OPINION: Lamb of God livestream album release doesn’t sacrifice live concert quality

Cody Wagner, Entertainment Writer

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This has been very frustrating and difficult year for everybody, especially music fans such as myself. Yes, I can still listen to music on my iPhone, but that’s not why myself and many others are angry and pissed off. It’s because of the depletion and postponement of concerts.
I was supposed to attend several shows this upcoming summer, one of them being the band that I am going to write about in this article – Lamb of God -Trivium, and Megadeth all in one day. I also had Deftones and Gojira, and even Riot Fest, on my calendar. All those events were postponed till next year. Sure it gives me and others anticipation for the coming of the event, but it still angers me that I was not able to see these shows.
Despite having tours postponed, bands have been trying their best to stay in touch with fans and express their music while ensuring the safety and well-being of themselves and their fan bases. With limited options, artists use the ultimate tool of communication – technology (specifically live streaming). This was the case with one band whose live-stream performance I attended this past Friday, Sept. 18, whose sound and attitude replicated the overall frustrations of everyone’s emotions.
The notorious American metal band Lamb of God conducted a live performance while streaming it for fans to see globally. The show involved the performance of the entirety of the band’s newest self-titled album along with some older tunes from the albums “Wrath,” “VII: Sturm,”Und Drang” and even a brand new song that was made during quarantine called “The Death of Us” as part of the soundtrack for the new movie “Bill & Ted Face the Music.”
Besides Lamb of God, I also discovered a new band that opened up for this spectacular and mesmerizing event, the band known as Bleed from Within played with intrigue and were the perfect band to open for Lamb of God, providing an energized sound for fans to immerse themselves in.
Bleed from Within is a heavy metal band from Glasgow, Scotland whose sound projected the introduction to one of America’s most beloved and favored heavy metal acts. Composed of Scott Kennedy on vocals, Ali Richardson on drums, Davie Provan on bass, along with Craig Gowans and Steven Jones on guitars this five-member group proved themselves with a fast-paced, hard-hitting, gut-wrenching performance.
Two of my favorite tracks from their performance were “Into nothing” and “The End of all We Know.” The song “Into Nothing” had pulse-pounding riffs that immediately got me hooked into the song’s intermediate and engaging sound. Still aggressive but soft-hearted, the vocals to this song were both understandable to the listener and were balanced out with the overarching and fractured sound of the instruments.
For metal sounds, the vocals can tend to be a bit drowned out by the instruments, making it hard to hear what the vocalist is saying. With Kennedy, this was the opposite. I was able to understand many of the lyrics, and they fit perfectly within the song’s riffs and fast-paced rhythm. That balance of sound really impacted the way I listened and viewed the artist, drawing me closer into their chaotic and heavy sound.
The track “The End of all We Know” was one that brought about the best art in terms of imagery and lighting along with the use of flames as a prop that created shock and loud noise.
My favorite moment from their performance was when they were playing this song and Kennedy yelled the lyrics, “Let the fires rise,” and all of a sudden fire rose from his sides. This was very well developed and correlated perfectly with the timing and lyrics of the moment. The use of lighting and imagery was great as well with this song. Lava-colored orange was used as a background,which made sense for the reference of fire within the song and brought about the aggressive nature of the song and its sound. Overall, Bleed from Within is definitely a band I intend to further investigate and listen to in the near future. They provided a well-received act opening for what many would consider the kings of pure American heavy metal.
Lamb of God is fronted by Randy Blythe on vocals. He brought out the pure intensity of the band with his vicious and terrorizing performance. His stage presence drew me in further to the darkness and brutality of the band’s projection of art on their latest “Lamb of God” album.
John Campbell’s bass matched perfectly with the band’s timing further, enhancing the sound and rhythm within the band’s tracks. Mark Morton’s electric guitar, and the skill he brings, is flawless. He provides heavy and fast-paced riffs on almost every track, bringing a chaotic and fierce sound into the band.
Finally, Art Cruz on drums. Cruz is the band’s newest member following the departure of the once-great drummer Chris Adler, who quit the band earlier this year due to creative differences. Cruz’s performance deserves nothing but pure appreciation and acceptance as he enters into the band’s sound and chemistry.
My favorite tracks were “Memento Mori,” “Reality Bath” and “Bloodshot Eyes.” All had elements of the heaviness known well to the band’s fans.
“Memento Mori,” the first song of their newest album, is ultimately my favorite. I love the beginning of the song, how Blythe quietly uses his low-toned voice to project the immense darkness of sound and quiet terror that is to be unleashed. He does this for 4 minutes, allowing for anticipation to grow until releasing in a fury of sound.. It’s a jump scare for new listeners of the song. It’s an amazing opener, and I am thrilled to see it performed live when I see the band next year (hopefully).
“Reality Bath” started out with a light bassline then dove into pure Lamb of God heaviness. It’s a track that gives a strong beat and creates moments of pause for intensity and pure gratification to fellow fans. That’s paired with enchanting riffs and lyrics that will ignite your love for the band even greater.
“Bloodshot Eyes” starts out heavy, as many of their tracks do, but gives off a badass riff that immediately pulls you in and makes you want to mosh instantly. Many of their songs provide an instant rush of adrenaline cementing the band’s impact within the genre of metal.
Every song performed was a metalhead’s fantasy.
Despite the disappointment of their show being postponed till next year, this livestream was a chance for fans to see the band’s progress and provide some relief for infuriating year that is 2020. I cannot wait to see the next livestream event on Sept. 25. The band will perform their third album in full, “Ashes of the Wake,” bringing another hour of non-stop, aggressive, pure American metal.