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LAMB OF GOD / BURN IT DOWN / EPISODE ONE / STORM OF THE LOCUST

The Vault; Baltimore, MD; November 17, 2000

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

A couple of years ago I'd seen print ads for a band called Burn The Priest - although I never managed to actually hear Burn The Priest the name stuck with me. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the band had changed their name to Lamb Of God and were signed to Prosthetic Records. Even Metal Blade got in the picture from a promotions/distribution angle. It certainly made me wonder if Lamb Of God were truly a band that could help American metal rise back to prominence.

I managed to catch the last few songs of show-openers Storm Of The Locust. What I heard was a mix of modern aggro with down-tuned sludge dirges and colorful, atypical chord sounds. Overall, Storm Of The Locust's sound was very crisp and I envision this band getting better as they grow. 

Episode One have not varied from their Slipknot-styled, rap-influenced energetic mayhem since I saw them a year ago. However, the older songs were tighter and the new material shows an improved sense of balancing smooth raps and the aggro-screaming. Even though the band's percussion-heavy sound is still fairly constant, Episode One do a great job allowing for space to let all the band's elements shine in the music. Also, Episode One seem to release curious sexual activity in their fans as well - packs of young women were running around "goosing" each other during the entire set. Look for new Episode One material in Winter 2001.

Burn It Down play a multi-faceted brand of metalcore that has many diverse elements. Originally I thought I was going to hear a pure hardcore band so I began to wonder if it would by NYC hardcore or SoCal hardcore - luckily for me it was neither. If you like Keelhaul, Burnt By The Sun, or Meatjack there's a great chance that you'd like Burn It Down.

Lamb Of God ripped through all ten songs of their new CD "New American Gospel." They sounded just as good live as they do on the CD - that is a sign of a good band. I am always wondering if bands that rely on tight technical playing can pull their style off on stage - I'm happy to say that Lamb Of God can do it (and very well I might add). Lamb Of God's unrelenting punishment made a believer out of me. 

Vocalist Randy got right in the face of the patrons by leaving the stage and singing from the bar. Randy didn't let his broken arm (damn that unwieldy roof in Columbus!) deter him for one second from letting his depths-of-hell vocals shred the cavernous Vault.

Guitarists Mark "Duane" Morton and Will Adler played their asses off; and it should be mentioned that Mark played a Jackson modified Flying V and Will played a B.C. Rich Warlock - it doesn't get any more metal than that!

John Campbell abused his bass guitar all night - the low end that exuded from every pore of his being served to push and cajole his band mates into even more metallic fury. 

What can you say about Chris Adler? Precision drummers are hard to come by and Chris doesn't disappoint in the least. 

Everybody should do themselves a favor - go see Lamb Of God when they hit your town! 

All hail Paul and KSB Productions (http://www.ksbmetal.cjb.net) for bringing Lamb Of God to the City that reads, err, the greatest City in America, err ... geesh, what is Baltimore calling itself these days?

All hail the Vault for being one of the coolest venues on the East Coast!


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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:15 -0400.