Lamb of God have pulled out all the stops on their blistering album saluting their biggest influences. They have assumed the identity of their original name, Burn The Priest, to hearken back to the days when these bands played a pivotal role in molding what has become one of biggest metal machines in the world. Legion: XX makes it clear that hardcore, punk, and crossover were – and still are – a huge influence in the raw and emotional feel of current Lamb of God albums.
The album opens with “Inherit the Earth” by The Accused, and Lamb of God do a great job harnessing the raw energy of the original. Vocalist Randy Blythe’s dark growls add an entire different dimension. “Honey Bucket” by the Melvins is my all-time favorite Melvins song, and this cover absolutely rules! It’s less fuzzy and more metal than the original; however, the main riff is still razor sharp, as expected from Lamb of God. “Kerosene” by Big Black is one I’ve never heard before, and although the original isn’t my thing, Blythe and company do a great job with it. They keep the feel of the original, but make they totally their own.
S.O.D.’s “Kill Yourself” absolutely crushes! Speak English or Die was the very first CD I ever bought, and it got an absolute boatload of playtime in my college years. Again, the band make it their own, and Blythe’s voice adds a different dimension in the song. “I Against I” by Bad Brains was a concern of mine when I first saw that it was going to be on the album since Bad Brains’ vocals are very clean compared to Blythe’s. Those concerns have been laid to rest and this is one of the best songs on Legion: XX! Sliang Laos’ “Axis Rot” is a killer cover of a relatively unheard of band from Lamb of God‘s Richmond, Virgina home. After listening to the original, I actually like their version better! “Jesus Built My Hotrod” from Ministry absolutely nails the original, all the way down to the samples and miscellaneous shit scattered throughout. It feels updated and fresh. Agnostic Front’s “One Voice” is another reading that I actually like better than the original, and Blythe’s vocals really lend an air of depth to the song. “Dine Alone” by Quicksand takes on a new and darker aura than the original, and the riffs are sharper and more in your face. “We Gotta Know” by Cro-Mags is my favorite song here. It really puts perspective on the origins of Burn The Priest and Lamb of God. You can feel the energy and fun the band exudes throughout the entire song.
Legion: XX is a must-own for any Lamb of God fan. It is flawless in both production and musicianship, as you would expect from this band. Sit back and enjoy!
Legion: XX is out May 18 on Epic Records. Buy it here!