At last we have KK's Priest's second and long awaited album.
Ranking Lamb of God's Albums
Since changing their name from Burn the Priest in 2000, Lamb of God have been pushing out album-after-album of consistently high-quality metal, spearheading the ‘New Age of American Heavy Metal’ movement and providing the soundtrack for a generation of metal heads. There aren’t many bands who can boast a career spanning three decades, let alone one that maintains consistency not only in their music, but also their line-up. The band (with the exception of one change of drummer) has the same personnel they’ve had since their first full-length.
Lamb of God’s popularity with the wider metal community can largely be attributed to their ability to seamlessly merge styles and influences (their sound has been described as metalcore, thrash metal, death metal, groove-laden death metal, punk rock, sludge metal and heavy metal), all the while crafting a sound which is inherently their own. Put simply, there isn’t anyone else who sounds like them.
The ranking below covers Lamb of God’s 9 studio albums, from 2000’s ‘New American Gospel’ to 2022’s ‘Omens’. Their two albums as Burn the Priest are not included.
9) Resolution (2012)
Lamb of God’s seventh album does well to showcase the direction the band were heading towards. The raw power has been dialled back, and we see the first introduction of Randy Blythe’s clean vocals. This gives it an experimental feel, which is detrimental to the overall impact of the album. Slightly disjointed and with a runtime of almost an hour, feels overly long.
Top Tracks: Ghost Walking, The Undertow
8) New American Gospel (2000)
After releasing one album as Burn the Priest, the band made some changes to the line-up and recorded their first album under their new moniker Lamb of God. ‘New American Gospel’ is the band establishing their sound and laying down a solid foundation to build on. The production is raw, which lets down an otherwise solid collection of songs. Mosh-pit classic ‘Black Label' is still a staple of the band’s setlist.
Top tracks: Black Label, Pariah
7) Lamb of God (2020)
The release of their self-titled album in 2020 marked the band’s first line-up change since 2000. Founding member and powerhouse drummer Chris Adler left the band after a difficult few years. His replacement, former Winds of Plague and Prong drummer Art Cruz, does a great job of filling the huge gap left by Adler’s departure. The album features some darker moments, and sees vocalist Randy Blythe and lead guitarist Mark Morton both flexing their impressive ranges. What lets it down is the lack of memorable tracks the band had become known for producing.
Top tracks: Checkmate, New Colossal Hate
6) VII: Sturm und Drang (2015)
The first album since vocalist Randy Blythe’s incarceration on Manslaughter charges, ‘VII: Sturm und Drang’ represents a difficult period in the band’s history. The lyrics often reflect Blythe’s personal struggle, and act as a catharsis for his own demons. Musically, the album feels cohesive and represents Lamb of God’s core sound well. The experimentation which let down the previous album is gone, what’s left is a solid (but somewhat safe) album.
Top tracks: 512, Embers
5) Wrath (2009)
Following such an impressive run of albums was never going to be easy, and all eyes were focused on the band at this point, eager to see what they would come up with next. ‘Wrath’ opens with an instrumental track, featuring an acoustic intro. The second track ‘In Your Words’ seems to pick up where ‘Sacrament’ left off, featuring both the trademark groove and power that fans had become accustomed to. What this album lacks when compared to the previous two are the memorable tracks and hooks of ‘Sacrament’ and the polished, aggressive riffs of ‘Ashes of the Wake’. This leaves it falling short for some fans, but it stands on its own as a great record and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Top tracks: Set to Fail, Broken Hands
4) Omens (2022)
Lamb of God’s second release with new drummer Art Cruz is seen by some as a return to form for the band. ‘Omens’ sees the band return to a sound which, at its core, feels more like their mid-2000s high point. The progression the band has made since then has not been lost though. Randy’s clean vocals sound better than on previous albums, and the more progressive instrumentation which on closing track ‘September Song’ rounds off the album nicely. At this point in their career, Lamb of God have hit the heights that most metal bands can only dream of. It would be easy for them to keep recycling the same material, but instead they keep pushing themselves, perfecting their sound. This record is the result of the band’s dedication to their craft.
Top tracks: Ditch, Omens
3) As the Palaces Burn (2003)
Previous album ‘New American Gospel’ established the band in the metal scene, and follow-up ‘As the Palaces Burn’ showed the world what Lamb of God were capable of. The power and aggression remains, but every member takes a huge step up on this record. Technically superior and with more infectious grooves, memorable songs and a better vocal performance than the previous album. Production (handled by Devin Townsend) is also better than on ‘New American Gospel’, but still lacks some clarity. However, the strength of the songs shines through, making this an essential Lamb of God album.
Top tracks: 11th Hour, Ruin
2) Sacrament (2006)
The explosion of the band’s popularity after 2004’s ‘Ashes of the Wake’ could have made this a tricky album for them. Expectations were high, and Lamb of God had to deliver. Instead of resting on their success and producing a ‘safe’ album, ‘Sacrament’ is a progression from the previous album. Retaining the huge riffs and massive sound established on ‘Ashes of the Wake’, they blend even more groove and produce an album full of heavy, memorable songs. All of this combined to make it the best selling metal album of 2006, and earn them a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 2007 (for the song ‘Redneck’).
Top tracks: Descending, Blacken the Cursed Sun
1) Ashes of the Wake (2004)
From the opening note of the first track ‘Laid to Rest’, to the ambient swell at the end of ‘Remorse is For the Dead’, this album grips and doesn’t let go. This is the moment where everything Lamb of God had been working on since the days of Burn the Priest all comes together. The band’s best-selling album is also their finest work, showcasing both the song-writing ability and the incredible musicianship that each member possesses. A perfect balance between gritty, powerful music and aggressive, yet anthemic vocals, ‘Ashes of the Wake’ propelled the band to success and recognition, seeing them go from playing clubs and smaller venues to larger venues and a widespread fanbase. Simply put, ‘Ashes of the Wake’ is one of the greatest metal albums to come out of the 2000s. A blueprint for modern metal.
Top tracks: All of them!