Just before the end of lead single ‘Ghost Walking,’ after the final chorus has scorched the earth, there is a moment. A moment where Randy Blythe screams. His voice is high, thin and harsh: A FEVER DREAM. The edge on the voice could sharpen knives. Cut the wind. But barely has he finished when his register plummets, and he screams again, this time from the depths of some bloodstained sea: THERE’S NO-ONE LEFT TO SAVE. Echoing. Cavernous. Then, as the guitar bucks beneath him like an unbroken colt, comes a final eruption. SHOTS FOREVER MEND THE PAIN, yells Blythe, and the last word stretches and twists. It’s not a scream that could be taught or notated: it’s spit, and it’s phlegm. It curdles the blood. It’s a cleaver crushing sinews.
At the start of the second track, ‘Desolution,’ you have to dive out of the way of a juggernaut. The guitars of Mark Morton and Willie Adler grind out a riff which would acknowledge no obstacle. Heavy, simple, fast. After seven bars, a distant squeal of feedback. A sliver of a scream, suggesting this train might be leaving the rails. But the riff snarls on, rapid lead and monolithic rhythm guitars bound together. And just as Blythe’s voice enters, they find a new gear altogether. Faster, harder. Shards of granite shred your skin as the juggernaut thunders past.
After the first verse of the last track, ‘King Me,’ an operatic backing vocal gives way, and violins split the sky. They soar in orchestral splendour as a serpentine lead guitar writhes to escape, spitting venom. Then, as the cataclysm fades away, Blythe. D. Randall Blythe, with the cadence of Hell in his voice, holds back from the need to scream, though it cracks his speech, and instead, he intones. Deep and drawling, an epitaph of Southern gravitas:
I’ve been running away for so long.
When I finally caught myself
There wasn’t much left.
The scripts last page is blank,
And the medicine is gone.
And the reason why Lamb of God’s Resolution, released today, is an absolutely stonking album?
Because pretty much every god damn moment is as good as that.