Following three popular albums - Ashes of the Wake (2004), the Grammy-nominated Sacrament (2006), and Wrath (2009), which scored them a support role on Metallica's last tour and made them one of the most extreme crossover metal acts around - it seems Lamb of God are intent on pushing their songs to the brutal brink on Resolution.
Which is a big ask considering Wrath saw the Richmond, Virginia, quintet ramp up their melodic metal to a more punishing and ravaging onslaught. But when singer Randy Blythe takes a deep breath at the beginning of Resolution, before letting out a primal sonic yowl with a slab of mangled metal accompanying him, it's clear this is their most lethal offering to date.
But while it is yet another step up in aural abuse, they never lose sight of what they do best - and that's pummelling grooves, relentless riffs and, despite the noise, a weighty melodicism. Invictus is one of the most twisted and venomous songs they have done, but then Cheated steps up the tempo to an even more incensed and raging pace.
And the album might be called Resolution, but songs like Guilty reek of anger and retribution, they lash out on To the End (a song that sounds like a rugged cover of Dr Feelgood), and who needs a gym when you've got a punk thrash song like Undertow to dance to?
It's the sort of music that makes you feel tough, even when you're not.
Verdict: Hard, fast, and even heavier
Buy this album here.
-TimeOutBy Scott Kara @scottkara Email Scott