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Virginia veteran metallers Lamb of God have released the first track Memento Mori from their upcoming self-titled album due out on 8 May. You can watch their horror-inspired video below.
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Despite being written before the outbreak, the song deals with disaster, technology, and how we interact with one another. It’s dark, brooding, and features performances from a haunted house performance troupe.
The video was produced from a treatment by vocalist Randy Blythe, and features guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, drummer Art Cruz, and Blythe. The album was produced by Josh Wilbur (Gojira, Korn, Megadeth,
“There is a vast amount of indisputably real and depressingly negative occurrences happening across the globe,” Blythe says in a statement. “Currently, at the forefront of everyone’s mind is the global COVID-19 pandemic. This is a very real concern, and proper precautions need to be taken by EVERYONE in order to protect those most at risk—the elderly, infirm, and immunocompromised. It is indeed a scary time, but in this hyper-connected age with its 24/7 never-ending news cycle of atrocity, outrage, and lurid click-bait headlines (not to mention ill-informed lunatics running amok and spreading misinformation and panic on social media), it is all too easy to lose sight of the fact that life is still carrying on, and good things do in fact still happen.
Blythe offers a message of hope in a trying time.
“Months before the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, I wrote Memento Mori as a reminder to myself to not be consumed by the omnipresent electronic harbingers of doom that surround us – cellphones, computers, and television screens. While these devices can be useful tools, and it is important to stay informed, it is equally important to remain engaged with the real, physical world we with live in, not just digitally filtered representations of reality. I wrote the narrative music video treatment a few months ago to illustrate how warped and myopic our mental states can become when we fail to remain engaged with that reality – if all you pay attention to is catastrophe, then soon you will begin to see monsters everywhere you look. The actual monsters we used in the video are Sinisteria, a local Richmond, Virginia haunted house/dark performance troupe I met on the street at our annual Krampus Nacht parade.
“Richmond has a strong tradition of loud music and weird costumed monsters working hand in hand to make salient points (we are the birthplace of GWAR, after all), and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Music has always been there for me, raising my spirits during hard times, and it is my hope that this song’s positive message will do the same for fans of our music right now and beyond. The release date for the tune was set a good while ago, but the timing seems eerily prescient to me now. So enjoy the song and video, and then remember to step away from the screens for a bit – real life is waiting for you. We only get one shot, so don’t waste this day. Everyone be well, keep a cool head, take care of yourselves, and take care of EACH OTHER.”
First emerging on to the scene as Burn the Priest, Lamb of God’s aggressive take on groove metal was cemented in their 2000 debut New American Gospel. 2003’s As the Palaces Burn made the Rolling Stone list of the Top 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time. Ashes of the Wake (2004) was the their first album to be certified gold by the RIAA, followed by Sacrament (2006) which debuted in Billboard’s Top 10. 2009’s Wrath gained the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hard Rock, Rock, and Tastemaker charts and hit #2 on the Billboard 200, also repeated for 2012’s Resolution. VII: Sturm und Drang debuted at #3 in North America, #2 in Australia and in the Top 5 in several countries.