Lamb of God's forthcoming self-titled album — which is due out on June 19th — is their most politically charged opus in years. Among its outraged and incisive cuts is "Routes," a thrashing ripper that features guest vocals by Testament's Chuck Billy and was lyrically inspired by LOG frontman Randy Blythe's experiences as part of the No DAPL protests alongside native peoples at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Blast the song above. For more LOG, pick up Revolver's new issue, which features the Virginian metal stalwarts on one of its collectible covers.
Blythe commented of the song: "I went to Standing Rock because I had heard reports of violence committed on the peaceful protestors there by both state law enforcement and private security contractors, and this violence was not reported in mainstream media for the most part. I went to bring supplies and support these people, who were trying to protect their water, and thereby protect everyone, as everything in the natural world is protected. I was there a week, made some great friends, and learned a lot. It was a very profound experience in my life, and I knew one day I would write a song about it."
Bythe asked his friend Billy, who is of Pomo Native American heritage, to join him on the song to lend a deeper authenticity to the narrative. "My experience, although my own, was tempered and shaped by the hundreds of years of brutal oppression of Native peoples in our country," Blythe explained. "So, it was imperative for me to have a Native voice represented on the song, and Chuck Billy was happy to be that voice. At the end, there is a call and response section — Chuck calls and I respond. This is intentional. Musically, it is symbolic of my experience there. A native voice leads, bringing forth positive energy and calling to the people to unite, and I reply, providing support. That was my physical experience, and it is reflected in the song."
Chuck Billy added, "It was a great honor as a proud Pomo Native American to be asked by Lamb of God to do some guest vocals on this song. The No DAPL movement by the indigenous people of this country was a historic event. Being able to lend my voice to represent the Native American people, complementing Randy's storytelling and lyrics, is something really special to me. I'm glad this movement was put in a musical message, and I am extremely happy to have been a part of it."
Lamb of God is available for pre-order now, including in a new alternate CD cover version signed by all five band members.