Lamb of God–Full Throttle Rock

 

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Article by: Paul Wideman

January 2013 Issue

This is my first time writing Full Throttle Rock, and dammit, it may well be all downhill from here. You see, I’m starting at the top. These cats are it for many headbanging guys and gals of our ilk. Blue collar work ethic, balls to the wall energy and in your face lyrics add up to the defining heavy metal band of the last decade: Lamb of God!

Just by a matter of chance I got in touch with Lamb of God’s management agency, and expressed our interest in the band.

It turns out they were set to be in town the following week for a show. I didn’t know this, but bass playing John Campbell turns out to be neck deep in motorcycles himself. After speaking with John (more about bikes than music) we decided to get together the day before the show; he was going to check the shop out, and I was going to ask him a million questions about founding and playing in the world’s preeminent metal band.

Lamb of God was founded in the early ‘90s by John, Mark Morton (lead guitar) and Chris Adler (drums), while the three were in college. After a few short years, Mark leaving the band for a short time, Randy Blythe joining on vocals, and Chris’ little brother Willie picking up rhythm guitar, a band was born. But it wasn’t Lamb of God, it was Burn the Priest. After one album and much deliberation, the group changed the name to Lamb of God. Burn the Priest still haunts the band today, as a few of the more reserved venues forbids them to play just because of the retired name. The entire band hails from Richmond, Virginia, and this is where they still reside and practice.

For the last 15+ years, Lamb of God has continued playing metal their way, not adhering or being influenced by the current trends. Following in the footsteps of the Big Four in the ‘80s, and groups like Pantera of the ‘90s, Lamb of God has kept the tempo fast and the energy is through the roof. No panty-waist, melodic, harmonized, sweetie pie vocal cuts we’ve been beaten over the head with; just a brutal message carried out by four rocking musicians and a front man that gets his sentiments across quite clearly. The thing you’ll find about Lamb of God is that for such a brutal band, the group is extremely talented musically. Many revere Chris Adler as the best of drummer in metal — ever. And Mark Morton is claimed by many as the best metal guitarist in a decade or better. Listen closely to the tracks and you’ll hear John’s bass defining the killer grooves that allow the rest of the band to make their mark. And watch all of Willie’s fingers work the frets, allowing a much broader reach. All of this topped off with a front man that takes his guttural lyrics right to the edge of insanity, and leans you way over the cliff, holding you only by your shirttail. It is metal mastery.

My big question for John and the band was simply, how do you keep doing it? What drives you? John simply stated that it is for the fans, but in a different way than you might be used to. When the band is on stage and there is a huge pit of screaming rabid fans kicking up a huge dust storm to the music Lamb of God has created, that is when the adrenaline high surges and John knows he cannot leave this behind anytime soon. Knowing that their collective creation drives the crowd into such a frenzy is what keeps the guys coming back. And after so many years of raising hell and touring nonstop, the band is just as tight knit as they ever were, maybe even tighter. Watch their old videos, Killadelphia or Walk With Me In Hell, and you will see a young band struggling to find their way through newly found fame, and the rigors of eating, sleeping, and working next to the same four dudes around the clock. It was tough on them, but because of their work ethic and mutual passion for their music, they persevered. It made them stronger. All of this is obvious on their new album Resolution, which came out earlier this year. You’ll even find a few new things on this disc; some you wouldn’t necessarily expect from Lamb of God. Trust me though, it’s all metal.image

Most likely LoG will be passing through a city near you shortly, supporting the Resolution album, and ripping faces off. The show is a great production, with video supporting each song. But this is no overproduced techno thing; it spotlights each individual member, as well as offering visuals that coincide with the songs. The best is seeing from above just exactly what Chris is doing behind the drum kit. Damn he’s good! Part of the show is a tasteful tribute to many of our fallen brothers and sisters of the Armed Forces. I found this especially a p p e a l i n g , because every friend of mine that has come back from the “Big Litter Box” is a huge Lamb of God fan.

So go buy the album now, turn it up as high as it will go, and pray that these guys keep doing what they do forever. They are possibly the last bastion of actual metal. And look forward to seeing a bike or two of John’s here in these very pages. He has some very cool stuff going on in his garage. And if you see Willie, be sure he freestyles a few verses for you. You won’t be disappointed.

To see if LoG is coming to your town, check them out at

 www.lamb-of-god.com/tour

Cycle Source January ‘13

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