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Lamb of God/ Anthrax

Date: 1/26/16
Venue: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
Report By: Rich Catino


Anthrax, about to release their latest album, “For All Kings” at the end of February, were wise doing this tour with Lamb Of God to earn some more fans and interest in the new album. Speaking of…’Evil Twin’ fits very nicely in with the Belladonna era Thrax catalogue, and the crowd as well showed their approval. Anthrax immediately spark a mosh pit with the first song in the set, but ‘Caught In A Mosh’ just sends the crowd into a frenzy, making it almost impossible to take photographs in front of the barricade. My only complaint, and I always make this point when it comes to Anthrax’s setlist choices…with only enough time for eight songs, why still two covers, ‘Got the Time’, ‘Antisocial’? I know they were hits, but damn, retire them already! You have so many better original songs and don’t need to rely on two covers for a great set. ‘A.I.R.’, ‘Be All End All’, ‘Panic’, ‘A Skeleton in the Closet’, ‘In My World’…so many goodies that don’t usually get played live to pick from. Hopefully for the headline tour?

Interesting role reversal, and a change in the guard, as one of the Big 4 open for Lamb of God? Well, guess it had to happen…as the 80s generation don’t (understandably, bound to adult responsibilities) attend shows in numbers like they used to. Lamb of God’s younger crowd from the new millennium supported the band to such a level of success and have the free time. The new age of American Extreme Heavy Metal has been happening for years bubbling in the underground, and Lamb Of God one of the leaders. It has been a gradual build since their 2000 debut, “New American Gospel”, and their harder edge, brutal vocal approach well accepted in the wake of the post 90s Pantera era which layed the ground work. 2015/16 sees the band on the road in support of their latest album “VII: Sturm und Drang”.

Lamb Of God’s music is a double edged sword, while it may be successful because of the ability to channel and project shear aggression and anger through each song, it also suffers from one dimensionality. It is what it is…unlike speed and thrash metal of the 80s, to which they take influence, Randy’s voice is always harsh and abrasive, lacking melody. The only melody comes from the occasional guitar leads by Willie Adler and Mark Morton, with rhythmic changes and break downs make attempts for each song to be different, in a way. ‘Overlord’ is the only time Blyth sings, and he’s got a decent clean voice. Really, the legacy of the band would benefit from more singing, less screaming, to retain a future. It won’t make em any less heavy.

So with that, after half of the fifteen songs of someone barking and yelling at you, I had enough. With minimal variety in riff and arrangement delivery, or singing ability and melody, every song sounded the same. It’s too extreme, for extremes sake. Hey…It only worked for Pantera for so long, and that’s why their two best albums are “Cowboys” and “Powweerrr Metaaalll”!

Lamb of God setlist:
Walk with Me in Hell
Still Echoes
The Subtle Arts of Murder and Persuasion
The Faded Line
Now You've Got Something to Die For
Set to Fail
Blacken the Cursed Sun
Erase This
Laid to Rest

Anthrax setlist:
Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't
Caught in a Mosh
Got the Time
Evil Twin
In the End
Among the Living


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