Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor
Lamb of God, one of the most influential and important contemporary metal bands in the world, are set to release their ninth studio album “Omens” on October 7th, 2022. If you’re not already, you better get ready for the most brutal, in-your-face and pissed-off release from Lamb of God to date.
While seemingly fueled by the anger that comes from the inner struggles we all face as well as the messed up world we live in, “Omens” has got to be Lamb of God’s strongest, most cohesive and diverse album to date. Each track on the album, while all the songs flow together effortlessly, also stand alone and tell their own story. Lamb of God has been a staple in the metal community, and with good reason, and this release solidifies their place in the scene yet again!
“Omens” sees an album that illustrates the blindness that mankind walks around with; willingly and repeatedly not learning from our mistakes and just not caring about it or giving a damn.
While “Omens” definitely sees some experimental moves from the band, it doesn’t lose its identify as Lamb of God, and in fact sees an album that simply oozes with a deeper bond a strong chemistry within the whole group, both musically and organically.
The album fires off with “Nevermore”, eerily harkening to the main premise of Poe’s “The Raven” – which sees a story about a man slowly losing his mind and falling deeper and deeper into madness. Similarly, “Nevermore” sees the eerie, yet all-too-familiar fast track to demise and self-destructive path this nation is on currently. With Blythe’s clean vocals showing themselves only on this track, which can be heard on the first part of the second verse, it begs the question – why do we not get more of this? His clean vocals are absolutely fitting, and offer the perfect juxtaposition to his harsh vocals and the intense riffing that Lamb of God is known for.
“Vanishing” and “To The Grave” are laden with some deep, locked-in grooves that feel more connected than ever before, but with Blythe’s roars edging them further into the known and expected realm Lamb of God always brings us to.
“Ditch” is one of the most standout tracks for me on this release. The aggression that song brings is incredibly palpable, which speaks to the ditches we continuously and blindly dig ourselves into deeper and deeper every day. The hook and melody heard in the chorus is easily stuck in your head with a sick break down feel to the choruses. With lyrics like “You can all keep digging, I’m crawling out. Your face down, down in a ditch that you dug yourself. You can live and die by the hand you’re dealt. Unwound consequence and you can never tell. Live or die by the hand you’re dealt.”, we see the positivity of getting to the point of realization and of wanting to dig ourselves out of the perpetual ditch we blindly and willingly dig ourselves into.
The title track, “Omens”, sees a bleak look at humanity as a whole. Referring to omens as repeating signs of things we should learn from, but never seemingly do, this track says quite simply what we all seem to do blindly without a care – “I’ve fallen out of touch with who you think I am. I can’t pretend to care or bother to condemn. All this rising apathy, it’s growing everyday, I can’t pretend to care about how this will end.”
Slowing it down just a bit, “Gomorrah” sees a slower, more doom-like atmosphere, with Blythe’s roars echoing over the some what down tempo riffing. Blythe’s guttural screaming can be a hard pill to swallow – “Everything is doomed to fail. Everything is doomed to fail! Visions of the obvious, a featherweight apocalypse. Everything is doomed to fail. Everything is doomed to fail!”
“Ill Designs” and “Grayscale” have some insanely sick grooves and just ooze of self inner struggle. The guitars will rip right through you with some gut-busting, tightly locked in heavy riffing. The drums are huge and pound away at your insides. While “Grayscale” is quintessential Lamb of God, this is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album.
With a trip down memory lane, “Denial Mechanism” simply oozes with old hardcore vibes. With our possessions slowly taking control of us, this track issues a dire warning for the denial and apathy that many live in – “An idiotic doomsday, a witless Armageddon. Mass annihilation at the hand of our possessions…”. The double bass in this song is fast, tight and will rattle your insides, and I absolutely love the guitar solo in this as well.
Coming in at 6:00 minutes flat, the album closer “September Song” is a journey of its own. Starting out with a laid back, subtle groove which threw me for a loop, especially when it lasted for slightly over a minute, then Blythe comes roaring in accompanied by some in your face, bone crushing riffing and heart-pounding drums. As Blythe roars – “A confrontation over existence, past tragedies creating resistance. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Where poison is the balm and endless dead ignored.” Building even further into an epic, post-apocalyptic sound scape, this track seems to be about mass division.
Lamb of God has once again proven why they are at the top of the metal scene and why this album puts them at the top of their game. This epic, wall of sound, sees a pissed off album that is filled with emotion, addictive hooks, gut-wrenching riffs, and bone-breaking drums, all easily solidifying metal’s album of the year. Having been recorded live in the studio, the cohesiveness and chemistry of the band cannot be mistaken.