Written by Alex Stojanovic
Roll The Dice
Girish Pradhan - Vocals
Myrone - Guitars
James Lomezo - Bass
Chris Adler - Drums
Release Date: June 19, 2020 / Label: Independent
Anyways, many people including myself, have been wondering when and where we will hear Chris again. Well, here's some good news and some bad news. The good news is that he has a new band, and it's called FirstBorne. The lineup is rounded out with James Lomenzo (ex-White Lion / ex-Megadeth / ex-Black Label Society) on bass, Girish Pradhan (Girish & The Chronicles) on vocals and Myrone on guitar, and the band's self-titled debut EP is available now for purchase on all platforms. Now, if you're expecting Chris to come back with something on the same level of heaviness as Lamb Of God, with crushing riffs and blazing drumming, here's the upsetting news. His new project is NOT as heavy. It's in fact a little more melodic, and drumming isn't as intricate as we've come to expect from Chris, but that doesn't mean it's not metal.
The EP includes five songs, and it's more in the vein of classic metal. The guitar playing and drumming are more straightforward. Speaking of guitar playing, Myrone's soloing is rather spectacular. In a brand new interview, Chris described his style as "if Nightrider met Marty Friedman", and he mentioned that Myrone described himself as the pioneer of soft-shred. You can listen to the interview here, and he goes into a lot more detail regarding FirstBorne. We all know that Chris is known for having an incredibly high poppy snare sound, but his snare on the new EP has a little more girth to it. The last track "Hunter Hunted" is where we hear a little more familiarity from Chris. The drumming is up-tempo, and the fills are more in the style he's known for.
Here are my only complaints. First thing, is that the production lacks punch. I do wish that the guitar tone and drums were a lot louder and punchier. The riffs are rather good, but if there was more punchier production, the riffs would pop out so much more. The other complaint is that the lyrics in "The Anthem" are rather cliche and a little bit juvenile. When you have a song with political lyrics, but the lyrics are pretty juvenile, it doesn't feel genuinely angry, but rather faked. That's just what I'm feeling.
I'm really happy for Chris and his new ventures. He's getting to do things that he wouldn't have had the opportunity to do while he was in Lamb Of God. He never intended on leaving music when he left the band, but he obviously got tired of doing the same things over and over again while in the big machine that was Lamb Of God, which includes all the touring, and following the same creative formula. Not only that, but he said that he missed so many of his daughter's birthdays while he was on the road. Right now, he seems to be in a much better headspace while getting to do his music, and other creative endeavours, while also living a normal life, and being there for his family. I'm really looking forward to seeing where FirstBorne goes from here, and it just feels great to hear Chris on some recordings again. If their debut album has better production, I'm sure it will smash!
Highs: "Roll The Dice" and "Hunter Hunted"
Lows: Production could use improvement. Juvenile lyrics on "The Anthem".
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