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Review of the Album "Ashes of the Wake" by Groovy Thrash Band Lamb of God

Updated on December 27, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Who Are Lamb of God & What Is Their Musical Style?

Lamb of God is only a band that although I have known about for a while, I just started the exploration process of their album including their 2004 studio album Ashes of the Wake. They are described as a hybrid of groove metal and metalcore but I would say that groovy thrash is a better description of the style of this band. It would be at least somewhat of a mistake to assume or say that there are not any good American bands left. There are a few, most notably Denver Colorado’s Havok, and the band Warbringer. The United States in terms of heavy metal was better in the 1980’s through the mid 1990’s and declined even if there are a few solid American metal bands remaining.

Lamb of God Are a Good Band But Cannot Compare To a Solid European Metal Band

Even if I had been initially kind of disappointed with Lamb of God while I was reviewing The Haunted, Lamb of God is not a bad band, but I find it hard to believe that they would be as good as a European metal band.

Lamb of God Has a Sepultura & Pantera Influence In Their Music

I read a comment about this album on YouTube and there is a comparison made to Pantera but actually I hear a more modern Sepultura kind of riffing in this album and by that I mean the albums with Derrick Green. Upon further listening and analysis, there is a Pantera influence in this album but somehow, these guys do a better modern job than Pantera did later in their career as they got too heavy and Phil Anselmo ruined his voice by overexerting himself.

This is in reference to Far Beyond Driven. Ashes of the Wake has that sludge metal kind of feel if that makes any sense. If that doesn’t , let’s just say that Lamb of God is a groovy thrash metal kind of band.

American Metal May Not Have Literally Declined But Changed

Or as I write about this in 2019, did American heavy metal really “decline” in the literal sense? It just got different, moving away from the traditional heavy metal that we were used to hearing back in the day. Lamb of God adds to the Southern US metal scene joining bands such as Municipal Waste. In a remarkable kind of coincidence, both bands are from the Richmond Virginia area but Municipal Waste has harsher shouting style of vocals and their songs are shorter.

"Now You've Got Something To Die For"

There is a Self Titled Instrumental In This Album

"Ashes of the Wake" is an instrumental song with some narration about the 2nd Iraq War in which it was believed that every civilian in Iraq was deemed to be a terrorist. The lead guitar work in this instrumental song is decent but this is more modern groove metal and cannot compare to the earlier thrash such as Metallica.

How Is the Rest of the Album Ashes of the Wake?

There is also a Testament influence and this is seen in the first song called “Laid to Rest.” But after that brief moment, there is a chugging, groovy influence mixed in with some melody. It is said that the truth will set us free but can it? What is the truth of life? Are there such things as absolute truths? The song explores a deep, philosophical subject. “The Faded Line” is a good groovy song about every day being a hopeless grind in which it is a struggle and there is no hope for things to get better. "Omerta" is a song that is politically based and has a verse about free speech being for those that are still alive as dead men cannot speak and tell their side of the story.

“Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” although it is a good song has a lyrical theme that for lack of a better cliché has been done to death. Lyrically the song describes the empire building strategy for the United States since the end of World War 2 as wars are started on the pretense of freeing oppressed peoples and providing democracy but in reality these wars are fought for oil and money. The album ends with the melodic song “Remorse is for the Dead” as the acoustic part reminds me of Finland’s Before the Dawn. Ashes of the Wake is a decent groovy thrash metal album that has moments that are worthy of praise but not good enough to be as solid as a German thrash metal album.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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