LAMB OF GOD will release a 20th-anniversary covers album, “Legion: XX”, as BURN THE PRIEST, the name under which LAMB OF GOD was originally formed in 1994. Due on May 18 via Epic, the collection will contain LAMB OF GOD‘s versions of songs originally written and recorded by bands that inspired them, including STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH, BAD BRAINS, MINISTRY, AGNOSTIC FRONT and CRO-MAGS.
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. 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.
Guitarist Mark Morton said of the effort: “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 onto new bands and regional scenes, and ‘copy and paste’ still implied a print shop and a glue stick.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
“Legion: XX” was recorded with producer Josh Wilbur (GOJIRA, ALL THAT REMAINS), who previously helmed LAMB OF GOD‘s 2015 “VII: Sturm Und Drang” album:
“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)
As BURN THE PRIEST, the group released a self-titled album in 1999, featuring guitarist Abe Spear, who later left the band to be a photographer and filmmaker. As soon as Spear exited BURN THE PRIEST, guitarist Willie Adler joined his brother Chris (drums) in the group.
Prior to the release of LAMB OF GOD‘s debut album, 2000’s “New American Gospel”, the band underwent a name change, which Morton told Metal Hammer was the group’s idea. “Think about it, BURN THE PRIEST sounds like the sort of thing a bunch of kids would come up with after drinking too much beer in a basement, which is how we got it in the first place,” he explained. “But can you really take any band with that name seriously? It’s so juvenile. By this time, we were starting to step everything up. At that point, we’d sign to the Prosthetic label, and they were desperate for us to keep on as BURN THE PRIEST. Just because we had a buzz building. But we resisted, told them we were going for LAMB OF GOD. They seemed happy enough.”
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.