Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD have released the Heath Bradley-directed animated video for their cover version of the MINISTRY song "Jesus Built My Hotrod". The track is taken from LAMB OF GOD's covers album, "Legion: XX", which was released under the BURN THE PRIEST banner on May 18 via Nuclear Blast in Europe and Epic Records in the U.S.
Guitarist Mark Morton says about the track: "This was a benchmark song from the early '90s. We didn't even originally plan on doing it — producer Josh Wilbur and I learned it real quickly and put it together. It turned out to be one of our favorite songs of the album. It features a side of Randy [Blythe, vocals] that people aren't used to hearing. Nothing was planned, so it felt fun, and we just went for it."
LAMB OF GOD may be one of the biggest bands in modern metal, but they will never forget where they came from. Mark Morton (guitar), John Campbell (bass) and Chris Adler (drums) formed the first incarnation of the band, BURN THE PRIEST, in the winter of 1994 after meeting four years earlier as students at Virginia Commonwealth University. Less than a year later, in the summer of 1995, they met Blythe before adding Chris Adler's brother, Willie Adler (guitar), prior to transitioning to LAMB OF GOD — and the rest is global metal history.
Morton says: "To truly understand the essence of the band BURN THE PRIEST, one must first consider the landscape in which it began: the mid-'90s. Grunge and alternative music ruled the airwaves. Social media and the internet had yet to assume their role as our collective sources for entertainment and cultural exchange. It was a time when DIY 'zines turned us on to new bands and regional scenes, and 'copy and paste' still implied a print shop and a glue stick."
BURN THE PRIEST's self-titled debut album, released via Philadelphia-based Legion Records, documented what was, in essence, a primal punk band performing metal. Ultimately, as they grew in local popularity, the five-piece chose to stray away from their name to avoid being associated with satanic metal, choosing the name LAMB OF GOD.
Morton continues: "As our sound and songs developed, so did our goals… we began playing basement parties and warehouse shows and in doing so, we realized that the energy we were creating was transferable. The shows we played in those squats and warehouses [in Philadelphia] and the people we met there are forever embedded in our collective consciousness and the DNA of our band."
As they enter their 20th year since releasing their first self-titled album as BURN THE PRIEST, the band has released a full-length covers album that reflects on the greatness of classic punk, hardcore, crossover and noise — rock subgenres that contributed to what LAMB OF GOD, and indeed, the world, now view as modern heavy metal.
As BURN THE PRIEST, the band presents "Legion: XX" — featuring tracks originally performed by CRO-MAGS, AGNOSTIC FRONT, QUICKSAND, MINISTRY, BAD BRAINS, MELVINS, S.O.D., THE ACCÜSED, BIG BLACK and Richmond punk band SLIANG LAOS. The tracks are performed with the unmistakable precision that has kept the band vital for two decades, but ultimately harks back to the raw, punk-driven sound first explored by four unsuspecting college students and a line cook-turned-vocalist in their formative years. Produced with Josh Wilbur at the helm, "Legion: XX" exhibits BURN THE PRIEST in their true element.
"Our inauspicious beginnings somehow grew into something none of us had ever even imagined possible, let alone aspired to, however, this is the story of BURN THE PRIEST," adds Morton. "The songs we chose to cover on this album reflect that story. They are touchstones from that point in time. The inspiration we gleaned from these bands and these songs carries through our work and our creative pursuits, even to this day. Many thanks to these bands for lighting our fire and endless gratitude to our fans around the world for keeping it lit."
"Legion: XX" track listing:
01. Inherit The Earth (THE ACCÜSED cover)
02. Honey Bucket (MELVINS cover)
03. Kerosene (BIG BLACK cover)
04. Kill Yourself (S.O.D. cover)
05. I Against I (BAD BRAINS cover)
06. Axis Rot (SLIANG LAOS cover)
07. Jesus Built My Hotrod (MINISTRY cover)
08. One Voice (AGNOSTIC FRONT cover)
09. Dine Alone (QUICKSAND cover)
10. We Gotta Know (CRO-MAGS cover)
Bonus song (only on LP!):
11. In The Meantime (HELMET cover)
LAMB OF GOD is supporting SLAYER on the North American leg of the latter band's farewell world tour. The trek kicked off with a May 10 concert at San Diego's Valley View Casino Center, with dates running through August 26 at San Jose, California's SAP Center.