Lamb of God - New American Gospel
Metal Blade
Groove / Thrash Metal
10 songs (41:33)
Release year: 2000
Lamb of God, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Dylan
Archive review
Before Lamb of God became Ozzfest stalwarts, before they had their own GuitarWorld column, but shortly after they changed their name from the deliciously blasphemous Burn The Priest to what it is now, there was New American Gospel. Even though it may be hard to believe that seven years have passed since this album first made its impact on the American metal scene, the aggression, songwriting skill, and rawness all combine to remind listeners of what quality American metal is all about. You will find no classically influenced guitar leads, no blatant theft of a riff that first saw the light of day in At The Gates, and absolutely no trace of clean vocals. What you have here is a mix of aggressive, groove-laden thrash, fueled by the hunger of a young extreme metal band looking to leave its scar on the face of metal.

If you happen to catch any live Lamb of God show, you are goddamned guaranteed to be treated to the moshing fury that oozes out of the opening track for this album, Black Label. It is the band’s Angel of Death, one of the songs you don’t have to be a fan of to immediately recognize. Starting out with a tribal-like build up, it roars like a well-oiled machine until the venomous shrieks of Randy Blythe penetrate the air, at which point it begins to sound like a war between some serious inner demons. The breakdown in this song is as simple as it is effective and is the great climax of the song. Every track on the album retains the qualities of the opener that make it so great. A Warning is the shortest song on the album, and contains a lurching verse with a great outro; both musically and lyrically. Randy’s deepest vocals can be heard during the chorus of In The Absence of the Sacred, giving us a welcome reminder of his guttural power. Each track thrashes, grooves, and climaxes at just the right time, creating an album full of memorable material. Pariah, like Black Label, is also a live staple of the band, though it sees the band taking a more methodical and dynamic approach to songwriting, switching tempos numerous times during the song. Confessional is somewhat of a lost gem on NAG, beginning with a minute long build up, it erupts in an orgasm of double bass and chromatic riffing. And even though it is only for a few brief seconds, the track displays Chris Adler unleashing a ferocious fury of blastbeats rarely heard again. An excellent closing track, O.D.H.G.A.B.F.E. begins with a great opening riff at an almost doom-like pace, ending with a tortured 20+ second scream from Randy Blythe.

Instrumentally, this is a drum-driven album. Chris Adler’s technical prowess over his percussive weapons is made even more pervasive by their copious amount of space given in the mix. Granted, his bass drum may sound like cardboard due to the rough mix, but their poor sound quality is soon forgotten as Adler holds the songs together, while still adding enough nuances in his style to keep fans coming back for more. Guitarists Willie Adler and Mark Morton are usually locked together in a tight riff, only separating when some delicious dissonance is needed to darken the tone of the album, such as the mid section of Pariah. All of the riffs loyally serve the song, and never distract the listener from the overall picture. Randy Blythe gives an ear-grating vocal performance; as few of his well-written lyrics are understood at first, though his reckless abandon for the safety of his lungs and vocal chords soon become apparent.

Except for the Burn The Priest demo, Lamb of God never got any rawer in their sound than this. As The Palaces Burn was a much more guitar-driven thrash attack, and Blythe’s voice morphed into a more understandable yell. Both Ashes of The Wake and Sacrament saw the band get more technical in their sound, and branch out in different directions with their songwriting styles. Admittedly, all of the band’s albums hold a special place in my ears, but nothing can beat the call- to- arms of American metal that is New American Gospel.

Note: Below is the video for "Black Label". In time the video may become outdated and fail to play.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Dylan quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Lamb of God that we have reviewed:
Lamb of God - VII: Sturm und Drang reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Lamb of God - Resolution reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Lamb of God - Wrath reviewed by Khelek and quoted 75 / 100
Lamb of God - Sacrament reviewed by Adam and quoted 83 / 100
Lamb of God - As The Palaces Burn reviewed by Aaron and quoted 86 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
12 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 10 replies to this review. Last one on Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:36 pm
View and Post comments