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It wouldn't hurt if they went on like this - 81%

black_slime, March 28th, 2012

Before Lamb Of God started making music, that's a bit more mature, than music on this album, their name was Burn The Priest. Although I like today's Lamb Of God more, Burn The Priest was not so bad at all, even though "it happened" 13 years ago. Some idiots, haters on batteries that is, call LoG trendy and shit, and other call LoG forgettable. So really do make up your mind please, because last time I checked something can't be both black and white at the same time. Some others say that this album is as bad as later on and so on...and really I'm fucking tired of that bullshit, so I'm going to say this once and for all. LoG, or this particular album, is not nearly as trendy as the DEFINITION OF TRENDYNESS called BUGGER FOR MY SHITLENTINE, second of all, if a band wants quality production, let them have it, these are digital times, and for a reason do bands re-record, or remaster old albums so they sound more clearer and more ear-friendly, and thirdly what kind of an argument is "their music is trendy yap yap yap"; like Slayer, Exodus, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth weren't trendy and popular among 80's kids? As far as this album goes, you can clearly see some basics of their later work, so I'm going to talk about that and why this album succeeds and fails.

The truth is you can consider this a grindish deathish foundation for their later work. The riffage is not so "developed" ,it's rather more slugish, I'd say, and simpler than later work. But still, in consideration of this being a grindcore album(more grindcore than death metal), I'd say that they pretty much succeed, and for a debut album this is pretty pretty good. At some points riffage reminds me of Nasum or Napalm Death. So considering that while listening to this album gives you a feeling of the lack of originality...but considering the other thing, like it was late 90's and this is their first full length album.... I think that that slight feeling is forgivable, because the whole idea and atmosphere of the songs overtakes you completely,just like Brutal Truth or any other 90's grind band, thus succeeding in the whole grindcore idea. Yes some tremolos and open string riffing with some palm mutes work well in the grindcore genre. So riffage gets a solid 14% for being plain good, and making a good impression for the later on work. Vocals live up to the whole grind idea too. Screeching and some snarling fit the music background perfectly. Some say that this is better than later Randy's work, but i beg to differ. This is grindcore as you said, and later's LoG work is groove metal. Two different things, so yes if you like grind more, then screeching blazing growling snarl vocals are better. Anyways vocals are pure agony on the vocal chords, just like grind vocals should be, the change between deeper and higher pitch ensure that the songs wouldn't be monotonous. So vocals get 17% for being close to perfection in the grind genre, although I preffer deeper gutturals and pig squealing.

Lyrics are also quite "hard" to understand, being surreal and fucking insane as they are(again a bit of Napalm Death here). Some may not like, some may, but all in all everyone must agree the lyrics have a good message, they don't have to be about killing and massacres to be good. So lyrics get 15% for being OK, out of the ordinary. The other thing that amazes me is Chris's drumming, his debut, because he started playing drums at the age of 21, and at the point when this album was recorded he played drums for 5 years or so, and already he tore them apart like he was doing it his whole life. Hard thrashy fast rhythms, fast blastbeats, slow sludgey rhythm, he had it all by the time this album was recorded. All of that worked very well with John's exceptionally simplistic yet efficient bass lines. So drumming gets 20% being very very amazing doing it's part in a grindcore band, and bass lines get 15% for working well as the rhythm section keeping together the whole sound.

Like I said this is the band's foundation work, with the "New American Gospel" being that transition between groovy grindcore and the Megadeth + Blood For Blood + Pantera mixture. So in which parts does this album fail? Well for one thing, it lacks the "Wow factor", although it is pretty good, pretty moshable and headbangable, in other words enjoyable. The other thing it fails in is originality, but it's nothing VERY crucial. The thing that mostly gets on my nerves is that "The Great Southern Trendkill" feeling, and that's a big minus for this album. So judging by my feelings, this album would get 11% less for these annoying facts, but objectively it's worth it's grade and most certainly your time. So if you like crunchy, fast-slow extremely moshable songs, then this is the album for you.