“A little while ago I became friends with a fan named Wayne Ford – he was terminal – leukemia. I talked with him often, even video chatted him into the studio. He was very calm about his impending death, and we discussed it very openly. I learned a lot from him.”- Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe details the inspiration behind the song The Duke.
The EP consists of two new songs, as well as three live tracks- one of these being Still Echoes, the first single from their last album VII: Sturm Und Drang.
Title track The Duke is unconventionally poignant- poignant in the Lamb Of God way really. Musically, in the verses it’s less heavy than most of their work, yet the lyrics are weighted with the message about its subject which makes it heavy in other, more hard-hitting ways. The choruses however, are as driving and ferocious as ever, and as a whole this is a fitting and heartfelt tribute to the band’s friend and fan. Culling brings it right back though: groove-laden and inexorable, slowing only for some alluring riffs in the bridge and followed by the briefest of drum solos, this is Lamb Of God in their truest form.
If it’s even possible, Still Echoes (live from Rock Am Ring), sounds even more vicious live; their last album being about Blythe’s prison stay back in 2012, it’s easy to hear from the venom in his voice the these words come from a true, raw place. The case is the same for 512, which this time is live from Bonaroo, while the rest of the band sound just as tight as they do on record.
This may only be a small release for Lamb Of God, however it’s quality, not quantity what matters. The first song honours the band’s late friend, while Culling does what this band do best. Named after the aforementioned friend and fan, the last three tracks of The Duke are live versions of tracks by the band he loved. It’s for all these reasons that it’s a perfect tribute, as well as a quality offering for Lamb Of God fans.
The Duke is out now and the different formats through which you can get the album, are listed below:
In conjunction with ‘The Duke’ EP release, LAMB OF GOD will be offering the following items with all proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (WWW.LLS.ORG):
– Randy Blythe’s Ashes of the Wake gold record plaque
– Signed signature model guitars
– Signed copies of handwritten lyrics
– Signed copies of ‘The Duke’ EP on CD
– Signed copies of ‘The Duke’ EP on Vinyl
– Signed copies of Randy Blythe’s book
– Plus more
The charity campaign is being hosted via Propeller.la.