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Lamb of God have set the bar pretty high for themselves upon the expectations for this release. They had to prove that they were not selling out despite being signed to a major label. I must commend them on the fact that they did not mess around with their sound so much as to alienate fans, however, this is not their best release.
The production is amazing and it is clear on this record that the band is tighter than ever before and are playing more technical songs than they ever have. Many tracks have very weird and interesting note selections as far as the guitar is concerned. The vocals are absolutely amazing. This is Randy`s best studio performance by a longshot. The drums as usual are technical yet match the guitar work perfectly. What makes this album a little less exciting is the lack of variety within the tracks.
This album kicks off with some of the band's best material. The first five tracks are amazing.''Laid to Rest'' kicks things off with a bang. Some very cool and strange riffs are accompanied by some fancy drum work courtesy of Chris Adler. '' Hourglass'' is to me the best track on the record. This song has nice tempo variations, very interesting riffs and vocal patterns.''Now You've Got Something to Die For'', ''The Faded Line'' and ''Omerta'' all have their share of moments and would be considered classics by now.
However there is a batch of forgettable tunes on this release. ''Blood of the Scribe'',''One Gun'' and ''Break You'' are not bad songs at all, they just don't match the power and the energy of the first four or five tracks.
However, as on ASTP, the album closer is well worth the wait.''Remorse is for the Dead'' starts off kind of like ''Vigil'' from the previous record did, with a clean intro until all hell breaks loose and you're caught in a flurry of violent riffs, intense drumming and powerful vocals. The lyrics are also quite good as they deal with a steady amount of violence and describe a hate filled situation of having to destroy your enemy.
This is not a bad album at all, if you want a straight up dose of heavy riffs with a good backbone and energy, I would recomment this to you. However this is little to nothing experimental or risky here, just a slab of modern day American metal.