33 LAMB OF GOD

Kerrang! (UK) - - Carter Brothers -

AS THE PALACES BURN

■ If the Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, group’s 2000 de­but, New Amer­i­can Gospel, veered slightly too close to Pan­ter­a­pas­tiche and, per­haps, the worst drum sound ever com­mit­ted to tape, then come 2003, and al­bum num­ber two, Lamb Of God sounded very much their own propo­si­tion. It’s worth re­mem­ber­ing, at this junc­ture, most world-dom­i­na­tion-striv­ing metal bands were ei­ther Slip­knot, or bands want­ing to sound like Slip­knot. And amongst that, Lamb Of God ar­rived with a record full of songs that were bru­tal, yes, but also just that: songs. From Ruin to the ti­tle-track, to 11th Hour and the mon­strous Vigil, this record cre­ated the tem­plate for one of metal’s most con­sis­tently good bands to fol­low. WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE FOR YOU AND THE BAND DUR­ING THE AS THE PALACES BURN YEARS?

RANDY BLYTHE (VO­CALS):

“I re­mem­ber mak­ing the al­bum well be­cause it was ex­tremely rough. I was work­ing in a high-end steak­house in Rich­mond. I’d work in the evening from 4pm to 11pm, then I’d get on my BMX and ride up­hill in the winter snow a few miles across Rich­mond to where the stu­dio was. I’d show up at mid­night and start track­ing. We’d do that to 7am or 8am, then I’d sleep in one of the booths. Then I’d be back to work, fi nish my shift and come back to the stu­dio to do it all again.”

THE AL­BUM OPENED MANY DOORS, IN­CLUD­ING A MA­JOR-LA­BEL RECORD DEAL FOR FOL­LOW-UP ASHES OF THE WAKE, SO THE HARD WORK PAID OFF…

“I sup­pose so, but, re­ally, for me, ev­ery­thing has been a set of steps – you just walk up one step, see the next and then keep on go­ing. I don’t see any dra­matic up­heaval from any sin­gle record what­so­ever. Though I guess it played its part,

(2003) be­cause the next change I did no­tice was when [the ma­jor deal for third al­bum] Ashes Of The Wake meant we were able to quit our jobs. Any­thing else was just a con­tin­u­a­tion.”

OF ALL YOUR RECORD­INGS, AS THE PALACES BURN IS AR­GUABLY THE MOST ME­CHAN­I­CAL, TO AL­MOST MESHUGGAH-LEV­ELS OF EX­TREM­ITY. WHY IS THAT?

“We come from a city where there’s been a long his­tory of off-time in­stru­men­tal bands. There’s a band called Bread­win­ner from our town who are ba­si­cally con­sid­ered one of the fi rst math-rock bands. They were pretty infl uen­tial on a bunch of mu­si­cians, in­clud­ing The Melvins. And our drum­mer, Chris [Adler], was a Meshuggah fan at the time of record­ing As The Palaces Burn. We’ve al­ways been a bit more off-time be­cause that’s where we come from. But this record felt like one where the guys were re­ally start­ing to work as tech­ni­cal mu­si­cians to­gether.”

ON A WIDER LEVEL, IT WAS ONE OF A HAND­FUL OF AL­BUMS THAT REIN­VIG­O­RATED THIRSTS FOR HEAVY MU­SIC AND HELPED THE GENRE GET BACK ON ITS FEET…

“I don’t know any­thing about sav­ing metal (laughs)! That would be ar­ro­gant and pre­sump­tu­ous of me to say that. But I think things had be­come stale by that time, for sure. The dif­fer­ence with us and some of the other bands that came out around then is that we were born out of real un­der­ground scenes – the more hard­core-punk side of things. We were play­ing base­ment shows, peo­ple’s houses, any­where, and do­ing it all our­selves. In­stead of wait­ing for some ex­ist­ing power struc­ture to give you a record deal, a buddy of mine started his own one and put out our fi rst al­bum. It’s not about wait­ing around for some­one to help you out – you’ve got to do it your­self.”

“MAK­ING THE AL­BUM WAS EX­TREMELY ROUGH”

RANDY BLYTHE

Poor lit­tle Lambs – quite lit­er­ally – in 2003

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