Top positive review
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The quintessential modern metal band
on 17 November 2006
Lamb of God have continued the upward trajectory plotted by their previous two albums and unleashed a possible genre classic. Ashes of the Wake has been highly acclaimed and rightly so, but this is better. Trust Me.
There are several areas of improvement, the most obvious being Randy Blythe's vocals. Still somewhere in between a traditional death grunt and the more currently popular higher pitched metalcore scream, there is now an element of melody in places that really suits the music. Aggression is still very much the order of the day however, this is a dark and powerful album and nothing reflects this more than the excellent vocal performance.
Musically, Sacrament is a lot faster than the last two records, and definitely more atmospheric. The fact they've managed to combine a sledgehammer heaviness with such layers of atmospheric darkness really makes the music standout. I was hooked after a couple of listens but there's so much going on that parts you haven't noticed will still be making appearances after 20 or even 30 listens.
The main reason for this of course is the guitar partnership of Mark Morton and Willie Adler. Not only do they seem to be limitless riff machines but their level of technical prowess is awesome. There is some truly mouth watering shredding on offer but it never becomes a self indulgent vanity session, LOG are far too astute for that. Instead, everything is kept within the boundaries of the songs and it's a winning formula because while it challenges you, it never confuses you.
Governing the whole package is the incomparable Chris Adler who for me, now sits atop the throne vacated by Dave Lombardo. He'll keep it simple when necessary, then hit you with an avalanche of superhuman skills that set him far apart from almost all his peers. John Campbell does a great job on Bass aping the blueprints left him by Morton and Adler. Overall these five work exceptionally well together and more often than not its like listening to a darker version of Pantera when they were at their absolute peak.
Track wise, they really are all good. If I'm pushed to name a favourite it would probably be the terrifyingly haunting 'Descending' but the standard throughout is so high, I'm sure everyone will have a different opinion. The band seem to like playing first half of the album tracks live but i think the 2nd half is much better.
The DVD is also of high quality and is great to watch. It's fascinating to watch musicians of this standard writing, rehearsing and generally hanging out. A real eye opener for musically challenged fans such as myself to see how ideas become reality.
All in all, I believe this to be the album of the year so far and I find it hard to imagine it'll be beaten. I also believe a few years down the line it will be hailed as one of the best metal / thrash albums of all time. This is classic stuff!