If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Don’t reinvent the wheel. However you phrase it, the main idea is don’t rework a winning formula. In the metal world, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.
Virginia bloodhounds Lamb of God certainly have not remained in the box. The previous two albums by the band showed the group charting commercial waters on 2006’s Sacrament before reverting to a familiar “underground” sound on 2009’s Wrath. Resolution is album number 6, and features the conventional compressed drumming, Pantera-esque groove, and twisting riffs for which the group is known.
There are a few excursions on this album, such as the sludgy opening track “Straight for the Sun,” but the next track, “Desolation,” features the same elements this band has been known for since As the Palace’s Burn.
Guitarists Willie Adler and Mark Morton lay out some their best guitar work while Chris Adler bashes some of his most complex drum work in a while. The band keeps the pace manic with “The Undertow.” The opening riff coils like a rattlesnake before bursting in to a mid-paced thrashing tempo. Vocalist Randy Blythe is still as brutal as he’s ever been, but there is a sense of urgency in voice on this track. On this track, he is the victim and not the aggressor, screaming about his falls and fighting to stay afloat.
The centerpiece of this record is the sixth track, aptly titled “The Number Six.” After six records, Lamb of God decided to do a song that celebrates the group. Not that the song is celebratory, but the track has a bombastic chorus, while retaining the technical prowess the band is known for. Bassist John Campbell shines on this track, playing eerie bass lines while Blythe sullenly discusses strangling an unlucky victim.
“Barbarosa” is a simple, yet haunting instrumental that gives the listener a rest after the auditory beating of “The Number Six.” Album Closer, “King Me,” ends the record in grandiose fashion. The band once again throws out a surprise with the inclusion of a stringed section, but the band quickly kick start in to a jerky groove just to remind the listener that Lamb of God are not selling out. The orchestral arrangement coupled with the driving rhythm section of Campbell and Chris Adler compliment one another, making the track extremely powerful.
Resolution will easily satisfy any fan of Lamb of God. The band’s sound is back in full swing and there are enough surprises thrown in to keep the listener’s attention for 56 minutes. Although this is not the group’s best album it is promising, and it is only a matter of time before Lamb of God release its career defining album.
Review by Jerel Johnson