LAMB OF GOD


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Lamb of God is an American metal band formed in 1990 in Richmond, Virginia. The band was previously known as Burn the Priest and released one self-titled studio album. Officially formed in 1994, Lamb of God comprises vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler.Since its formation, Lamb of God has released five studio albums, one live album, and two DVDs. The band’s cumulative sales equal almost two million in the United States. In 2007 the band received a Grammy Nomination for their 2006 album Sacrament. Lamb of God has toured with the Ozzfest twice, and appeared at the Download, and Gigantour festivals. They are often considered as one of the leading bands of the New Wave of American Heavy Meta

Formation and Burn the Priest

In 1990, guitarist Mark Morton, drummer Chris Adler and bassist John Campbell started a band named Burn the Priest. The band members knew each other from the college they were all attending, Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia.[3] Morton left the band soon after its inception to receive his master’s degree. Adler and Campbell replaced Morton with Abe Spear. For the next five years, the band practiced in Adler’s house and around Virginia. In 1995, the band released its self-titled first demo. After the demo, Burn the Priest recorded two split albums with Agents of Satan and ZED respectively.[4] After the band’s first three demos, Burn the Priest added vocalist Randy Blythe to its line up.[4]In 1997, Morton returned to the band.[4] The following year, the band released its first full-length self-titled album, Burn the Priest, through Legion Records. The album was produced by Today is the Day guitarist and vocalist Steve Austin. Spear left the band, leaving an open position for a guitarist. Adler’s brother, Willie Adler, became the band’s second guitarist. A year later, Willie Adler joined the band, and a deal with Prosthetic Records was signed.[4] After being banned from playing in certain places (some venue owners believing the band possessed an “evil” name),[5] Burn the Priest changed their name to Lamb of God.

[edit] New American Gospel and As the Palaces Burn

With a new name and label, the band released its second album, New American Gospel, in September 2000.[6] Patrick Kennedy of All Music Guide compared the band to Pantera stating, “The essential signatures of post-Pantera metal are in abundance on Lamb of God’s inaugural album. New American Gospel provides a mighty oak upon which gritty American metal’s faith is maintained, effectively bridging the ’90s’ insistence upon drill-sergeant technicality and the old school’s determined focus on riff construction.”[6] Chris Adler commented: “This is a classic record. We had all the elements come together to make one of the heaviest, yet contagious records of our career. It was difficult to contain us —we didn’t even understand at the time what we had created.”[7]Lamb of God toured for two years before releasing its third studio album, As the Palaces Burn, on May 6, 2003. Kirk Miller of Rolling Stone gave the album three out of five stars who wrote that “unlike many of their overreaching, Slipknot-influenced contemporaries, Lamb of God deliver a meticulously crafted metal assault.”[8] The album was voted the number one album of 2003 by both Revolver Magazine and Metal Hammer. The band toured on the first Headbangers Ball tour, where they recorded a DVD including live performances and a documentary, titled Terror and Hubris. The DVD was a success, debuting at number 31 on the Billboard Music DVD chart.[9][10]

[edit] Ashes of the Wake

Lamb of God released Ashes of the Wake in August 2004, which debuted at number 27 on the Billboard 200, and sold over 35,000 copies in its first week.[11][12] The album was distributed through the band’s new record label, Epic Records. Johnny Loftus of All Music Guide praised the album saying, “With the genre getting clogged by PVC goofs and Alice in Chains impersonators, Lamb of God balances the equation of power, rage, tradition, and craft. It kills the filler.”[13] The title track of the album featured Testament and ex–Megadeth guitarists Alex Skolnick and Chris Poland, respectively.[13]The band supported Ashes of the Wake with extensive touring, including a second stage slot on Ozzfest in 2005,[14] and the 2005 Sounds of the Underground tour.[15] The band was awarded Best Album of the Year by Revolver Magazine, and was awarded Best Music Video for “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” (2005).[16] While on tour, the band recorded a performance and released it with the name of Killadelphia. The release was made available as a DVD and a CD.[17] The DVD was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2007.[18]

[edit] Sacrament

Guitarist Mark Morton performing at the With Full Force music festival in 2007.

Guitarist Mark Morton performing at the With Full Force music festival in 2007.

In August 2006, Lamb of God released its fifth studio album, Sacrament. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 and sold nearly 65,000 copies in its first week of sales, nearly doubling the first week sales of Ashes of the Wake.[11] The album received generally positive reviews, with Cosmo Lee of Stylus Magazine stating, “Sacrament has the band’s most memorable songs to date. Musically, there’s no fat. The band plays with laser precision and songs move smoothly through riffs and transitions.”[19] Ed Thompson of IGN referred to Sacrament “one of the best metal albums of 2006″,[20] and Jon Pareles of Blender called it a “speed rush all the way through”.[21]The band appeared on major tours to support the album, including The Unholy Alliance with Slayer, Mastodon, Children of Bodom, and Thine Eyes Bleed,[22] Gigantour, supporting Megadeth;[23] main stage at Ozzfest;[14] and an appearance at the Download Festival.[24] Lamb of God was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 2007 Grammy Awards for “Redneck“, but lost out to Slayer’s “Eyes of the Insane“.[25]In December 2007, the band re-released the album as Sacrament: Deluxe Producer Edition. The release contained all of the original songs from Sacrament on the first disc, and the second disc was a CD-ROM featuring all of the vocal, bass, guitar, and drum tracks in 192kbps MP3 format, enabling the buyer to produce their own interpretation of the songs. Blythe stated, “you sometimes have to do something special to get kids to even buy an album these days rather than download it.”[26] The band is taking a break to write new material throughout 2008 and prepare a new record for release, slated for 2009. The band is negotiating for a new record label to distribute records outside the United States. Chris Adler stated Epic Records in the United States “couldn’t be more perfect”, but wants a different label for international releases.[27]

[edit] Discography

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– Lamb Of God – Sacrament

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