Uncommon music criticized by the common man. (Or, exercises in futility masquerading as critical thought.)

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Black Keys show this coming week. CO, are you ready to rock?

And hey! It's a review!

Ashes of the Wake
Lamb of God
Epic - 2004

Disclosure time: I'm not the best person to make a compelling review for a metal album. My metal collection is rather puny, making my knowledge of relevant points of reference rather lacking, thus probably not helping out the random horns in the air metalhead that happens upon this blog. But, I shan't let that stand in the way of reviewing this album. Because dammit, it's just that good and I feel the need to get the word out.

This album is remarkably listenable for as brutal as it is. The incredibly heavy rhythm section is in top form, completely locked in and working a consistently pummelling groove from start to finish. The drums in particular, courtesy of Chris Adler, are relentless in their aggression, sharp in their precision, yet never monolithically one dimensional. He may not be Sunny Murray, but he isn't a drum machine (though, he may play as fast). The guitars riffs are fast and furious and stadium-sized, with some great solos in the mix as well, providing moments of sheer sonic ecstasy, and making the songs more dynamic. (Try not to play air guitar during the instrumental title-track.)

And of course there's the voice. Randy Blythe's vocals suit the music perfectly, ranging from a higher-pitched death metal shriek (though not employed much here) to a low, rumbly growl that sounds like Neal Fallon doing a Phil Anselmo impersonation. It's sufficiently violent and also decipherable, which makes more of an impact (for me, anyway) then a lot of the hilarious Cookie Monster-styled vocalists in metal.

All told, this is one helluva disc. If you have any appreciation for loud music that could just as easily be measured in Mts as in dbs, then go get this album.