Album Review: Lamb of God – Sacrament (15th Anniversary)

Lamb of God Release New Single Featuring Testament's Chuck Billy

Album Review: Lamb of God - Sacrament (15th Anniversary)
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

It’s hard to believe that this landmark album is 15 years old. A true all killer, no filler release, it’s the album that crossed the Richmond metallers into the big time, the gateway to a more accessible sound that saw the band move to academy headliners, and ultimately to top billing at festivals like Bloodstock Open Air. Much has happened to the band since this album ripped a new one in the metal world, so maybe it’s worth sitting back and soaking up a seminal album that resonates as much with me today as it did back in 2006.

Lamb of God are for many a marmite band. For those of us who enjoy their music, they are sublime, and yet there were many on the Slayer farewell tour who spent their set in the bar. Each to their own I suppose.

The opening track sets the bar on ‘Sacrament’. ‘Walk with Me in Hell’ is a colossal opening, the snarls of D Randall Blythe, the octopus’ quality of Chris Adler’s drumming and the dual riffing of Mark Morton and Willie Alder, all supported by John Campbell’s solid and dependable bass lines. It’s a track that has rarely dropped from the setlist over the years, such is its sheer magnitude. Arriving at track 3 we hit the LOG anthem. The massive ‘Redneck’ which despite its addictive groove is a beast of an album. Ideal for a good pit work out, the relentless groove makes it impossible not to bang than head as you singalong. Yes, it’s the band’s ‘Enter Sandman’ or ‘Ace of Spades’ but it’s still an absolute beast and one that the hairs on the neck still spring to attention for.

The pace on ‘Sacrament is unyielding’, with the double whammy of ‘Pathetic’ and ‘Foot to the Throat’ coming hard and fast immediately after ‘Redneck’. If the band ever played this in full, the bodies would be piled up at the edge of the pit. The drumming is machine like, Adler almost robotic in his delivery whilst the rest of the band combine to brutal effect. The pace on ‘Foot to the Throat’ is blistering, a real blow to the larynx and if you’re not bruised by now then you need to revaluate the life choices. ‘Blackened the Cursed Sun’ ensures the tempo is maintained, and at times exceeded. The groove that underpins this song is addictive, the catchiness of the overall vibe unavoidable. After a couple more blistering tracks we arrive at the ferocity of ‘Beating at Death’s Door’, a fierce and pacy conclusion with the band channelling some of their early hardcore influences into a maelstrom of fury and rage.

The anniversary edition comes with three live tracks from the House of Vans in Chicago and a demonstration of the band’s potency in the live setting. With a revised production on ‘Sacrament’, this is the ideal opportunity to remind yourself of an album that stands as tall today as it did 15 years ago.

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