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Lamb of God - February 9, 2009 - The Academy, Dublin, IR

By: Ken McGrath

Expectations were not high for new it band Five Finger Death Punch and live, they didn’t burst out with any surprises. Big, stupid metal delivered by a bunch of nu-metal misfits, it’s actually mind-boggling when sections of the crowd start to lap up their knock off Hatebreed/Pantera/Disturbed stomp. “I’m taking back control… with my knuckles” goes the chant, ringing around the venue. You have to wonder why are people encouraging this?

Thank whatever deity you believe in then for Lamb Of God. This is metal the way it should. It’s passionate, powerful and delivered with precision and belief. This is a band you can respect. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s impossible to fault them when they’re on stage. Only three dates into their current tour and with new album, Wrath still to be released, the boys are in flying form. You’d never tell they were off the road at all - they’ve fallen straight back into live mode with absolute ease. A blisteringly heavy opening with the massive Slayer slaying riffs of “Laid To Rest” and the almighty stomp and bellowing “Ruin” this is what modern metal is all about. This is enough to reawaken the fire burning in even the most jaded rocker’s soul.

From up on the balcony, looking down, bodies swarm in the pit, clambering over each other while on the stage, doused in red light and looking like they’re playing from the bowels of hell itself, the band pump forth waves of massive, barbed riffs. The likes of “Redneck,” “Walk With Me In Hell” and “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” are greeted with fists in the air, pumping along to the powerful rhythms and slicing guitars. Vocalist Randy Blythe, who from a distance looks a little like a demented Serj Tankian with his curtain of black hair and wispy goatee, storms around the stage, the crystal sound allowing his every word to be heard, making a nice change from the usual garbled growls you often get at gigs like this. New songs, like “Set To Fail,” slot perfectly into a set filled with older, no doubt soon to be classic tracks. When Wrath hits shops at the end of February it’s going to go down a storm if this is a taste of what’s coming.

Tonight it’s a definite case of, “Five Finger Death, what?” Forget them, get into this church and kneel before the new masters. Judging from this display you can tell Lamb Of God are going to around for a very long time.


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