15 years ago, Lamb of God began their ascent to the forefront of modern heavy metal. A self-described “pure American metal” quintet from Richmond, VA, took deliberate steps, paid the dues and withstood the knocks as an underground, un-commercial metal act. Beloved by a rabid, grass roots cult of underground thrash fanatics thanks to brutal and technical albums like 2000’s New American Gospel and 2003’s As the Palaces Burn, the band toured North America relentlessly and began their international career overseas in support of the latter. Entering 2004, 10 years after inception, the band had risen to the top of the independent metal scene. Their uncommon work ethic, uncompromising musicianship and intellectual lyrics set them apart – and into un-chartered territory.
Five years ago, Lamb of God surprised the hell out of everyone — including themselves — by attracting the attention of and soon after inking a deal with Epic Records. “How does an extreme band like us even exist at this kind of upper-echelon major label?” remembers guitarist Mark Morton.
Far more commercially oriented bands have buckled under the strain of similar indie-to-major leaps. Skeptical of the outcome of such a relationship, the band took the opportunity to push even harder and in 2004 released the ferocious and technical ‘Ashes of the Wake’ and in 2006 the dark and unrelenting, ‘Sacrament.’ These albums proved that the major label pairing had no negative side effects. Fans and critics alike celebrated both albums, receiving respective album of the year awards from major metal and hard rock publications around the world and the latter landing in the top 10 of the Billboard charts, becoming the top selling metal album of 2006, and a Grammy nomination. Now entering 2009, Lamb of God – guitarist Willie Adler, Willie’s drummer brother Chris Adler, bassist John Campbell, guitarist Mark Morton and vocalist Randy Blythe — have recaptured the attention of the heavy metal world, toting a vicious new album they call Wrath.