A visualizer for "Routes", a new song from Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD, can be seen below. The track, which features a guest appearance by TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy, is taken from LAMB OF GOD's upcoming self-titled album, due on June 19 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. The follow-up to "VII: Sturm Und Drang" marks LAMB OF GOD's first recordings with Art Cruz, who joined the band last July as the replacement for the group's founding drummer, Chris Adler.
"Routes" was lyrically inspired by vocalist D. Randall Blythe's time alongside native peoples at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota during the #NoDAPL movement. This protest, which began with just a few Native women and children camping at the site in protest of the pipeline being built so near to their water supply on unceded treaty land, quickly grew to an encampment of thousands and received global attention.
Says Blythe: "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."
Although Blythe conveys his story through the song's vivid lyrics, he called in his friend Billy, who is of Pomo Native American heritage, to lend a deeper authenticity to his narrative.
"My experience, although my own, was tempered and shaped by the hundreds of years of brutal oppression of Native peoples in our country," says Blythe. "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 says: "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 #NoDAPL 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" was recorded with longtime producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM) and includes an additional special guest appearance by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED).
"Lamb Of God" track listing:
01. Memento Mori
04. Reality Bath
05. New Colossal Hate
06. Resurrection Man
07. Poison Dream (feat. Jamey Jasta)
08. Routes (feat. Chuck Billy)
09. Bloodshot Eyes
10. On The Hook
As previously reported, the first leg of LAMB OF GOD's North American tour with MEGADETH, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES is being rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe. The 55-date trek was slated to be split into two legs. The first leg of the tour was supposed to kick off June 12 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, and wrap August 1 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California. The second run was due to launch October 2 at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida, and conclude on November 13 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.