One of the many highlights of Lamb of God's latest full-length, 2020's self-titled offering, is "Routes," featuring Testament vocalist Chuck Billy. The song 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. With Lamb of God set to be re-released in a new deluxe edition this Friday (March 26th), the Virginian metal stalwarts have unleashed a quarantine performance video of them playing the ripping cut joined by Billy. Watch above.
"It's always an honor to be asked to perform with Lamb of God, especially on this song," the Testament singer commented. "It has such a deep meaning for me personally with my native American heritage. I'm happy Randy included me to get the message out about what is going on with Native Americans in the USA."
Blythe said of the song at the time of its release, in May 2020: "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."