In September of the year 2000, metal giants Lamb of God released their first album, New American Gospel. When Lamb of God started, they had a much more of a rough sound, specifically in Randy’s vocals. Therefore, this album is considered to be Grindcore and/or Death Metal, which makes it the only album by Lamb of God that can be considered as such. The remastered version from 2006 contains a note on the inlay that explains that the sound of the album is less polished than their newer work, in part due to time constraints as well as heavy drinking. It has sold over 100,000 copies in the United States.
The only single released from New American Gospel was Black Label, a ruthlessly hard hitting song that sets the tone for the rest of the album, despite its rather evil sound, the song is actually quite interestingly written. “My freedom can't contain, but tell me, The pain I liberate. Riff hostility to anyone. Has made us so much hate. I made them turn from hate but tell me. The pain and suffering. I made them turn from hate but tell me. The pain and suffering I... know.” The song is about a man who has no idea why he hates everyone so much but he has just accepted the fact that he does. Given the title of Black Label, it may be a hint that it’s an alcohol influenced song, as often times when drunk people can act and think irrationally. Making someone hate for no reason for example.
One other track that really stands out is The Subtle Arts Of Murder & Persuasion. Probably the shortest of all their songs lyrically, despite being 5 minutes long, Subtle Arts is an intriguing song. Being as it’s wrote as a poem. Listening to the song you may not understand what he’s saying but after reading it, it becomes quite clear that it is a rather dark poem, but a very smart one. Personally it reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe’s work in how creepy it is.
“The dark crow man sits and stares into the oblivion into cold into nothingness; it's snowing in his mind. He's created himself in his own image. Lust held for him means naught, a knock on the door brings no smile to his cruel lips; the welcome in a woman's eyes holds nothing for him. Alone on his haunches the hair raises on the back of his neck. His dead eyes pierce the night. As his gaze falls down on the city it fills him the method ascertained, conviction. He knows what to do and moves to commit the deed.”
While being a rather sub-par album all together, New American Gospel hints at the things to come in Lamb’s future once they sober up, because the writing and musical skill is very much so there just the clarity is not. In their following albums we see a vast improvement in their style, vocals, music and writing all get better; but one thing never changed, and that is the simple fact they have never stopped being one of the heaviest fucking bands of all time and make everyone who has come and seen them truly feel the music.
Lamb Of God will very soon be going out on tour with Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity and will be performing at many festivals as well! The festivals are actually what kicks off the tour, as they perform at Fort Rock and Welcome To Rockville before going out on tour starting May 3. The tour goes through June 7 and in the middle of it is several more festivals. Those festivals include Carolina Rebellion, Rock On The Range,Northern Invasion, Rock'n Derby, and Bonnaroo.
For more information, please go check out Lamb Of God's official website!
Written by Coby Andrews
All reviews have the date they were written, the album title, and the band's name, with the exception of Life Starts Now by Three Days Grace and Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. Those dates were guessed at, as they were written well before the website began.