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Review: Lamb of God’s Omens is a Ticking Timebomb of a Wake-Up Call

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Omens, the ninth studio release from Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb of God is a jarring yet sobering ticking bomb of a wake-up call. It’s an unforgettable journey that lead us directly into “the rapacious maw of our despair.” As such, this is arguably one of the better releases of 2022. Based out of Virginia, Lamb of God has gone from playing basement gigs to conquering the world’s stage as one of the standard bearers of the new wave of American heavy metal, yet their work remains as authentic as ever. 

Truth be told, Omens has a concert-like vibe to it. You can tell that this record was almost completely recorded live with the full band in the same room. You can feel the energy of each member’s contributions. Omens has the kind of filth-encrusted attitude that dupes you into thinking you’re listening to an underground outfit, complete with the band’s signature killer riffs and southern groove.

This album is poetic and innovative. The opening track, “Nevermore,” creeps in with a beatnik’s spoken-word wisdom. Randy then unleashes his savage, explosive might before coming back with a brief moment of vocal clarity. Throughout Omens, Randy is an unstoppable monster. The final song, “September,” which ends with a bit of chanting, may feel a bit languorous, but the overall intensity of the band’s fire never wanes.

Omens is varied enough that each song retains its own individualistic quality. This album’s punkish drive will prove an energy boost while it also threatens to drive you into a state of paralyzing misery.

“Wholesome” is not an adjective that we generally associate with metal, but Omens is definitely a moral tale. One of the record’s incidental takeaways is that creative evolution is good, but never ever let anyone take away your holy anger. Lamb of God has every right to be furious: Omens was fueled by matters that are worth screaming over — both inner conflicts and the state of the planet right now: “There’s a war going on inside my head,” but “the world is upside down” as well. Whatever your politics are, we can all agree that we’re living in a “grayscale” age of “post-modern tantrums on a father’s dime.”

This menacing record deals with themes like self-sabotage, hypocrisy, division of the will, and fear. It takes aim at the fact that too many of us have a funhouse perception of reality. From behind Lamb of God’s blood-splattered glasses, the apocalypse seems immanent — “a slow collapse beneath our gluttony.”

Nevertheless, on “Denial Mechanism,” Randy urges the listener that “it’s up to you, my children, to decide if this all stops. Take warning as the bloated masses gather.” The title track is a reminder of just how numb and apathetic some of us have become: “I can’t pretend to care about how this will end. I say fuck it all, ignore the omens.” In a dystopian world where division and doom reign, Lamb of God’s Omens succeeds. 

Omens was tracked at Henson Recording Studios (previously A&M) in Hollywood, which was founded in 1917 by none other than Charlie Chaplin. What a fitting place to record an album that could serve as a great time capsule for the new ’20s.

Lamb of God’s Omens comes out on October 7 and is available for preorder via Epic Records. Vinyl and CD copies (US products only) come with a free access code to view the short documentary film The Making Of: Omens (2022).

The post Review: Lamb of God’s <em>Omens</em> is a Ticking Timebomb of a Wake-Up Call appeared first on MetalSucks.

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