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Lamb of God
Ashes of the Wake
November 2004
Released: 2004, Epic
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Wisco

I’m going to take this opportunity to critique three albums/bands within the context of a Lamb of God review. Basically, I’m targeting Lamb of God, Shadows Fall and Mastodon: the three most visible bands in what is being touted as the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Whether you adhere to that label or not isn’t the issue here. The fact of the matter is that there are a growing number of bands that have co-opted elements of thrash and death and are pushing those genres in slightly different directions. Some say those directions point toward hardcore, but that’s too simple of an explanation. Sure, I can hear a slight influence, so what? Thrash co-opted punk rock and nobody’s talkin’ shit about that beloved genre. In a world that’s devoid of anything new, this is a slight, almost microscopic push into unexplored territory. Granted, it’s not revolutionary, but it’s just unique enough to the degree that it must be reckoned with.

I’m going to “cut to the chase” here: Lamb of God and Shadows Fall deliver the goods, but Mastodon falters a bit. Lamb of God’s Ashes of the Wake is not a huge departure from their last effort, but I find the songwriting improved and the production far, far superior. It’s a solid album and it has rekindled my excitement in a band I was beginning to lose interest in. As for Shadows Fall, when I first heard The War Within my first impression was that it was a weaker version of The Art of Balance. However, it grew on me in a fairly consistent and intense way. Three weeks into it, and I’m still discovering subtle, creative moments hidden beneath the surface. Lastly, the new Mastodon is similar to previous efforts, yet there exists a noticeable step down from the brilliant Remission. I can’t really pinpoint where it fails, it just seems to be missing the overall energy I anticipated. I hope the next album is a corrective affair. Overall, I find Ashes of the Wake to be the better album of the three. To be sure, I did not expect Lamb of God to best the other two and it’s a nice surprise within another boring year.
Track Listing

1. Laid To Rest
2. Hourglass
3. Now You've Got Something To Die For
4. The Faded Line
5. Omerta
6. Blood of The Scribe
7. One Gun
8. Break You
9. What I've Become
10. Ashes of The Wake (Instrumental)
11. Remorse Is For The Dead


D. Randall Blythe—Vocals
Mark Morton—Guitar
Willie Adler—Guitar
John Campbell—Bass
Chris Adler—Drums

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