HEAVY metal, by its very nature, is a counter-culture. Whether it be genre-defining Black Sabbath, arena-busting Iron Maiden, thrash defining Metallica, or Speed metal kings Slayer, the occassional step into the mainstream consciousness never betrays the outsider status.
Right now the newer crop of bands are struggling against the multi-marketed pap pop and Simon Cowell's dreadful push of mediocrity on the ignorant masses; and the soulless digital recording some artists take as the shortcut.
But, for one band mediocrity is never an option; and they may be one of the most important metal bands to emerge from the US since Pantera. They are Lamb of God. And they are brutally honest in their music, their lyrics and their attitudes.
The easy listening or the heritage circuit is somewhere one feels that booking agents will never place Lamb of God onto.
How many acts can you recall that release their ninth album - Resolution - and take it to new places, without sacrificing one iota of their aggressiveness and integrity.
From their first inklings Lamb of God brought a mouth full of questions and a sound filled with rage; now that rage is tempered by the hot waters of touring and a multitude of personal issues.
And singer Randy Blythe is sure that he does not want anyone to feel 'comfortable' by the questions he raises.
As he said upon the release of Resolution: "Not everything is really okay. You can have your cable TV and XBox in your car or whatever, but that doesn't mean everything is okay, and you can stop because it is easy. The root of what I try to put forth lyrically is 'think for yourself'. Do something, do anything."
As to the music - well you'll just have to take the time and make the effort. We promise that if you make the effort you will be rewarded. It's not easy listening, but it is glorious metal in its purest form.
Lamb of God appear at the Bloodstock festival this year, and will be tearing apart Limelight1 on August 12th. Tickets are available at all usual outlets. See ya there.