Lamb of God (band)

Lamb of God (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Lamb of God

Img_capt = Randy Blythe and Willie Adler performing at With Full Force in 2007
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = group_or_band
Alias = Burn the Priest
Origin = Richmond, Virginia, United States
Genre = Groove metal, metalcore, grindcore (early)
(see below)
Years_active = 1990–present
Label = Roadrunner, Prosthetic, Epic
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Current_members = Mark Morton
Chris Adler
John Campbell
Randy Blythe
Willie Adler
Past_members = Abe Spear

Lamb of God is an American heavy metal band formed in 1990 in Richmond, Virginia. The band was originally known as Burn the Priest and decided to change their name shortly after the release of a self-titled debut album in 1998. Lamb of God consists of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler and is today one of the leaders of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal.

Lamb of God's name originates from a title given to Jesus Christ. As the roll goes Jesus was a sacrificial lamb atoning for the sins of man as the term "Lamb of God" literally meaning "Jesus".

Since its formation, Lamb of God has released five studio albums, one live album, and three 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.


Formation and "Burn the Priest" (1994–1999)

In 1990, guitarist Mark Morton, drummer Chris Adler and bassist John Campbell started a band named Burn the Priest.cite web
url =
publisher =
title = Lamb Of God Bio
author =
accessdate = 2008-05-22
] The band members knew each other from the college they were all attending, Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia.cite web | last = Bredimus | first = Kate | date = 2003-06-05 | url = | title = This week in local music: Lamb of God | publisher = | accessdate=2008-02-11] 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.cite web | url = | title = Lamb of God – Reglarwiglar interview | publisher = | accessdate=2008-02-22] After the band's first three demos, Burn the Priest added vocalist Randy Blythe to its line up.

In 1997, Morton returned to the band. 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, and a deal with Prosthetic Records was signed. After being banned from playing in certain places (some venue owners believing the band possessed an "evil" name), [cite web| author=Kelter, Christopher J. |date=2000-11-27 |url= |title=Pure American metal – An interview with Lamb of God |publisher="Rough Edge" |accessdate=2008-01-19] Burn the Priest changed their name to Lamb of God.

"New American Gospel" and "As the Palaces Burn" (2000–2003)

With a new name and label, the band released its second album, "New American Gospel", in September 2000.cite web | last = Kennedy | first = Patrick | url= | title="New American Gospel" | publisher = Allmusic |accessdate=2008-02-08] Patrick Kennedy of Allmusic 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." 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." [cite web| url= |title=Lamb of God – Biography |publisher=Lamb–of– |accessdate=2008-01-19]

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."cite web | last = Miller | first = Kirk | date = 2003-06-12 | url = | title = "As the Palaces Burn" | publisher = "Rolling Stone" | accessdate=2008-02-08] 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. [cite web| url= |title=Top Music Videos – "Terror and Hubris" |publisher=Billboard charts |accessdate=2008-02-08] [cite web| url= |title=Headbangers Ball tour | |accessdate=2008-02-08]

"Ashes of the Wake" (2004–2005)

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.cite web |title=Danity Kane Sidesteps OutKast To Claim No. 1 |author=Hasty, Katie | |date=2006-08-23 |url= |accessdate=2007-12-22] cite web| url = |title=Artist Chart History |publisher=Billboard charts |accessdate=2008-02-08] The album was distributed through the band's new record label, Epic Records. Johnny Loftus of Allmusic 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."cite web | last = Loftus | first = Johnny | url= | title="Ashes of the Wake" | publisher = Allmusic | accessdate=2008-02-08] The title track of the album featured Testament and ex–Megadeth guitarists Alex Skolnick and Chris Poland, respectively.

The band supported "Ashes of the Wake" with extensive touring, including a second stage slot on Ozzfest in 2004,cite web |url= |title=Ozzfest – Alumini |accessdate=2008-02-08 | ] and the 2005 Sounds of the Underground tour. [cite web| url= |title=Sounds of the Underground | |accessdate=2008-02-08] The band was awarded 2nd Best Album of the Year by "Revolver Magazine" behind Mastodon's Leviathan, and was awarded Best Music Video for "Now You've Got Something to Die For" (2005). [cite web| url = | title = Slipknot, Lamb of God, Shadows Fall to team up for U.S. arena tour | publisher = | date = 2004-12-07 | accessdate-2008-02-11] 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. [cite web| url= | title="Killadelphia" | publisher = Allmusic | accessdate = 2008-02-08] The DVD was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2007. [cite web | url = | title = Gold and Platinum – Searchable database | publisher = RIAA | accessdate=2008-02-08]

"Sacrament" (2005–2007)

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". 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."cite web
title="Sacrament" – "Stylus Magazine" review |author=Lee, Cosmo |publisher="Stylus Magazine" |date=2006-09-07
] Ed Thompson of IGN referred to "Sacrament" "one of the best metal albums of 2006",cite web |title=Lamb of God - "Sacrament" LoG progresses, takes aim. |author=Thompson, Ed | |date=2006-11-09 |url=
] and Jon Pareles of "Blender" called it a "speed rush all the way through".cite web
title="Sacrament" – "Blender" review |author=Pareles, Jon
publisher="Blender Magazine" |date=2006-08-22 |url=

The band appeared on major tours to support the album, including The Unholy Alliance with Slayer, Mastodon, Children of Bodom, and Thine Eyes Bleed, [cite web| url= |title=Slayer: "Unholy Alliance Tour" DVD Preview Available | |date=2007-10-30 |accessdate=2008-02-08] Gigantour, supporting Megadeth; [cite web| url= |title="Gigantour 2" Complete DVD And CD Details Revealed | |date=2008-01-30 |accessdate=2008-02-08] main stage at Ozzfest; an appearance at the Download Festival, and an exclusive co-headlining tour with Killswitch Engage, Soilwork, and Devil Driver where Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God shared headlining spots alternately each show. [cite web| url= |title=Lamb of God: Drummer Issues Update | |date=2007-07-09 |accessdate=2008-02-08] 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". [cite web| url= |title=Slayer Wins Grammy in Best Metal Performance Category | |date=2007-07-09 |accessdate=2002-02-11]

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 192kbit/s 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."cite web | title = Lamb of God Interview | last = Hensch | fisrt = Mark | | url = | accessdate=2007-01-08] 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.cite web | last = Morgan | first = Anthony | url = | title = Again We Rise | | accessdate = 2008-02-08] The band later inked a deal with Roadrunner on 1st May 2008 for distribution outside the United States.Fact|date=June 2008

"Walk with Me in Hell" (2008–present)

On May 1st, Lamb of God announced via MySpace their new DVD, "Walk with Me in Hell", would be released on July 1, 2008. The DVD is a double-disc and has nearly five hours of footage, containing the feature documentary "Walk with Me in Hell" and multiple live performance extras from the Sacrament World Tour. At the end of the "Walk with Me in Hell" documentary the members stated that they are excited more than ever to write new material.

In August, 2008, it was announced that the band had commenced work on the follow-up to Sacrament, and that its release was scheduled for February, 2009. Josh Wilbur was also named as the producer for the record. [ citeweb |url= |title=Lamb Of God: New album! |accessdate=2008-08-15 |publisher=Kerrang |date=2008-08-15] They will also be touring with Metallica as a direct support act starting in December 2008. [citeweb |url= |title=Tour Shocker ... Metallica to play in N. America! |accessdate=2008-09-17 |date=2008-08-10]

The recording process of the new record was made available to view online live through the band's website, with two webcams installed in the studio (specifically in the drum room and mixing room). [citeweb |url= |title=Lamb Of God get all Big Brother |publisher=Kerrang |accessdate=2008-09-11 |date=2008-09-11]

Musical style

Lamb of God was formed as an instrumental band, Burn the Priest, and included vocals after Randy Blythe joined the band as a vocalist. After they reached the success with the release of 2004's "Ashes of the Wake"cite web
url = | title = Lamb of God: Biography | accessdate = 2008-04-03
first = Ed | last = Rivadavia | publisher = Allmusic
] cite web | url = | title = "Burn the Priest" | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | first = Johnny | last = Loftus | publisher = Allmusic] the band is often associated with such terms as the "leaders" of the "New Wave of American Heavy Metal"cite web | url = | title = Lamb of God: "Sacrament" | accessdate = 2008-04-04 | first = Cosmo | last = Lee | publisher = "Stylus"] and "pure American metal" or "pure American death metal".

"Burn the Priest" and early Lamb of God has been defined as a thrash metal, death metal and grindcorecite web
url =
publisher = CMJ
title = LAMB OF GOD: New American Gospel
author = Amy Sciarretto
accessdate = 2008-05-24
] hybrid with a strong element of power groove,cite web | url = | publisher = The Metal Observer | title = Lamb of God: "New American Gospel" | accessdate = 2008-03-14] cite web | url = | title = Lamb of God: "Sacrament" | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | first = Zach | publisher = The Metal Observer] which often connects Lamb of God with the influential metal band Pantera.cite web | url = | title = LAMB OF GOD: "As The Palaces Burn" | accessdate = 2008-04-04 | first = Amy | last = Sciarretto | publisher = CMJ] cite web | url = | title = "As the Palaces Burn" | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | fist = Ed | last = Rivadavia | publisher = Allmusic] cite web
url = |title = Lamb of God: "Sacrament" | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | first = Etan | last = Rosenbloom | publisher = "Prefix"
] cite web
url = | title = Lamb of God: "Sacrament" | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | first = Chris | last = Steffen | publisher = "Rolling Stone"
] "Burn the Priest" and early Lamb of God include typical death metal vocals with only a few words that can actually be deciphered.cite web | url = | publisher = The Metal Observer | title = Lamb of God: "New American Gospel" | accessdate = 2008-03-14] The style has been considered to vary between several different genres, including hardcore punk, thrash metal, and even possessing sludge metal influences.

"New American Gospel" continues in a similar style as "Burn the Priest", with drum-heavy production of double picking and double-kick drumming. Here, the band has been considered by Allmusic to be effectively bridging the 1990s' tendency towards technicality and early metal's focus on riff construction and plays a brand of heavy metal described as not unlike Meshuggah without some of their mathematical components.

2003's "As the Palaces Burn" saw the band's compositions focusing more on what some have called "memorable" riffs. On 2004's "Ashes of the Wake", they continued the progression of "As the Palaces Burn" with more frequent guitar solos.

"Sacrament", released in 2006, was described by critics as more technical, especially considering the vocal performance. Again, the band experimented with more melody and guitar solos; however, the band has also been often reproached by the critics for the similarity of the songs within their albums.cite web | url = | title = "Sacrament" | publisher = Allmusic | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | first = James Christopher | last = Monger]

Due to the variety of influences, stylistic elements and changes throughout the band's career the press has chosen several genres and terms to describe Lamb of God's music. Lamb of God has been labeled as a metalcorecite web
url =,
publisher = Rockdetector
title = Artist Info: Lamb of God
author = Sharpe-Young, Garry
accessdate = 2008-05-17
] and groove metal band. Campbell, on the "Walk With Me in Hell" DVD, says that Lamb of God is "a punk band that plays heavy metal", while Chris Adler refers to "Sacrament" as to a speed metal album.


*"Burn the Priest" (1999)
*"New American Gospel" (2000)
*"As the Palaces Burn" (2003)
*"Ashes of the Wake" (2004)
*"Sacrament" (2006)


*Randy Blythe – vocals (1995–present)
*Mark Mortonlead and rhythm guitar (1990, 1997–present)
*Willie Adlerlead and rhythm guitar (1998–present)
*John Campbellbass guitar (1990–present)
*Chris Adlerdrums (1990–present)

Former members

* Abe Spear – guitar (1990–1998)


External links

* [ Official website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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