Something to Die For

The last time I saw the ultra heavy Lamb Of God on the main stage at Download they absolutely tore it up with one of the sets of the festival. That was three years ago, since when they have released another impressive album and been nominated for a Grammy! Naturally I’m interested to see if they will have the same impact this time around.

They arrive to a mellow instrumental and I pity those in the crowd that do not know what to expect. Ten seconds later Lamb Of God are ripping the shit out of the place! They are a whirling tornado of energy and brute force and know exactly how to work it having been together for twenty years now. ‘The Passing’ gives way to ‘In Your Words’ and already it’s evident again just what good musicians they are. Such is the structure and dynamics of the songs (perhaps honed whilst still an instrumental outfit back in their early days) that you would still enjoy it even without Randy Blythe’s visceral vocals.

There is little let up as they create a crushing wall of sound full of manic guitars Chris Adler’s devastating drumming. Whilst all this is going on the crowd sit impassively and applaud politely… NOT! The crowd massed down at the front go completely nuts, feeding off the intensity of the band and expending equal amounts of energy.

It never fails to amuse me when bands illegibly announce ‘This one’s called grrrruuuaaaagh’ and today it’s Blythe’s turn as he introduces what turns out to be ‘Now You’ve Got Something to Die For’. ‘Dead Seeds follows ‘Ruin’ and before we know it we’re approaching the end of the set. Penultimate song ‘Redneck’ gets an enormous pit going before ‘Black Label’ brings proceedings to a blistering finish. I don’t think there’s much argument that Lamb Of God have still got it, twenty years in the making and still putting most of the other bands on this stage firmly in their place.