Even as a staunch supporter of Richmond’s metal titans Lamb of God, their last album Wrath simply didn’t compare to their previous releases. The aggression was there in spades; it just sounded more like a b-sides collection to Sacrament than anything else. The band had found themselves at a huge crossroads in their career – fade into obscurity like countless other New Wave of American Metal bands, or continue to remind all other metal bands why they’ve been one of the most successful acts in the genre’s recent history. With Resolution, Lamb of God is undoubtedly back. The album is dripping with groove, unrelenting drums, and one of the most confident-sounding albums in the band’s career.
Right off the bat, the band instantly obliterates any and all riffs from their past album. “Straight for the Sun” shows the band delving into sludgier territory, resulting in the heaviest riff since 2003’s “Vigil”. Entering soon after this is vocalist/current presidential candidate Randy Blythe, showing that his vocal cords have only toughened with age. Blythe’s vocals are even more guttural than before, while still being one of the more understandable screamers in metal today. You’ll also get a few “sung” choruses in songs like “The Number Six”, harkening back to Pantera’s Phil Anselmo.
From a musical standpoint, Resolution is a mosher’s wet dream; crossover-thrash riffs intertwine with ripping guitar solos and the band’s token half-time groove. It’s a formula the band has long used to great success, and while this may seem to raise some eyebrows from the skeptics, fear not! Lamb of God aren’t just repeating themselves, but rather expanding on a sound that is now undeniably theirs. “The Undertow” showcases one of Mark Morton’s best guitar solos to date. “King Me”, the band’s longest song to date, shows the band delving into …And Justice For All-esque prog-metal while also being backed by an orchestra. Songs like “Invictus” and “Terminally Unique” even experiment with a mathier approach in the song’s chorus, courtesy of Chris Adler’s absolutely dominating drum performance. While these newer elements may not please die-hard fans of the band just looking for a reason to hop into another circle pit, there’s still loads of that (“Cheated” is a mosher’s delight). The band’s first single for the album, “Ghost Walking” is everything fans have come to expect from Lamb of God. Hell, even the opening riff does sound quite a bit like “Redneck”.
One of the best qualities about Resolution is its sense of balance. Lamb of God knows what their fans expect from them, but still continue to push the envelope and not fall into homogeny like the Shadows Falls and Killswitch Engages of the world. In a new age of metal flooded with groove-junkies and djent-clones, Lamb of God show they can get as technical as the rest of them, but make a song that will get stuck in your head on the first listen alone. Resolution has renewed my love for this band, and should please any old fans as well. The first awesome metal album of 2012!
Rating – 8.5/10