Lamb of God offset the Los Angeles sunshine with the darkness of “512” during Thursday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performing the brooding single on the show’s outdoor stage. Led by Randy Blythe’s dark bellow and the explosive soloing of guitarist Mark Morton, the metal veterans inspired a crowd mosh pit.
In June, Lamb of God premiered a macabre music video for “512” filled with dead bodies and murderous revenge. The track is featured on the Virginia band’s eighth LP, VII: Sturm Und Drang, which was inspired by Blythe’s life-changing stint in Prague’s Pankrác Prison. Czech authorities arrested the vocalist on manslaughter charges in 2012, based on claims that a Lamb of God fan died as a result of injuries from the frontman allegedly pushing him off the stage during a 2010 concert. Blythe was found not guilty the following year.
The singer spent part of his prison stint locked in a disturbing basement dungeon, monitored for depression. “They stick you in the worst, dimmest, darkest place in the prison,” Blythe told Rolling Stone, detailing the origins of “512.” “I couldn’t even see the sun to tell what part of the day it was. It was just steadily lessening levels of gloom.”
But Blythe re-emerged from that dark period with creative focus. In addition to recording the Lamb of God LP, Blythe recently teamed with members of Foo Fighters, Slipknot, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, the Germs, Alkaline Trio, Corrosion of Conformity and more to form the punk-metal supergroup Teenage Time Killers. The band’s first album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1, was released in July.
“Growing up in the Virginia–North Carolina punk scene, Corrosion of Conformity were a huge influence on me from about age 14 or 15 on, specifically their Animosity album,” Blythe told Rolling Stone. “Reed Mullin and Mike Dean’s vocals on that album were my first direct musical influence as an aggressive singer. What punk-rock kid wouldn’t want to sing on an album alongside dudes from all the bands that were the soundtrack to their awakening as a real human being?”