Lamb of God, ‘Sacrament’ (Epic)
There are so many crappy band names in the world, and so many of them belong to metal bands (what’s up, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Staind, etc.?), that it feels downright sacrilegious when a band scraps one as good as Burn the Priest. But that’s exactly what Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb of God did back in 2000. And for their sin, they’ve spent the past six years never quite delivering on their hellacious potential.
But kneel before this Sacrament and hear 21st-century metal in all its recombinant brutality — a little death, a little thrash, and some Southern riffing up your ass. Singer Randy Blythe avoids Cookie Monster cliche while keeping his growl somewhere south of Hades. Mark Morton and Willie Adler’s dual guitars lock up furiously, like the sound of vomit-stained headbangers passing out on back-alley crack vials. And Adler’s brother Chris is a wonder, tapping out blast after staggeringly fast double kick-drum blast that swing as much as they tommy-gun. “Walk With Me in Hell” reminds you that they come from math-rock’s capital, first single “Redneck” is either an awesome Pantera homage or a well-intentioned rip-off, and “Foot to the Throat” is ideal for grinding that rail to. How they managed to turn dangerously geeky prog chops into the sound of Lucifer storming heaven, well, God only knows.