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Lamb Of God VII Sturm Und Drang – Review
LAMB OF GOD
VII: Sturm Und Drang

NUCELAR BLAST
Release Date: July 24th 2015



Probably one of the most anticipated metal albums of the year is the new Lamb Of God album "VII Sturm Und Drang" due out on July 24th. What makes this anticipated for a lot of fans is where the band would take their music after all that has happened since their last release "Resolution" in 2012. Everyone knows the story by now, how singer Randy Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic over an incident involving the death of a fan at one of their shows, which ended up going in the favor of Randy with his eventual acquittal. But of course after he spent a considerable amount of time in prison awaiting his outcome. What we have here then is the culmination of not only all that happened with the entire band but whatever new lease on life and perspective that Randy and the others now have.

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The album kicks off with single release "Still Echoes", a track that begins with a fast and furious panic before slipping into well known Lamb Of God territory. The song reference's Randy's place in prison, referring to the history of Pankrac Prison where he was kept. A pretty dark history if you do a quick search and what makes for a good subject lyrically. It's a great start to the album. "Erase This" follows on in regular fashion in mid tempo mode and which has a great chorus line that chants it's way through, a live song in the making I'm sure. The recently released "512" which refers to the prison cell number Randy was kept in has to be one of the highlights of the album though. Slightly reminiscent of "Descending" with it's building mood, it has such a great beat and grooves all the way through. It's a stellar song and one that may take a few listens to really appreciate. "Embers" is one of the first songs that contains some very different singing from Randy, with it's middle eastern riff before showcasing a new side of Randy, it's one of the first songs on the album that will have people discussing at length whether they like it or not.

"Footprints" heads back into the heavier stuff and ends with the memorable line "How the fuck did you think this would End?" before we hit another diverse track in "Overlord". Probably the most different track that Lamb Of God have ever written, it's one that may scare a few people as it's not the typical Lamb Of God that people have come to know. With a very cool bluesy solo at the beginning which sounds like a Mark Morton guitar lick, this will be another one that will get discussions going amongst the fans. Unless I'm completely wrong and have yet to be aware of any guest vocalists, the mellow singing here does not sound like Randy at all. And if it is, well who knew Randy was such a great singer away from the growl stuff. The song does head into a heavier tone towards the end but some fans may shy away from this one a little.

"Anthropoid" brings everything back into familiar territory once again as it crashes straight into full speed. It's a pretty consistent track all the way through with a tight groove, one of the better songs on the album for sure. We head into the tail of the album in "Engage The Fear Machine" which has a memorable melodic riff layered behind the chorus, "Delusion Pandemic" follows right after like a bullet train which would be considered one of the faster songs and then we arrive on the finale that is "Torches", another song that breaks away from familiar sounds. It's a moody song with a certain calmness about it but with an overlying anxiousness to it but it does jump into heavier riffs midway before sliding back into the first half style again. This one may take a few listens to get but I think it's a standout track and a great ender to the album. "VII Sturm Und Drang" is Lamb Of God's most diverse and challenging album yet and it will divide a lot of fans. But that's what you want from a band that has already played the part of being as heavy as can be. The sound may be more streamlined than the early albums but this just goes to show just how far the band have come since those days.

(update: Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan and Chino Moreno from Deftones are indeed guest vocals on "Torches" and "Embers" respectively)


TRACKLIST
Still Echoes
Erase This
512
Embers
Footprints
Overlord
Anthropoid
Engage the Fear Machine
Delusion Pandemic
Torches"

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Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie