Lamb of God
May 16, 2019
Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
Words by Andrew Duncan, Photography by Joe Castle
Check out Selective Memory’s coverage of Amon Amarth as part of the Slayer Final World Tour
This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of Ashes of the Wake, with a special edition of the album released in May. The album saw the band transition from an underground entity to a national phenomenon, celebrating the album as their first major label effort. For many it became the top metal album of 2004 and was like an atom bomb on fans of the genre.
It’s not surprising that the band would come out swinging with “Omerta.” For years, Lamb of God has paired up with Slayer to embark on several tours. At this point it is only natural for them to re-join Slayer on a leg of their Final World Tour. To hear the interpretation of the Omerta code ring out over the Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville was an alarm to something far more expansive when experienced live.
Lamb of God has a presence of something greater than what seems humanly possible. From the technicality of Art Cruz’s precision drumming, it falls into place with Chris Adler’s vision. Randy Blythe’s extreme vocal cord annihilation only increases in chaotic apocalyptic delight on “Ruin.”
“This is the resolution, the end of all progress. The death of evolution, it bleeds all life away.” Having the band face value and experiencing these lyrics pierces through the heart of fan’s expectations. The band gives as much as the audience returns the favor. You could see it in their eyes. From the looks of anguish, determination, drive, and pure energy these emotions reigned dark on the dismal idea that this show almost did not take place. Thunderstorms wrecked havoc on Indianapolis and to the north, cancelling Cannibal Corpse’s set and leaving concertgoers stranded outside the gates. By the time Lamb of God hit the stage, the audience was hungry for that release, and they could not be more appreciative.
Another album opener followed, this time with 2006’s Sacrament. “Walk with Me in Hell” is just fucking frightening. But in its own intensity, you experience Lamb of God’s subtle sense of groove within Mark Morton and Willie Adler’s guitarwork. You can’t just bludgeon the listener over the head with metal extremities. Lamb of God has always been good at balancing the atmosphere of their music without missing a drop of intensity and this song best illustrates that.
Lamb of God performed a strong pallette across their career, jumping back to “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” on Ashes in the Wake to “512” on Sturm Und Drang to “Blacken the Cursed Sun” from Sacrament. The appreciation was unmistakable. Them walking off stage at the end of their set was your only chance to breathe.