LAMB OF GOD – Lamb Of God

LAMB OF GOD - Lamb of God
  • 9.5/10
    LAMB OF GOD - Lamb of God - 9.5/10


Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: June 19, 2020

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

“Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!”

So goes the chorus for “Memento Mori”, the first cut off Lamb Of God’s self-titled tenth album and a certain contender for Metal track of the year. Beginning with a chillingly atmospheric interlude, a child’s voice whispering the aforementioned “Wake up, wake up, wake up” in the listener’s ear–a plea? A warning?–the track then explodes with a classic Randy Blythe roar and percussive explosion from newcomer Art Cruz. Cruz’s assumption to the Lamb Of God drum throne represents the first line-up change in the band in over twenty years; Cruz’s excellence on this lead cut serves a strong statement that he can continue to deliver the unique Groove/Thrash power fans expect.

“Memento Mori” is one of those zeitgeist-seizing tracks that seem to both encapsulate perfectly the spirit of the day while simultaneously transcending time. The contrast between the spectral, quiet sections and the raw fury of the music when the Thrash kicks in; lyrics that convey the frustration, rage, and pain while also managing to offer hope and insight. Five years, ten years, twenty years from now, when aging Metalheads are reminiscing about the Pandemic Age, “Memento Mori” is going to be one of those songs that leaps out from the wellsprings of memory as being an integral part of their quarantine soundtrack, chiefly because it is one of those songs that they will never stop playing.

Listening now, socially distant, it makes one long for a time where one can congregate with like-minded souls in front of giant amplifiers on a giant stage, sweating, exhilarated as the riffs tear through one’s soul. Listening in the future, if and when “the hardest hour”, to quote the song, is over, “Memento Mori” will play and bring instant smiles to the faces of all who went through it. Before the heads bang again, they will nod in recognition, as if to say–“Yeah–that was one of the songs that helped me get through.” I fight it the same/Don’t waste this day–the lyrics, again, are both prescient and timeless.

Oh yeah, the rest of the album is suitably great, also. Every individual cut a fresh chainsaw of delight. Fresh off his band’s exceptional Titans of Creation, Chuck Billy of Testament does a guest turn on “Routes”, and Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta drops some knowledge on “Poison Dream”. Including the ebullient pre-song studio chatter on the second track “Checkmate” was a particularly perceptive touch, a fine break from the seriousness of “Memento Mori” and a clever rope-a-dope for the lethal riff that follows.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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