American Lamb of God is a band that is seen as one of the best metal bands in the world by a big part of the heavy music scene. Any release by these masters of groove and progressiveness is looked forward to with a lot of anticipation by many. So a lot of people were excited about the release of their EP The Duke. On the album we get served 2 new tracks and 3 live recordings of songs from their last full release VII: Sturm und Drang. “Only 2?” I hear you wonder. Well, considering this is not just any little filler EP to not be completely quiet in between full releases might help you get over that fact. This album shows just how fucking great these guys are, cause this is a remembrance piece for a recently deceased friend and meant to raise awareness about leukaemia and for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and BeTheMatch.
Now the music itself… as I said already, this EP is dedicated to their fan and friend and more particular the first song The Duke. Randy Blythe about the track:
“A little while ago I became friends with a fan named Wayne Ford — he was terminal — leukemia. I talked with him often, even video chatted him into the studio. He was very calm about his impending death, and we discussed it very openly. I learned a lot from him. This song is for him.“
Blythe already surprised us on Sturm und Drang with the clean vocals on Overlord and if you found the sound pleasing back then, get ready for this one. In my humble opinion the clean vocals that he’s putting down here, are a thousand fold stronger than before. A very somber song (“No one lives forever…”) with an incredibly pleasing and soothing vibe, I could put it on repeat for quite a few times. As a completely a-typical Lamb Of God song a great, still groovy and rather catchy hard rock/heavy metal creation with Blythe pulling out a higher pitched scream when promising to never die. Near the end of the song they pull out some heavy riffs and a solo to burst into a more Lamb Of God bridge. I’m really looking forward to see if they might attempt more music in this direction.
Culling goes back to a more classic Lamb Of God sound in which they crank up the thrash metal and usual old school groove metal they’re so damn good at. It’s a heavy hitter and feels like a track that could get a crowd wild at one of their gigs. Simply great work we can’t get enough of! The live tracks are decent enough too, they bring across the burning hot epicness that is a show by these masters of groove metal, the energy is almost tangible.
Lamb Of God silences our hunger a little bit by some new work and at the same time raises awareness for an illness that struck one of their fans and a personal friend. Besides all of that The Duke brings a promise of further greatness to be in the future. These guys are everything that is right in this world and I urge you to support them and if possible the cause they’re trying to put your attention to (for more click on the earlier links). Also, watch “The Story of The Duke” down below for more background on everything.
Release date: November 18th, 2016
Label: Epic Records
1. The Duke
3. Still Echoes (Live from Rock Am Ring)
4. 512 (Live from Bonnaroo)
5. Engage The Fear Machine (Live from Bonnaroo)