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 American Songwriter what it was like writing and playing with Art after recording with Chris for over a decade, guitarist Mark Morton said: "It was fantastic. The songwriting process hasn't changed at all. We start with guitar riffs. So the same guys are writing the guitar riffs that always were. We have a different drummer, and there are differences for sure. Chris was a phenomenal talent, and he's a great drummer, and we made a lot of amazing music together. But Art is also a phenomenal talent and a great drummer. He's more feel-oriented. He's a little less robotic, and I don't mean that as a dig. I don't want to compare them too much. They're just two different drummers. But Art is a real feel, finesse player. I think the prime example I can give is live with Chris we used to play everything to a click. There was a click in our ear and that was a machine that kept timing consistent and the same every night. Within a week of playing with Art live, we were off the click. We were just playing the songs together instead of playing them at the same time. And I think that really made its way into our creative process as well."
Earlier this week, Cruz told Terry "Beez" Bezer of Knotfest.com's "Mosh Talks With Beez" that he had no intention of copying Adler's style. "I'm never going to be Chris Adler, and I don't want to be Chris Adler; I want to be me," he said. "I wanna be Art Cruz, but I've been able to use what he's inspired me for and build who I am… I was lucky to be able to create what I did and not lose that LAMB OF GOD sound. It's the LAMB OF GOD sound — it's not the sound of the drummer. Yeah, you need [John] Bonham for LED ZEPPELIN, but if you don't have Jimmy Page, you don't have LED ZEPPELIN. It's a formula, so at the end of the day, I have to keep that sound, and that's what it is. I pay homage to the drum parts a lot, 'cause that's what it is — it's the LAMB OF GOD sound."
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).