When a band releases six albums in 10 years and fills the gaps with seemingly endless touring, at some point the quality inevitably suffers. So it's fortunate that this year's Wrath is actually a step up from Lamb of God's two previous offerings. After exploring the personal issues of frontman and recovering alcoholic Randy Blythe on 2006's muddy Sacrament, Wrath returns the band to its thrash metal roots with songs like the mile-a-second "Contractor," while also delving into more elaborate songwriting with the intricate "Reclamation," the best song the band has written in years.
In all, Wrath was a back-to-basics move for a band that admits that it let itself get bloated with ambitions unmatched with its strengths, which makes the record's nastiness a welcome sound for fans who were taken in by the ragged dissonance of the band's earlier material. Oh, and don't say we didn't warn you about the infamous Wall of Death that comes during set closer "Black Label," in which the crowd splits, waits for its cue and the two sides collide, Braveheart-style.
Fellow Headbangers Ball stalwarts As I Lay Dying, Children of Bodom, God Forbid and Municipal Waste also perform.