By Tanner Bidish, Contributor
Key Tracks: “The Duke,” “Culling”
Following last year’s VII: Sturm und Drang is The Duke, the new Lamb of God EP is a dedication to the band’s late friend, Wayne Ford. Vocalist Randy Blythe comments on the subject matter on their website saying, “A little while ago I became friends with a fan named Wayne Ford – he was terminal – leukemia. He was very calm about his impending death, and we discussed it very openly. I learned a lot from him.”
The EP features two new tracks as well as three live cuts from the band’s last album: “Still Echoes,” “512” and “Engage the Fear Machine.” The two fresh songs are the clear drawing point, but fans may be unsatisfied.
The title track is very atypical of Lamb of God. Blythe ops for much cleaner vocal work on this number. He’s borderline melodic and substantially calmer throughout. Aside from being the titular track, “The Duke” is very cleared for their late friend. Its themes can be summed as living each day as your last and not letting death defeat you. The guitar solo in the bridge doesn’t add anything powerful to the track. It’s nice tribute to a friend, but musically its lackluster.
“Culling” showcases something more conventionally Lamb of God. The guitar is aggressive, the vocals are raw, the drums even have a playful solo bit; it’s easier to get behind this track. Not only is it catchy, but it displays the best of what Lamb of God has to offer. If you’re checking out this EP, come for the two new tracks, and if you’re feeling it, stick around for the live takes (none of which are particularly unique from their studio version). is a nice tribute, but doesn’t add anything substantial to the Lamb of God catalog.