Virginia metal mainstays Lamb of God explore subtle new sonic territory on their upcoming eighth LP, VII: Sturm and Drang. And they’ve teased that diversity by posting new song “Embers” featuring the distinctive bellow of Deftones frontman Chino Moreno.
“Only embers remain,” Randy Blythe growls over menacing guitar riffs and Chris Adler’s jackhammer double-bass pedal. Moreno’s cameo drifts in around the three-minute mark, adding a ghostly tinge to the distorted pummel.
VII: Sturm and Drang, out July 24th via Epic Records, also features guest screams from Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato (on album closer “Torches”), along with other new frills like talk-box guitar solos. The LP was inspired, in part, by Blythe’s stint in a Czech Republic prison on disproven allegations that he pushed a fan off-stage, resulting in fatal injuries. (Blythe was later found not guilty.) The singer detailed the inspiration of Lamb of God’s new songs – including “Embers” – in an interview with Rolling Stone.
“‘Embers’ is about a relationship,” Blythe says. “I wrote all of Chino [Moreno]’s lyrics and they deal with how loss affects interpersonal relationships, like in a family dynamic. If a family member dies, that can really twist things up. I used a sort of ‘oceanic’ vibe in the lyrics. I’m talking about ‘I’ve been staring at her laying still for so long,’ and I’m talking about the ocean at that point. The ocean is a metaphor for life.
“When the band wrote the music to that one, there were two different endings. In one, it was ‘Lamb of God,’ like, boring, we’ve done it a million times. And then Mark wrote this other beautiful, swelling thing, and I heard it when I was still down at the beach writing my book and listening to it,” Blythe added. “I’m a huge Deftones fan, and I could hear Chino’s vocals on it. One day, during the pre-production I come in and Mark and Josh [Wilbur, producer] are sitting there and they’re like, ‘What do you think about Chino doing vocals?’ I’m like, ‘Yes!’ Chino came and he sang me the melody he had in his mind, sort of nonsense words like how we singers do. So I took some fragments I had and made it fit. He crushed it. He’s Chino. There’s no one that sounds like him.”