Tonight marks the first night of Lamb of God‘s UK tour with Huntress and Decapitated, the band’s first UK tour in support of their current album “Resolution,” which turns two this month. Although the band have appeared at both Download, and Bloodstock since then, this is the first real deal Lamb of God in a venue, punch in the face show that people have been waiting for, so anticipation has indeed been high.
Huntress have the privilege of opening tonight’s proceedings, and they do so in fine fashion. I first saw Huntress at a Metal Hammer event in 2012 and thought they were good, but could use a little tightening up. Well, it seems the time since then has been good to them, as they sound like a band twice their age tonight. All Judas Priest riffs and Jill Janus‘ brand of swagger makes for a potent mix, and one that seems to work a spell on a large portion of the audience, as they seem to be making some new fans here tonight, which in itself is a win, as Lamb of God fans, much like Slayer fans, are notoriously hard to crack. Any fears that people had about Huntress being a one trick pony can be set aside as they absolutely hit the mark tonight.
Decapitated are up next, but unfortunately I was unable to see them, but from what I could hear of them they sounded disgustingly heavy and at one point it’s possible that the walls of the venue shook a little bit. After they finished there seem to be a lot of grinning faces, so one can only assume they accomplished what they set out to, they will be a a band I will be revisiting at some point, but unfortunately tonight was not the night for it.
After what seems like an eternity of waiting, the house lights go down again and Lamb of God make their way onto the stage and the place goes bat shit mental. From the opening of ‘Desolation’ all the way until the very last note of ‘Black Label’ Southampton Guildhall belongs to Lamb of God. However, this isn’t the Lamb of God you are used to, this is a much more intense and focused beast than we’ve seen before. Yes, you could argue that Lamb of God have always been an intense and smash mouth type of band, but tonight something feels different, they feel refreshed, invigorated, like a brand new band with a point to prove and dear Satan in hell does it hit all the right spots. Everything sounds heavier, angrier and more in your face than ever before. I was stood at the back of the venue, and it felt like their were times where Randy Blythe was literally screaming in my face. This is the type of performance that you want to see when you go to a Lamb of God show, this is everything all laid out in front of you and left on the stage at the end of the night.
Lamb of God have always been a special band, a band that made an impact early and have continued to deliver and expand upon that promise with each and every album that has followed. This showed in the set, a ‘Greatest Hits’ if ever there was one, and as the band rolls out song after song you realise just what a vital and powerful band Lamb of God are in today’s musical climate, and one that will hopefully reign on for years to come. As it stands now, Lamb of God are in a league of their own, everyone else needs to step up rather dramatically in order to catch them!
Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal in Manchester.