Lamb of God

New American Gospel

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New American Gospel Review

by Patrick Kennedy

The essential signatures of post-Pantera metal are in abundance on Lamb of God's inaugural album (though they had issued a disc under the name Burn the Priest). A veritable cornucopia of double picking and double-kick drumming, New American Gospel provides a mighty oak upon which gritty American metal's faith is maintained, effectively bridging the '90s' insistence upon drill-sergeant technicality and the old school's determined focus on riff construction. Both kick and snare beats are as insistent as pneumatic drilling, and beyond that, they are diamond-precise, riveted flawlessly into place by Steve Austin's Today Is the Day drum-heavy production. Lamb of God plays a brand of heavy -- emphasis on heavy -- metal not unlike Meshuggah having jettisoned some of their mathematical insistence. What elevates this Richmond, VA, quintet's assault above the majority of modern metal is the attention given to constructing definite melody and complete songs; this is a creative act who generally is subordinated by most metallers to the pursuit of heaviness. Lamb of God does both tastefully in the proper balance. [New American Gospel was reissued in 2006 with five bonus tracks.]

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