Lamb Of God – Sacrament (Album of the Week)

This week’s pick is going to turn 17 later this year, which is just screwed if you ask me. Pardon me for a moment while I tend to my joint pain.

Lamb Of God – Sacrament

Released August 22, 2006 via Epic Records

My Favorite Tracks – Walk With Me In Hell, Redneck, Descending

Lamb Of God were riding a high after the splendid reception to their 2004 landmark Ashes Of The Wake. (that Album of the Week post can be found here). Heavy metal as a whole was well on the rise in the mid 2000’s and Lamb Of God were becoming a huge part of the resurgence.

The only real way to go was up, and the band would do just that with their fifth album. Lamb Of God were breaking out of the metal underground and becoming a familiar name across the music landscape as a whole. The album today is 11 songs in 46 minutes so let’s get at it.

Walk With Me In Hell

The opener leaps out with a massive riff and the sense that something beyond just a song is going on here. Guitarist Mark Morton wrote the track knowing he was on to something more and was able to work the chorus into a dedication to his girlfriend, who would later become his wife.

One of the album’s three singles, Walk With Me In Hell exploded out of the gate and became an instant classic. It remains today as one of the band’s signature songs.

Again We Rise

The song is bordering on death metal territory with its insane guitar work and pace. Lyrically it deals with the issue of “modern” US Confederates, or people who praise the losing side of the American Civil War eons after the war ended. This is not a flattering portrayal of that crowd. And the issue would only increase in scope after 2006.


The lead single slams in both musically and lyrically. It’s a thunderous groove metal masterclass and a pointed confrontation song. This quickly became a crowd favorite and today sits behind only Laid To Rest as the band’s most recognized song.

While Lamb Of God is often dark and dreary, Redneck is a pretty fun song. The music video is an absolute laugh riot, with the band being booked to play a kid’s birthday party and the hi-jinx that ensue.


Another twisted riff from Mark Morton and some great drumming from Chris Adler shape this next track, which thematically is Randy Blythe screaming at someone who sucks. It’s kind of a connecting theme of this album. Lamb Of God played this song live on Conan O’Brien’s show in early 2007, and it became far more common to see metal acts on the late-night shows after that.

Foot To The Throat

A political track this time, as the band takes aim at politicians and other “powers that be” keeping the rank and file citizens down. The music is as unrelenting as everything else on the album.


Another brutal track nearly in death metal territory, the song has lyrics purporting to reflect the duality and contradiction of religion, yet unverified sources indicate that the song is really about alcoholism. Either way it’s an album highlight.

Blacken The Cursed Sun

This was the album’s third and final single. The song is a very dark and dreary affair about being at the end of your rope and going out with one final push. There’s a bit of a call and response anti-sermon kind of thing at the end that’s pretty cool.

Forgotten (Lost Angels)

A short but slamming track that is chock full of Morton riffs and takes aim at Los Angeles and the fake and plastic culture. It was reportedly inspired by shady music industry execs. Taking aim at Los Angeles has been a favorite pastime of heavier bands but LoG pull it off in pretty convincing fashion here. This is also a song that invites comparisons to the prior kings of groove metal, that being Pantera.


Don’t be fooled by the title – this song is not a requiem from the punishment the album delivers. It’s another song with some religious symbolism and being down and out and trying to go for it one more time after being completely broken. It has a spoken word portion that’s hard to make out in the middle before a bit of soloing. It’s another track where Chris Adler is pounding the piss out of the drums too.

More Time To Kill

This one’s a pretty evil track aimed at someone who is dying but was on the wrong side of the ledger with the narrator. It’s another confrontation, go get bent kind of song. No clue what the story might be behind this one but it’s very hard feelings and not for the faint of heart. Also a bit of black metal style vocals from Randy Blythe here, pretty neat little part.

Beating On Death’s Door

The closing track keeps with the “fuck you” theme, this time it’s about a woman of ill repute who apparently pissed some people off. The song is more aimed at the unlucky sap this woman ended up with. A fittingly brutal end to a brutal album.

Sacrament was a huge success for Lamb Of God. It joined Ashes Of The Wake with a US gold certification for more than 500,000 copies sold. It peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200 and even higher on several other US subgenre charts. Redneck was nominated for a Grammy in 2007, an award that went to Slayer. Several metal publications had this at or near the top of their year-end lists for 2006, back when print media was still a thing.

While it was the prior album that truly broke Lamb Of God into a wider audience, it felt like Sacrament was their true superstar turn. The band had previously been a part of the wider “New Wave of American Heavy Metal” movement, but by this time had broken free and far wider than the more underground sensibilities of that designation.

And the inevitable comparisons continued for LoG – both fans and detractors noted the “new Pantera” vibe to Lamb Of God, something not really present in their more extreme early days. And on this album those comparisons seemed at least somewhat valid, even if LoG were still their own distinct entity. It’s probably fair to call them the spiritual successors to Pantera’s crown, but LoG are far from a pale imitator of a past revered act.

With Sacrament, Lamb Of God solidified their place on the top of the metal mountain, or maybe scrap heap is more appropriate. They are still going all these years later, through some kind of crazy drama and all the changes in the times. A lot of riffs and a bit of cussing can take you pretty far sometimes.

2022 Spotify Wrapped

The quick and easy posts continue this week as it’s that time of year for Spotify Wrapped.

I’ll add a quick bit of context before getting into mine – this year I used Spotify for two main purposes – small playlists of 6 or so songs when I go on bicycle rides (which is most every day) and to check out new releases. I figured my wrap-up would be distorted this year based on the small series of 30 minute playlists I constantly rotate through, but as it turns out I can say the results were fairly representative of my listening habits.

First up the is genres. Not a whole lot to get into here, besides whatever “post-doom metal” is. Music descriptors get awesome these days when everyone is trying to invent a new term for a sound that sets even somewhat apart from the rest. I’m also not entirely sure what they’re referring to with “country rock” but that’s a more understandable term.

Now on top artist. Not really shocking to me – I have a handful of LoG songs in my playlists and then when Omens came out in early October I played the hell out of it. I’ve liked them for a long time but the new album really knocked me over and likely explains how they took my top artist crown this year.

And here is the overall Wrapped sum-up. Kind of funny that my top played song in 2022 was the same one as from 2021. My only real “huh?” moment is Muse being in my top artist list – they put out a new album this year which didn’t really hit with me, though one song off of it is pretty awesome. I guess that one new song and whatever sprinkling of others I have in my playlists put them over the top. None of the others register any surprise to me all.

Here is one other little bonus that was going around in the past few days leading up to Wrapped – the Instafest lineup. It essentially takes your Spotify data and generates a three day festival based on what you’ve played. Here is mine.

I’m honestly pretty happy with mine. Now, I do love Oasis, but in no universe would I book Iron Maiden as an opening act for Oasis. I’m sure plenty of people would have my head for that. But beyond that, I would pay huge money to attend that fest. It lines up with what I like pretty nicely. The only oddball? I don’t know the artist “Lord” as listed on the festival bill. No clue who that is referring to and I’m not getting any easy answers on Spotify.

That covers my Spotify Wrapped for 2022 and also the bonus Instafest thing. As a preview for my end of year stuff, I’ll do my top albums of 2022 on December 12, in place of the regular Album of the Week feature. I’ll probably do a small Songs of the Year list too, maybe three or five, don’t know yet. On through the ass end of 2022.

Album Of The Week – October 17, 2022

It’s been quite a while since I’ve tackled a recent album as AotW, that usually involves a lot more work than talking about a record that’s been out for 40 years. But this return-to-form album from one of metal’s most influential bands of this century is significant enough to warrant immediate discussion.

Lamb Of God – Omens

Released October 7, 2022 via Epic Records and Nuclear Blast Records

My Favorite Tracks – Ditch, Gomorrah, Grayscale

Lamb Of God have always presented a harsh, visceral world view, and this new album in the post-2020 era is a fiery takedown of whatever’s left in the ashes of our culture. It’s probably easier than ever to craft a metal album in today’s negative, nihilistic climate; but it takes on a new form when combined with the groove and riffs of a seasoned metal act.

The band recorded the album in the same room with each other, rather than handling specific parts alone. Something about the spontaneity and changing of the process has led to a rejuvenated band back on the attack. A “Making Of Omens” mini-documentary is available online for anyone who has purchased copies of the album or concert tickets (I think…)

There is no beating around the bush here – 10 songs come in right at 40 minutes. The attack is savage and precise, so let’s get right to it.


This track was the first preview single and was offered up in June. The song delves into the issues surrounding the “culture war” happening in a lot of the US and here specifically in the band’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia. The battle here is whether to remove or leave up statues and other images of Confederate military figures and has been a hot button issue through the South for awhile now.

Nevermore’s presentation of the issue is “well, everything is fucked” which is a pretty accurate portrayal. There are also a few lines thrown in to pay tribute to Edgar Allen Poe’s epic poem The Raven.


A hard hitter here, this song seems like it’s about a civilization being wiped off the planet. It could possibly be about one of the many peoples who were wiped out or subjugated by colonial powers. The song has a pretty neat outro part that switches up the pacing.

To The Grave

A neat song about that one thing from your past that can come back and bite you. Another song that highlights how inspired and refreshed the band sounds.


This will probably count as a single as the song was given a video on release day. The song is the classic kind of “confrontation” tune that works so very well in the groove metal realm. The “ditch” appears to be the one the whole country is in. This was an instant favorite for me when I heard the record and I’ll wager that this song will be ranked among the band’s best after the dust settles.


The title track has a nice twist on the idea of omens and ides. The world so screwed that, well, the hell with all the signs pointing it out. “I can’t pretend to care about how this will end” sums up the spirit of the song and the whole album.


This is a song about failure – and not just, like, missing a field goal or something. It’s stark, bleak, abject failure of the all-consuming kind. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture and it’s a type of song or art theme that has always drawn me in for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s me hitting middle age or if it’s the state of the world or what, but this kind of total human failure really stands out, and it’s captured in perfect form by Lamb Of God here.

Ill Designs

Again with the failure, but this time apparently of some corporate head or other power figure that is being taken down. It is the collapsing of the house of cards the figurehead built, and of course everyone is caught in the demolition. Some very standout guitar work on this one too.


This song apparently almost didn’t make the record but was “voted in” by the producer. The riffing is more militant than a normal LoG song but isn’t out of place or anything. It’s about a struggle within one’s self, and pretty extreme one at that.

Denial Mechanism

Here is an absolute barnburner. Not that Lamb Of God would ever be accused of not being heavy, but this is a whole other world for them. It has a more hardcore feel than a typical LoG track and bashes the end of humanity and the world into the listener’s head. While the song presents a call to action to fend off the end, things sound pretty bleak around here.

September Song

The album’s finale keeps the theme of “we’re fucked” and presents it on a grand, global scale. This one also moves a bit differently than what we’ve come to expect from LoG, with a bit more of an epic build-up and use of movements and atmosphere. It still communicates its brutal message in typical fashion but is a welcome stretching out of the creative muscles for the band.

Omens does what many long-in-the-tooth metal bands strive to do, and a handful achieve – it presents a refreshed, revitalized attack for a band that had been previously written off as a throwback to better, older days. Lamb Of God have not lacked for name recognition or legacy status, but recent efforts were not viewed in the same hallowed light as their peak offerings, now well over a decade old.

But the word on Omens is out, and many who maybe haven’t paid LoG much mind in a long time find themselves back for another round. The backdrop of the pandemic and America’s possible disintegration have led to a ferocious new record. You don’t have to teach an old dog new tricks, sometimes they learn their own.

Ditch (Or – Crooked Wanderer Improv Hour)

Ok, so today was supposed to be a “real” post. I had a few paragraphs to finish up and I was going to post it for tomorrow.

However, life intervened. And by life, I mean that I went out for a few beers with a buddy, then he left and another buddy showed up right as the first one left, so I wound up being the guy holding a bag of a lot of beer and a huge tab when all was said and done.

So – I am going to put off the real post for next week. I have real posts for the next two days lined out already so that’s all good.

Instead, have a taste of what will be the next album of the week. I don’t usually do new albums as AOTW anymore, but this one has hooked its way into my brain and I’ve listened to it over 20 times now so I’m giving it billing next week.

And I promise I won’t get messed up again and put stuff off – the post I originally had for today will be on next week, and I already have most of next week’s crap lined out. This just became a a temporary, one night halt order when I spent more time drinking than doing what I should have been doing.

In fact, there might be a few appropriate lyrics from this song for that:

You’re face down, down in a ditch that you dug yourself

You can live or die by the hand you’re dealt