Rhythm & Views

Lamb of God

On three straight albums, Virginia's Lamb of God have proven that you don't have to sound mainstream to be on a major label.

LoG's newest release, Wrath, is a 45-minute bulldozer that may establish the quintet as the biggest underground metal band since Pantera.

Fans worried that the band's 2006 release, Sacrament, was the start of a change in direction for LoG can lay their fears to rest. Wrath is reminiscent of the group's 2003 underground classic, As the Palaces Burn--raw, gritty and vicious.

The opening moments of "In Your Words" set the tone for Wrath, exploding out of nowhere like a landmine on an unsuspecting victim. Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler offer a Southern serving of riffage that may cause listeners to break their necks during the opening track. Vocalist Randy Blythe combines his trademark screams with actual melodic singing, sounding like a young Phil Anselmo.

Hate-filled tracks such as "Set to Fail," "Fake Messiah" and "Choke Sermon" are some of LoG's most mature songs to date. From hooks to solos to the machine-gun drumming of Chris Adler, LoG has mastered the craft.

Possibly the angriest man in America, Blythe doesn't play nice with his various political and religious rants. "Betray your prophets ... an army of men will prey on the weak," screams Blythe on the meaty stomper "Dead Seeds."

Like a locomotive traveling full steam ahead, Wrath will bury you 6 feet under if you're not careful.