Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - DOM LAW­SON

Le­gion: XX ROAD­RUN­NER Lamb Of God salute their punk and hard­core he­roes

Although lamb of God have never given any im­pres­sion that they would be pre­pared to com­pro­mise for greater success, the band’s last al­bum, VII: Sturm Und Drang, and sub­se­quent stand­alone sin­gle, The Duke, both hinted at a slight mel­low­ing of ap­proach. Whether the mixed re­sponse both re­ceived had any in­flu­ence on the quin­tet’s de­ci­sion to re­vive their orig­i­nal moniker and slap to­gether a brutish and snotty cov­ers al­bum will doubt­less re­main a mys­tery, but Le­gion: XX def­i­nitely feels like a fu­ri­ous re­ac­tion to some­thing. Osten­si­bly a trib­ute to the punk, hard­core and un­der­ground rock bands that fu­elled their youth­ful mu­si­cal ef­forts, Burn The Priest’s song choices alone make this vastly more ap­peal­ing than most sim­i­lar projects. We know these men can play thunderous groove/thrash metal, and so rather than state the ob­vi­ous with Slayer and Tes­ta­ment cov­ers, we can marvel at pre­cisely how eye­ball-pop­pingly in­censed Randy Blythe sounds on the open­ing de­mo­li­tion of The Ac­cused’s In­herit The Earth and how dis­gust­ingly heavy Bad Brains’ I Against I be­comes in the hands of mu­si­cians with deep roots in punk rock and heavy metal.

The best mo­ments are the curve­balls: a gen­uinely un­hinged lurch through Axis Rot, a song orig­i­nally per­formed by Sliang Laos, whom Randy has de­scribed as “prob­a­bly the great­est band ever to come out of Rich­mond”; a bruis­ing and wickedly claus­tro­pho­bic re­work­ing of the Steve Al­bini-led Big Black’s crown­ing glory, Kerosene; and most ri­otous of all, a full-throt­tle Lamb-ified clat­ter through Min­istry’s Je­sus Built My Hotrod, which some­how man­ages to sound even more joy­ously off-its-chuff than the orig­i­nal. Chuck in balls-out, bel­li­cose ren­di­tions of songs by Quick­sand, Melvins, S.O.D., Ag­nos­tic Front and Cro-Mags, and this could hardly be a bet­ter re­minder that Lamb Of God/Burn The Priest are just pissed-off gut­ter­punks at heart. Those beards are fool­ing no one af­ter this.


Don’t let ap­pear­ances fool you: Lamb Of God are a bunch of gut­ter­punks

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