A proper Lamb Of God tour round the British Isles has been long overdue. It’s been nearly two years since the release of the band’s latest record, Resolution, and nearly 4 years since the band’s most recent UK tour. True, there have been visits for a few festival appearances and one-off shows, but for some fans a gig in their hometown is the only way for them to catch these international metal icons. And tonight it is Southampton’s turn to receive a visit from the groove-metal favourites.
Openers Huntress flew straight into a loud, powerful opener with vocalist Jill Janus amazing everyone with her powerful voice. The band delivered a fast paced set guided by Jill’s brilliant stage presence and the crowd began to warm to them quicker than most support bands may experience. There’s an appeal to everyone in their show; the songs are both melodic but extraordinarily heavy in parts and the band wooed the audience with a bit of interaction between songs based on Lemmy Kilmeister and weed. They concluded on a fantastic performance of Eight of Swords providing a spectacular ending to their set as much as beginning to the show.
Decapitated began with a more contrasting approach, building a good atmosphere of tension before diving into a pummeling opening performance. The crowd are constantly hit with a barrage of heavy riffs and drums making for an evidently intense mosh pit and non-stop energy. However the band rarely took action to add some variety to their show, and the idle appearance of some band members contributed to a stale feeling to their set at some points. However their songs are still met with cheers from the audience who helped the band end their show with some dedicated crowd participation.
Finally, Lamb Of God appeared for their first British show of 2014. This was clearly a new age for the band who refused to dwell on past events much further than a simple safety request for those in the pit. The absence of guitarist Mark Morton is noticed by some but Between The Buried And Me’s Paul Waggoner makes a fine substitute and plays each of the band’s songs to perfection. There was no lacking of energy, enthusiasm or excitement in their set with particular success in working with the crowd’s enthusiasm to build a great atmosphere. However one could say they were possibly let down by their song choice; despite this being a headlining show, the group stuck to a more ‘greatest hits’ set list and only brought in one or two more niche songs from their back catalogue. Regardless, they evidently conquered the hearts of the entire Guidhall bringing the night to a close with the classic Black Label accompanied by the traditional giant wall of death.