Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda
Somewhere in the darkness between heavy and brutally heavy lies Lamb of God, one of the newest additions to what has now been deemed the commercially-viable metal scene. Joining other breakthrough bands like Shadows Fall and Cradle of Filth, Lamb of God has enjoyed a recent surge in promotion and exposure. Make no mistake about it though, you won’t find any nu-metal hip-hop or post-hardcore melodies; Ashes of the Wake is straight for the jugular metal, polished off with a rusty, grizzly sentiment that is sure to scare your pop-music loving friends. Sure, it’s a great thing that nu-metal is on its way out, but if real, balls-to-the-wall metal is going come to the forefront of the heavy music scene, its going to have to come a little harder than Lamb of God. Aggressive, black energy? Ashes of the Wake has it in spades. But what ultimately derails the bands success is the repetitive nature of each song, which cathartically begins to blend into a metallic mush. Musically, the band chooses to play it safe, opting for a shallow, grudgingly repetitive sound on guitar, equally matched by an uninspiring vocal effort.
Despite these various shortcomings, Lamb of God present a structure for legitimate success, as the energy and aggression set forth rival any band in heavy music today. But ultimately even that begins to wear thin. All in all, Ashes of the Wake is a solid effort with songs that do show promise at times, but ultimately falls a bit flat where it really counts.