Being an EP inspired by a fans struggle and loss to cancer, ‘The Duke’ is a way of commemorating that fan and showing that the true spirit lies within metal of bringing communities closer and being there for one another during difficult times and heartbreak.
Opening the EP is a track that you’ve probably heard before this review and the track that inspired this, the title of the EP ‘The Duke’ bringing a strong clean vocal style throughout that you might not be used to for Lamb Of God, but this somewhat new path they’re pushing through here and even with the last album they did a song or two with clean cut singing. This style on this track fuels a lot more emotion than it would if the words were screamed which is a testament to the bands fluidity as writers. The other new track has strong feels of ‘Sacrament’ era of the group with tracks like ‘Redneck’ seemingly seeping from the seams of this track and having such a punchy groove that will even get the pessimistic band headbanging along to its riff-tacular base and what it shows as a whole.
For a band that has been pushing its craft for over twenty years now, a question that a lot of people probably ask is if they still have the energy and professionalism to hit everything as well as they can after growing and growing. Well those doubts are immediately squashed when you listen to ‘Still Echoes (Live From Rock Am Ring)’ and it smashes through your speakers just like you would hear at a live show no matter what venue. The same goes for both ‘512’ and ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ which, played at Bonnaroo, bring a new certain of intensity. The vocals on these two tracks sound less distorted, but noticeably more quiet than on the Rock Am Ring track, but its a small price to pay to hear some crushing live music from a true veteran in heavy groove metal.
Whilst this may not be the release that people feel they want from the band as they claws their desks new holes waiting for a new album from the group, the two powerful and gripping original tracks followed by three equally enjoyable live versions of songs are a great placeholder and a reminder that they will always have a special place in your heart.