In an era of watered-down musicians, going to a heavy metal concert can be an ideal venue to focus your aggression, dedication, and energy. Lamb of God has proven to be one of the best bands at drawing this emotion from their fans, with a mix of blistering speed and brutal lyrics, often covering some of the more intense and raw aspects of modern day life. Singer Randy Blythe knows this from experience, spending an unimaginable amount of time in a Prague prison in 2012 while awaiting trial for a fan’s death, a trial that ultimately removed any and all guilt away from the LoG frontman. But during that time, and in the subsequent months, a new chapter of the band opened and gave us VII: Sturm und Drang, the album most represented last night during the final stop of their tour at the Hollywood Palladium.
This was not like most concerts where a band is playing after a long time away. The legion of metalheads in the front row simply shrugged off the wave of pulsing moshers smashing their internal organs into the metal guard rails. It was all worth it, because Randy was free and bringing them some of the most honest and refined music in the world. The show began with “Desolation,” a track from 2012’s Resolution that eerily touches on the sort of themes Blythe’s life would be tied to for the rest of his life. Diehards in the front row chanted for the band before and after every song, singing along to every song, and locking eyes with one of the most intense frontmen in the business.
Musically, the five-piece has never sounded better. Willie Adler and Mark Morton still create a two-headed guitar battering ram that is unapologetically dense, bouncing solos and foreboding riffs between one another for 90 minutes. While drummer Chris Adler pulls double duty touring with Megadeth, anyone that doubted his dedication to his fellow Virginians is insane, as his double bass demolition was in full form. Unlike the majority of their peers, Lamb of God’s lineup consistency has allowed for dialed-in perfection from all pieces of the metal puzzle.
While the setlist has been identical on every run of this tour, Blythe announced after the show’s closer, “Redneck,” that he wanted the two men from Anthrax that were in Stormtroopers of Death to come out and play United Forces with the band. They obliged, and people from every band that played that night came out to thrash on stage, an exuberant culmination of a huge tour. The crowd loved it, continuing their blazing circle pit they were stoking all night long. Ultimately, the show corrected those that assumed Lamb of God may have taken a step back with recent personal troubles. On the contrary, they may now be more fired up than ever before and are a must-see act while this warpath continues.