Lamb Of God - Pure American Metal
by Martin Popoff

That's what drummer (and much more) for hot Metal Blade futurists Lamb Of God ( calls the special thing that they do so well: pure American metal. And if you think that's a little rootsy for a sound that is a jarring, expert maelstrom of extreme flights of razorblade fancy, then, well, listen to the explanation.

"I think that's really the only way I can describe it," offers Adler, a drummer whose musical training includes eight years of piano, then violin, saxophone, guitar and bass, but no "standardized "practice" in drumming. "There are so many different influences in there. We're borrowing so many different things in so many different ways from so many different types of extreme music. To pinpoint what it is, is hard, but it's completely natural to us."

The key word there is extreme. Through the band's own well-mapped thought processes (beginning in '94 under a variety of names, biggest being Burn The Priest under which the debut record was burned), Lamb Of God have become the biggest buzz of a buzz band since Machine Head crushed our skulls then broke our hearts and went baggy. The band's first album under this deceptively docile name is called New American Gospel, and it is an immediately gratifying wringing of all that is pure and good (and way heavy) from both the old school and the new. By old, we might mean speed metal and thrash, and by new, we might include progressive hardcore (check out Adler's tight, high snare) and its still-pulsing brother grind.

It's all seen as a continuum for these metal thinkers, one that starts with (just to use an example) Slayer and moves through the band's next album. Again, we'll let Chris explain. "That's an interesting question. I was actually thinking about the next album the other day. I think we're going to keep the same feel. We're really just a straight-up metal band. There's no gags or make-up and I think that's the way we want to be. The production is not a million-dollar production. It's 'turn the amps on, put a mic in front of them and let's go, there's the song.' I think it's probably going to be very similar to that. Although just as we grow, I think it will be little heavier than this record. My reasoning behind that is kind of odd. My example would be like when South Of Heaven came out; it was an amazingly heavy record. Now that we look back on it, of course it's a classic, but as far as heavy goes, there's been a lot on top of that since then. As time goes on our tastes move further in that direction, so I think it's just a natural progression that it get heavier."

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