Randy Blythe - Vocals / Mark Morton - Guitars / Willie Adler - Guitars / John Campbell - Bass / Art Cruz - Drums
Marking their second release with Art Cruz on drums, Lamb Of God continue to burst with confidence on Omens, and it's shows on tracks like "Vanishing", "Omens" and "Ill Designs". I will say that while containing some decent riffs, "Nevermore" lacks the compelling element to make it an amazing opener. I believe it should've switched places with either 'Vanishing" or "Omens". It is also the only track here where we hear Randy use his clean vocals, which I still believe he should use more of, because he's got such a unique and awesome clean tone. Even in his early 50s, Randy Blythe hasn't lost anything on his signature scream. Even his lyrics still bite with the cleverness he became known for including in his lyrics. "To The Grave", which seems to tackle his past with addiction, is a perfect example of cleverness and his use of analogies.
Randy has always been vocal about how much he prefers punk over metal, as he calls himself a punk rocker who just happens to front a metal band. However, Lamb Of God have never shied away of including punk style songs on their albums. "Denial Mechanism" is where the punk ferocity explodes in all directions with frenetic riffing and in-your-face drumming. With "September Song", you would think we would be getting a ballad with it's more somber intro, but we're led into a false sense of security when the verse comes blasting in with a groove-laden riff, and the song also ends with probably the heaviest breakdown heard on the record that seems to pay homage to the breakdown in Pantera's "Domination". When it comes to the rest of the record, "Gomorrah" and "Grayscale" seem more like fillers, as those are the two tracks that struggled to keep my attention the most.
Simply put, Omens is just another round of Lamb Of God doing what they do best. Is it the best Lamb Of God album? Not by a long shot, but it's definitely the best produced one, as I mentioned above. The riffs from Mark Morton and Willie Adler still groove and thrash with ferocity, John Campbell's bass is still crunchy, Art Cruz's drumming is relentless, and Randy's vocals are still monstrous. The band are just two years away from reaching 30 years of existence, and even though Randy has said that there are no plans to retire just yet, his main goal right now is to reach that milestone first before thinking about what will be next for the band, because he knows that the band is going to have to hang it up at some point. While the band still deliver in spades both on record and live, it certainly makes you wonder how long they, particularly Randy, can keep up this sort of intensity. Either way, let's cherish the time that is left for Lamb Of God, because the hang-up point for them could come at any time.
| || |