Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Numbers 19 and 18 of my top 25 Metal Album countdown!


In the burgeoning genre of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, Lamb of God stands head and shoulders above the others., and have already inspired a string of band in their still-young careers. Lamb of God, in my album of the year 2006, skillfully combine elements of progressive rock with harder, edgier elements of thrash.

This album is a speed rush all the way through, with guitars that match the fibrillating double bass drums and trill going even faster. If a song briefly drops to half-speed, it’s only to make the next stretch sound even more breakneck. Take, for example, "Forgotten (Lost Angels)." This monster chugger is as metallic as you can get. The opening 22 seconds of "Foot to the Throat" reveals a thrash battery that equals, or surpasses any other band's offerings.

Singer Randy Blythe's vocals can't always be understood, but who needs to when you have great songs such as "Redneck," which has a southern rock twist to a blistering riff, and "Descending" which offers great drama and a growing sense of dynamics. Other notables include "Requiem," "Walk With Me In Hell," and "Blacken The Cursed Sun."

Like great metal bands, Lamb of God have now transcended their category, and are in a category by themselves. This is the new standard for pure new American metal!!

Line-Up: Randy Blythe – Vocals; Mark Morton – Guitar; Willie Adler – Guitar; John Campbell – Bass; Chris Adler – Drums

P.S: Lamb of God were formerly known as "Burn The Priest" but didn't want to be only known as a crappy Satanic band, so they changed it to this "equally-religious-sounding-yet-not-as-offensive-as-the-earlier" name


The cowboys from Texas were a cover band the early 1980's, until they start writing their own music. They formed a band, Pantera, that released their first album when Diamond was only 17. They continued releasing "hair/glam" metal albums until 1990.

Cowboys From Hell was the first offering from Pantera with a major label, and they put themselves on the map with supercharged metal riffs and screaming vocals. They made heavy metal heavier. Case in point, "Primal Concrete Sledge," which has industrial elements, but compounded machine-gun guitars. "Heresy" has matchless thrash riffs and great double bass drumming dexterity. While "Cemetery Gates" pushed Pantera into metal mainstream, the title song "Cowboys from Hell" has a mosh-worthy progression. Dimebag Darrell proves his status as one of the best metal guitarists ever as the riffs on almost every song are mind blowing, as well as the solos.

The real standout of the album, though, is "Psycho Holiday" which has
the 45 second-long, wailing guitar solo that has three parts to it. These solos would become renowned worldwide and a Dimebag trademark. If Metallica contributed to the progression of metal in the 80's, Pantera drove it to through the 90's and started with this album.

Line-Up: Phil Anselmo – Vocals, Dimebag Darrell – Guitars and backing vocals, Vinnie Paul – Drums, Rex Brown – Bass

P.S: RIP Dimebag Darrell, the greatest riffmaker of all time!