Resolution is to Lamb Of God in the way that The Great Southern Trendkill is to Pantera. Let me set something straight really quick: I’m not saying this because they’re both “southern metal” bands. That actually has nothing to do with my comparison. Rather, it’s the attitude of the album. It’s the tones, the style, the lyrics. It’s the atmosphere. It’s the pervading sense of violence, rage, and, snaking its way in and out, the elements of beauty. Has Lamb Of God found a timeless classic on their hands or is this an album that will divide fans?
Starting with Straight For The Sun, the first thing you hear when starting this album is a drawn gasp, as though singer Randall Blythe is preparing to unleash everything he has bottled up inside. And release it he does, a terrifying scream mixed with huge guitars bursting forth, like water erupting through a dam. There is a parallel here and in the way that The Great Southern Trendkill begins, though on this song the music is definitely moving at a slower pace. Ultimately an introduction for the second track, Desolation, Straight For The Sun lays down a foundation of an album that is evil, angry, and coming straight for your throat.
The album straddles a very fine line between “produced” and “raw”. There are moments when I heard the producer getting to have a little bit of fun and throw in some effects, but ultimately this album feels like it comes straight from the heart with not much more than a few takes per instrument. The combination of punk, thrash metal, and melodic metal perfectly compliment the lyrical themes of drug use, destruction, karma, and the idea of self worth.
Still in place are Willie Adler and Mark Morton’s almost raspy sounding guitars as well as Chris Adler’s groovy yet blisteringly fast drumwork. John Campbell’s bass shines forth on many tracks, alternating between holding down the foundation, adding his own melody, or taking the lead entirely. Randall Blythe alternates between throat-tearing screams, vicious growls, shouted chants, and spoken word.
There are some surprises lurking within, such as the Porcupine Tree-esque clean breakdown in the middle of The Number Six or the final track, King Me, which features a symphony and a female opera singer. I personally would’ve like to have seen more done with that situation as the possibilities were vast, but the final product is still a very epic, huge sounding track.
The album ends with Blythe’s exhausted, deep gasps for air, a testament to the unending energy that was just given. From the first inhalation to the end, this album is nothing short of a journey.
The album as a whole is a trip down into the darkest recesses that Lamb Of God has ever offered. And yet, there are moments of subtle beauty, acting almost like the eye of the storm. Coming back to my original argument, I felt the same emotions and reactions upon hearing The Great Southern Trendkill for the first time. It’s a feeling I thought would never be felt again and I’m beyond thrilled to have experienced this journey again.
The Final Word: Lamb Of God’s Resolution may very well be a career-defining album in their already amazing history. If it hasn’t already been made clear, this is the first must-have album of the year and sets the bar very high for further releases.