, dead-on. And at the same time, bands like the Red Chord and Mastodon that are pushing things in different directions . . . I think they're more easily accepted into the "mainstream, label-supported music scene" because of bands like us that have worked as a gateway to help bands like them that have come after us.

"They rarely stray from the 'drop D' tuning, resulting in a second half that tends to blur, shake, and sputter out a bit, but there's no denying Lamb of God's almost unnerving power to conjure wind from the tiniest of stereo speakers." (All Music Guide)

Wow! That last line is cool. I'll speak to the sequencing issue — it's always difficult to sequence a record. You don't know when you're writing a song how it's gonna flow with song number eight. You get all these things that have different feelings and moods, and you try to put it in the best order you can. I definitely feel like this record is one of our stronger records as far as the way it ends up. We've always held to this idea that the last song has to be as good as the first song. I wanna write a good song, but I wanna write 10 good songs.

"The star here is Adler. His crisp, pitched-up snare is a Lamb of God signature, and his snare downbeats recall John Tempesta on Testament's Low. With rich fills, kinetic rolls, and insistent rides, Adler is one of the most identifiable drummers in metal." (Stylus)

That is extremely flattering [laughs]. I don't know what to say. I definitely hold myself to a high standard, and I wanna keep pushing myself and the band in different directions. I do what I can with the instrument, and hopefully with each record, I try to learn a little bit more and be a little bit better at what I do. And hopefully, I can keep up that pace to keep people that interested in what I've got goin' on.

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Michael Alan Goldberg