Lamb of God and Brand of Sacrifice – Eatons Hill Hotel Brisbane [Live Review]

Review and gallery: Dan Maynard

Most of us here tonight are still recovering from yesterday’s full day at Knotfest at the RNA Showgrounds. PanteraThe HuThy Art is Murder and of course tonight’s headliner, American metal specialists Lamb of God. As the rain becomes more relentless, even more so than the mud filled day that Knotfest was, the fans are far from deterred from Eatons Hill Hotel for one of the best metal bands to ever grace planet Earth. Let’s fucking do this!

If you were at Knotfest the day before, you’d already know that Canadian metal outfit Brand of Sacrifice were missing a vital part of the band on stage, vocalist Kyle ‘Demon King’ Anderson is completely absent. Tonight is the same, as explained at KnotfestDemon is incredibly sick and has completely lost his voice and is unable to perform. But that is not gonna stop the rest of the band from being complete fucking kings themselves.

I have nothing but respect for the band. I have really only ever seen one or two bands have the courage to come out and play without their singer due to illness. It takes guts to get up and perform a set of songs that in many parts are largely vocal heavy. Nevertheless, they sound incredible, as they did at Knotfest. Opening with Dawn, those massive big hits shake the fucking room like nothing else.

The music is so full of texture and depth that even without Andersons murderous vocals, a full set of instrumentals works brilliantly. Closing with Eclipse, the set closes just as barbarous as it opened and I’m not even sure there’s any faces left in the crowd after the boys tore the fuck off the crowd. Seriously, do NOT miss them when they come back.

The anticipation is rising, it’s incredibly evident in the room. But when those stage lights drop to nothingness and the opening guitar from Memento Mori plays over the sound system, the crowd go into a frenzy. And even that isn’t comparable to the eruption that occurs when drummer Art Cruz steps behind the kit, fists in the air. This is Cruz’s first tour to Australia behind the kit for Lamb of God and the crowd have definitely made him welcome.

Quickly after the fact and still in darkness, the rest of the band begin to take to the stage. With a four count in, vocalist Randy Blythe screams the opening line to the song, the line that will set the tone for the rest of this evening’s events….”WAKE UP!” Blythe holds that note with complete brutality while the band kicks into the song.

There’s barely a moment to breathe as the band count straight into their 2006 album Sacraments opening track Walk with Me in Hell. Midway, Blythe takes to the top of the drum riser (which stands a solid meter and a half tall) to perform his iconic jump from the top and back to the stage floor in perfect timing as the breakdown kicks in.

To round out the opening three is Hourglass, a staple in their set since its release in 2004. It’s genuinely hard to find a Lamb of God song that doesn’t in some way invite crowd participation. And with that, the Brisbane fan base are making that crystal clear, screaming every word and knowing exactly when to push that bit harder for each and every illustrious chant that Randy demands from the crowd.

This is the first set we have had from the fellas since 2016. There have been three full albums and a couple of stand alone singles since then. Instead of showcasing those albums though, they use this trip to play through a perfect blend of old and new. Making sure to mix it up, they know what the crowd needs and they deliver to put it lightly.

Eleventh HourRuinDescending and new track Ditch just to name a few from this insane setlist. I myself have seen Lamb of God more times than I can remember and there is no denying that this show rivals every tour that came before and them are big words I tell ya. It could be the long wait, it could be the hype leading up to the show, but there seems to be a new magic on stage that emanates to the crowd unlike other tours. The sound is beyond perfect, for an already exceedingly tight as fuck band, this is next level.

I’m having a bit of trouble standing still tonight. It could be the forever building excitement, it could be the ADHD within my ever restless bones, but regardless it leads me to move around the room a bit, experiencing the show from multiple angles and no matter where I’m standing the crowd is showing just as much love and passion and enthusiasm as the last spot. I take a moment during Omens to race to the back of the room just outside the glass doors and buy a shirt.

As I stand there paying, the lights in the room black out once again, this time the intro to Vigil plays over the PA. And even from that far back, the beautiful yet haunting clean guitar and bass gives me instant goosebumps and I’m back in that room in time for Randy to scream the band into the kick in. It’s fucking glorious. Easily one of the most emotionally brutal tracks the band has produced and it shows. After closing with the inevitable closer Redneck, filled with the biggest circle pit Eatons Hill Hotel has ever had inside, it’s time to clear out into the open air where yep, it’s still pissing down with rain. But it’s totally worth it.

Well, it’s been seven years since the Virginian gods were here and it’s been over a decade since a headline tour. Let’s all put our hands together and pray to the metal gods that this doesn’t repeat itself. We need a full blown Lamb of God Australian tour in 2025!