We recently pondered the future of stadium-sized metal, given the impending exit of Slayer and the aging mega-bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden (read it here). Well, friends, the question of who will take over the throne is being answered night after night on Slayer‘s farewell tour. The answer is Lamb of God.

When Randy Blythe and company took the stage on a hot and balmy Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, it only took a couple of riffs of “Omerta” for the truth to emerge. Lamb of God are clearly comfortable on the large stage, and rightfully so after years on the road. But it is more than just stage presence. Their songs are beasts in the live setting, and their history – from Blythe’s drinking to his incarceration in the Czech Republic for the stage-diving death of a fan – informs their rich pedigree and manifests itself in the intense, finely-tuned performance.

I realize that this isn’t news to anyone reading our site. Lamb of God are not overnight successes. They have paid their dues, and their DIY, punk-inspired work ethic is paying off in spades. At the risk of offending many, I must say that they ruled the crowd and dominated the other acts on the bill … including Slayer (with all due respect). Their proficiency, intensity, and showmanship are unmatched.

While this tour marks a farewell for Slayer, it also marks a passing of the torch to Lamb of God. They are home on the massive stages, using every inch to bring their crushing tracks to life. By the time they launched into the raucous, set-closing “Redneck” it was undeniable. The future of stadium-sized metal is here, and it is Lamb of God.

The second leg of Slayer‘s North American leg tour will kick off later this month, and it is not to be missed.

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