I had a personal epiphany about Lamb of God whilst watching them at Download 2010. Having watched them devastate the festival three years prior to that, on this occasion I wound up with an enormous sense of underwhelment about their set. I perhaps put this down to my evolution in musical tastes, but even so, it was perhaps a sign that I had tired of the Roadrunner approach to metal, that being to make it as mainstream and friendly as possible in the majority. I don’t for a second consider Lamb of God to be friendly and they haven’t really compromised much to get to where they are. But the last couple of records haven’t exactly blown me away either, or at least made me go ‘damn!’ to the extent where I could care too much about them.
So would ‘Resolution‘, their new album, change any of that? It starts promisingly enough, with opener ‘Setting of the Sun’ an all too short sludgy number that had me dooming out like never before to LoG, before getting nitty-gritty with ‘Desolation’ and ‘Ghost Walking’. The latter is the lead-off single and its easy to see why – its as good a song as Lamb of God have ever pulled out of their repertoire, with a chorus that will stick with you.
The problem is that as per the last couple of LoG records, it inevitably ends up feeling very samey, one-track and a little uninspiring. Occasionally there’s a standout moment here, ‘King Me’ being one example with its operatic backing, but these times are too few. What they’re doing isn’t necessarily bad, but there’s not to make you sit up and take notice. Songs like ‘The Number Six’ and ‘Invictus’ are all well and good but for sounding like a discarded cut from ‘Wrath‘ or ‘Sacrament‘, which had their fair share of filler themselves.
Of course, what does my opinion matter? The mainstream will still inflate it to and lap it up in unimaginable levels. Lamb of God’s status as one of the biggest metal bands of the modern era than most, and they make a damn better fist of it than most as well. In this day and age though, bands have really got to push themselves to excel. Lamb of God appear to have got themselves to the top and simply accepted it, rather than striving for all out domination. ‘Resolution‘ is a solid record – just not one to get me overly excited about Lamb of God again, and like it or loathe it, the shackles of ‘As The Palaces Burn‘ still grip them tightly.