Richmond, Virginia-based metallers LAMB OF GOD will release their new, self-titled album on June 19 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. The follow-up to 2015's "VII: Sturm Und Drang" marks LAMB OF GOD's first recordings with Art Cruz, who joined the band last year as the replacement for the group's founding drummer, Chris Adler.
Asked by Premier Guitar how seamless the transition from Chris to Art has been for him, LAMB OF GOD bassist John Campbell said: "I think that there are some subtle differences between the guys, although Art learned to play drums by looking up to LAMB OF GOD and Chris Adler. So he comes heavily steeped in the style. That said, there was some feeling each other out. In the beginning, we'd turn and look at each other for specific cues. Whereas, having played with Chris for years, we all knew exactly where the hits were. So there was some fine-tuning on points like that. As far as subtle differences, Art is just this insane ball of energy and he's going to hit everything on the razor-sharp perfectly. So he kicked a little fire in my ass, and it feels dangerous. It feels more exciting."
This past April, LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton told Zippo Encore that "Art brings just such a great energy to — well, first and foremost to the music, but also just kind of the dynamic of the group. He's about 15 years younger than us, so that's kind of got its own energy," he said. "His drumming ability is pretty much limitless — he can play whatever you ask him to; he can play whatever he wants — and that's pretty exciting, to be able to have that tool available to us.
"Art was certainly a professional drummer when he came into the fold, but some of the things we're doing at the level we're doing them at, he's never really been necessarily in those positions before," he added. "So to see his enthusiasm for it, his excitement, his curiosity — his eyes and ears are open, and he's killing it. It brings me a lot of joy. I love Art, man — I love the dude — and I'm really proud to have him in our band."
Art filled in for Chris on several LAMB OF GOD tours in the past couple of years before being named Adler's official replacement last July.
Cruz made his live debut with LAMB OF GOD in July 2018 in Gilford, New Hampshire.
"Lamb Of God" was recorded with longtime producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM) and includes special guest appearances by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT).