Lamb of God’s latest album is getting new life. The band re-issued its self-titled 2020 album Friday with a rather rich amount of extra content, the most notable of which being the bonus recording of its first livestream of 2020, which it recorded last year from its hometown of Richmond, VA. While the bonus livestream recording is itself a positive for this re-issue, the limitation in its availability proves problematic to the overall presentation. Luckily though, it is not enough to make the re-issue in whole a failure, even with the concerns that it raises. Keeping that in mind, the re-issue does have one more positive in the form of the two bonus songs featured in the main disc. They add a little more to the appeal in the recording’s presentation. When they are considered along with the full bonus livestream recording, that whole makes this re-issue a mostly successful presentation.
Lamb of God’s newly released re-issue of its self-titled 2020 album is a presentation that the band’s audiences will find interesting. That is due in large part to the bonus recording of its first livestream concert from 2020. The recording in question features a full performance of that latest of the band’s studio recordings and a handful of encores. The encores in question – ‘Contractor,’ ‘Wrath,’ ‘Death of Us,’ and ‘512’ – reach back into the band’s catalog. Represented through these songs are the band’s 2009 album, Wrath, its 2003 album, As The Palaces Burn (which is itself still considered a key album in the band’s evolution), and its 2015 album VII: Sturm Und Drang. ‘Death of Us’ is featured in the soundtrack to the 2020 movie Bill & Ted Face The Music, so that in itself is a special bonus for Lamb of God fans who otherwise might have opted to avoid that otherwise forgettable flick. When it is joined with the other encores – and even the rest of the performance – the performance in whole gives audiences plenty to appreciate. In short, they get the band’s latest album in its studio and live setting in one package along with some encores that pull from some of the band’s older, more recent, and new releases. That in itself forms a solid foundation for the recording’s bonus content. While the concert itself will appeal to audiences, the big problem with the recording is the limitation in its presentation.
The bonus concert featured with Lamb of God’s Deluxe Edition re-issue is featured in the re-issue’s physical and digital platforms. However, the full audio-visual presentation is available exclusively along with the audio-only presentation in the re-issue’s physical platform. Meanwhile, the album’s digital release offers the livestream recording only in audio format. There is nothing wrong at all with doing everything possible to promote the physical object against the digital. At the same time though, there just are those audiences who refuse to see the light about the importance of the physical object. Those people are very likely going to feel that by limiting the availability of the recording’s presentation across platforms, it might actually discourage them from buying the re-issue on either platform. Concerts are meant to be enjoyed fully, after all, not just heard. So by presenting the full concert experience for one group of audiences but not the other is going to leave some audiences unhappy. It is a disservice that Epic Records and Lamb of God are doing not only to the audiences, but also to themselves. Luckily, it is not enough to make the recording (including the original album with its two bonus tracks) a failure. The two bonus songs that accompany the album’s main disc work with the bonus livestream recording to add to the recording’s appeal.
The two bonus songs featured in Lamb of God’s main album are ‘Ghost Shaped People’ and ‘Hyperthermic/Accelerate.’ The song’s musical arrangement is a blistering, guitar-driven track that will appeal to longtime Lamb of God fans. The heavy, up-tempo rocker is a fiery work whose energy and overall sound will keep listeners engaged and entertained. According to information about the song, its lyrical theme is meant to discuss the topic of someone entering the afterlife. That in itself breaks somewhat from the band’s trend of tackling hot button socio-political concerns through the rest of the album and its existing albums.
‘Hyperthermic/Accelerate’ is another familiar work in terms of its musical arrangement. The guitar arrangement pairs with the vocals and drums to take listeners back to the days of As The Palaces Burn. The fire in the song’s musical arrangement pairs well with the song’s lyrical content, which seems to deliver a commentary about mankind bringing hisown downfall. That is of course just this critic’s own interpretation. As nihilistic as the seeming message is, it hits hard and is certain to resonate with listeners, especially when it is paired, again, with the song’s powerful musical arrangement. When this song and ‘Ghost Shaped People’ are considered along with the bonus performance of ‘Death Of Us’ in the bonus livestream recording and the whole of that recording, those elements collectively make Lamb of God’s new re-issue of its latest album a mostly successful presentation.
Lamb of God’s new re-issue of its self-titled 2020 album is a presentation that audiences will find for the most part, a positive new offering from the veteran metal band. That is due in large part to the bonus recording of the band’s first 2020 livestream featured with the re-issue. The recording offers plenty to appreciate, presenting audiences with the band’s latest album at least semi-live in its entirety. It is accompanied by some of the band’s older material and one new song that until now was only available on the soundtrack to Bill & Ted Face the Music. So that old and new, along with the noted bonus track gives audiences much to enjoy. As much as the content does to make the livestream recording appealing, the limitation in its availability no doubt detracts from that appeal to a point. However, it is not enough to make this re-issue a failure. The two bonus songs included with the main album add their own appeal to the presentation. Regardless of whether they were songs that ended up on the cutting room floor from the Lamb of God sessions, they are still their own positive addition thanks to their musical and lyrical content. When they are considered with the overall content featured in the livestream recording, the two items collectively still give the re-issue a presentation that is at least somewhat of an improvement on the original album. Lamb of God Deluxe Edition is available now.
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