Lamb of God, 'Wrath' (Epic)

Critical Mass
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by David Marchese

The latest outburst of controlled aggression from these veteran Virginia metallurgists proves that consistency is a blessing and a curse. As always, the palm-muted jackhammer riffs and Randy Blythe's elastic denunciations of liars, hypocrites, and lying hypocrites are frightfully precise. Even the album's construction is unwavering -- every fifth track opens with delicate guitar filigrees. But primally satisfying as it is, the band's meat-and- taters thrash leaves one hungry for some Mastodon- style lateral thinking. Or not: The conflation of 9/11 and ecological ruin on "Reclamation" ends the slaughter in spectacularly blockheaded style.

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