Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD will release their covers album as BURN THE PRIEST, "Legion: XX", next Friday, May 18 via Nuclear Blast in celebration of BURN THE PRIEST's upcoming 20th anniversary. "Legion: XX" is a collection of songs reflecting the greatness of the classic punk, hardcore, crossover and noise artists that influenced them in their formative years, executed with the band's signature modern sound.
BURN THE PRIEST rocked the music world with the release of its brash, in-your-face "Legion: XX" covers of THE ACCÜSED's "Inherit The Earth" and BIG BLACK's "Kerosene", and today fans can hear another blazing cover — this time of BAD BRAINS' "I Against I". Listen below.
"It's been a super-big honor to recently sing with one of my favorite bands of all time," says LAMB OF GOD vocalist Randy Blythe.
"Playing with the BAD BRAINS was an unearthly experience — trying to replace the fastest-singing human ever on songs like 'Banned In DC' and 'Pay To Cum'.
"When it came time to choose our cover of 'I Against I', I was trying not to sound like H.R., as he's so unique, but yet also throwing in enough of his style to show respect to his unique voice, through my interpretation.
"To cover the BAD BRAINS can't be a straight-forward cover, we had to nail it, and we did."
In addition to these tracks, "Legion: XX" features other songs originally performed by CRO-MAGS, AGNOSTIC FRONT, QUICKSAND, MINISTRY, MELVINS, S.O.D., and Richmond punk band SLIANG LAOS. Produced with Josh Wilbur at the helm, "Legion: XX" exhibits BURN THE PRIEST in its true element.
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 will release 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.
"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 will support SLAYER on the first leg of the latter band's farewell world tour. The trek will kick 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.