To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of their classic album Ashes of the Wake, Lamb of God have announced a re-release of the album on double-vinyl, which will be available from 3rd May. The reissue includes four non-album tracks – the B-Side “Another Nail For Your Coffin” plus three previously unreleased pre-production demos.
Ashes of the Wake was Lamb of God’s major-label debut album back in 2004, and is still one of the band most popular releases (with three songs featuring in the top five most listened to Lamb of God tracks on a popular music streaming site). Guitarist Mark Morton spoke of the reissue:
For Ashes of the Wake to be remembered and celebrated 15 years later is a true honour. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that it is incredibly special to know that these songs have touched people’s lives in a positive way and that they are still relevant so many years later.
The Lamb of God album I am most familiar with is Sacrament (2006), so I really enjoyed getting to know its predecessor a little better as I gave this a listen. Although Lamb of God are often described as a groove metal band, Ashes of the Wake features elements of melodic death metal and thrash, as well as being intense and heavy, with a sense of darkness and rage running throughout the album.
Jagged opener “Laid To Rest” has some tasty guitar parts and is the most listened to Lamb of God track on said popular music streaming site. “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” is reassuringly thrashy and crushing and is definitely one of the stand-out tracks of the album. The track still features in the band’s live set.
“Omerta” is another firm staple of Lamb of God’s live set, and they opened with it when I saw them supporting Slayer at Wembley Arena at the end of last year, with its spoken-word intro – “Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward / Whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both / For a wounded man will shall say to his assailant / If I live, I will kill you. If I die, you are forgiven / Such is the rule of honour”.
Instrumental title track “Ashes of the Wake” provides a respite from the trashy rage of the majority of the album, before the final original album track “Remorse Is For The Dead” ramps the tempo back up a little more. “Another Nail For Your Coffin” takes things back to the high-tempo nature of the majority of the album, and was a great inclusion in this reissue as it sits well within the original album tracks. The three pre-production demo songs at the end of the album are a great inclusion as well as it is great to hear the songs in a less-polished way, and proves that Lamb of God aren’t hiding behind layers of production.
For die-hard fans of Lamb of God (and vinyl collectors in particular) this reissue is definitely worth treating yourself to. Ashes of the Wake is available digitally and on black vinyl from all the usual places, plus a limited edition pressing of the album on green smoke vinyl is available from the Lamb of God official store, together with various bundles. Lamb of God are soon to head out on tour with Slayer, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse in North America, before beginning a run of European festival dates which sees them play Download Festival in the UK. Full tour dates, tickets, and more here.
Ashes Of The Wake – 15th Anniversary Edition vinyl track listing:
- Laid to Rest
- Now You’ve Got Something To Die For
- The Faded Line
- Blood Of The Scribe
- One Gun
- Break You
- What I’ve Become
- Ashes of the Wake
- Remorse Is for the Dead
- Another Nail For Your Coffin
- Laid To Rest (pre-production demo)
- Ashes of the Wake (pre-production demo)
- Remorse For The Dead (pre-production demo)
Header image by Greg Waterman