Walk With Me In Hell kicks things off at a doom-laden mid-paced crawl, dripping with menace and a steely-eyed self-belief. Again We Rise follows; a blistering reinvention of thrash metal’s breakneck ethos, replete with thrillingly defiant chorus and several riffs that simply command you to bang your head to the point of brain damage. And on it goes, through Redneck with D Randall Blythe’s irresistible ‘This is a motherfucking invitation!’ vocal retain providing a hypnotic call-to-arms, Pathetic, a sure-fire live favourite laced with euphoric, spiralling lead breaks, Descending, a marauding melodrama that pitches Randy’s versatile vocals against scintillating surge-and-explode dynamics, and Beating On Death’s Door the raging dark metal knife-fight that brings this masterwork to a breathless close.
Best of all is album centrepiece Blacken The Cursed Sun, a song that swings like a recently hanged fat bloke, boasts an indecent number of supremely hellish riffs and proves beyond doubt what astonishingly gifted and idiosyncratic musicians Lamb Of God have become; put simply, it couldn’t be anyone else.
A few years ago, Lamb Of God were routinely hyped as “the new Pantera”. That’s one hell of a poisoned chalice for any band to pick up, but Lamb Of God just downed it in one without flinching, their immortality assured.