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Lamb Of God – Sacrament (15th Anniversary) – Review

Release Date : Out Now

Band Members :

Randy Blythe – Vocals
Mark Morton – Guitars
Art Cruz – Drums
John Campbell – Bass
Willie Adler – Guitars

Track listing :

1) Walk With Me In Hell
2) Again We Rise
3) Redneck
4) Pathetic
5) Foot To The Throat
6) Descending
7) Blacken The Cursed Sun
8) Forgotten (Lost Angels)
9) Requiem
10) More Time To Kill
11) Beating On Death’s Door
12) Walk With Me In Hell (Live at House of Vans, Chicago)
13) Redneck (Live at House of Vans, Chicago)
14) Descending (Live at House of Vans, Chicago)

Sacrament is the fourth studio album released by Lamb of God and this opus celebrates 15 years since it was first aired, by a digital release supported by a ‘Making of Sacrament’ video which was previously available on the ‘Walk With Me In Hell’ DVD. This particular album reintroduces all of the favourite tracks with the added bonus of three previously unreleased live tracks recorded at House of Vans in Chicago, the only live performance from the band in 2020.

Suffice to say that this album garnered the attention it deserved in 2006 and was rightly heralded as one of the best albums from that year. It debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 and sold over 65,000 copies in its first week. All of the memorable tracks that successfully launched Lamb of God to the stratosphere are resplendently here in all their glory.

‘Walk With Me In Hell’ is the lead track which started their meteoric rise. When people ask about a specific sound that a band creates it is sometimes difficult to pigeonhole exactly what that entails, with Lamb of God that is not the case. They brought definition to the ‘New Wave of American Heavy Metal’. Largely driven by Chris Adler’s incredible drumming, Mark Morton’s superb guitar play and Randy Blythe’s tortured vocals, ‘Sacrament’ is one of the most relevant albums of the ‘Noughties’.

‘Redneck’ cemented their reputation after winning the Grammy for ‘Best Metal Performance’ in 2006. Whilst Lamb Of God have never served up any dross within their career, this album serves to remind us how and why they took the world by storm.

It is hard to ignore the tumultuous relationships that have dogged the band in recent history. However, just in the same way that bands like Pantera used this to their advantage to create a signature sound and an incredible tightness to the music, Lamb of God can easily say that ‘Sacrament’ was a career-defining moment.

One could wax lyrical about the sharpness of the quality on offer from the original material and it could be said that the remastering of these tracks has only served to produce a finer quality album. Already these were lean tracks and the extra production gives a clarity that hones the musicianship to a tee.

The strength lies, however, in the bonus live tracks, ‘Walk With Me In Hell’, ‘Redneck’ and ‘Descending’, which for the discerning fan, will be a welcome addition to know that was their only live performance in 2020. It is genuinely great to hear the rapport a band has with its’ audience, with Randy Blythe barking out the lyrics, only for the crowd to respond in kind. Mark Morton’s shredding solos are simply superb, ably backed by Art Cruz on drums. Cruz himself, has plenty of live experience having been recruited from the ranks of Prong and certainly smashed it on these crowd favourites.

Certainly, Lamb of God will, no doubt, have their detractors, but this release celebrating 15 years of their most popular material, including the exquisite live tracks, is a must have for the LoG anoraks. With the self-titled album released in 2020 to support, the future is continuing to look rosy for the standard bearers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal.

Score: 9 out of 10

Reviewer: Stefan Putwain

 

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