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Lamb of God | As the Palaces Burn | review | metal | Lollipop

Lamb of God

As the Palaces Burn (Prosthetic)
by Martin Popoff

Lamb of God's New American Gospel debut kicked everyone's asses around the heavy metal parking lot, and now the determined, upwardly-mobile ones are back after too long (lots of touring ensued, mind you) with an even more lethal follow-up. As the Palaces Burn is an almost ridiculously heavy cross between American thrash, German thrash, and death metal, spiced with the canny stealings of the Swedish from the above trinity of terror-filled metal styles. Add to that wave upon wave of memorable and musical riffs set against a jackhammering production job by Devin Townsend and you've got a record that's both oppressively mechanistic and mosh-maddeningly groovy, sequenced with forethought riptides giving way to mesmerizing swirls at the mid-point, a slashing power epic taking the record out like Bruce Dickinson on crack. But the message is clear: This is the syrupy, expensive ice wine of extreme metal styles, namely all the thrashes, some of the deaths, and whatever you'd call Slayer. Vocalist Randy Blythe strikes the right note between thrash and death as well, just like the music, creating a force with a mission, a mission which seems to be to push metal to the sharp edge of musicality, stopping just before enjoyment becomes merely theoretical. Hard to believe one band could have so many good ideas, ideas perfectly arranged into accessible yet hardly commercial music. But then again, Lamb of God have already proven their talent. Plus, it took them three years to think up and execute the damn record. Well worth the wait.
(11664 National Blvd #413 Los Angeles, CA 90064)


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