BY ANDY ZIKER
On Lamb Of God’s most recent effort, VII: Sturm Und Drang, Chris Adler again brings out a syllabus of contradictions: a raw, slamming approach with rhythmic sophistication and a relaxed feel; continuous double bass runs juxtaposed against syncopated feet and contrasting hands; and plenty of awe-inspiring drumming gymnastics.
Adler is one of metal’s top innovators, showcased here by a sixteenth-note punk polka overlaying a groove in six. Galloping thirty-second-note bass drum bursts add interest, then a march-like fill in measure eight warns us a dramatic shift is about to happen, before Adler launches into a brutal 4/4 shuffle.
Accompanying Frank Zappa-esque spoken-word and a three-note guitar countermelody (which lands on 1, 2 &, and 4), Adler wisely drives eighths on the bell of the ride to hold down the fort, while playing funky bass drum (including some thirty-second-note clusters) with and against the guitar part. _e fill in the last measure is characteristic Adler: A syncopated melody down the drums, over a bass drum rumble, finishing with wicked low-end on a second floor tom and an exclamation point on the snare and crash on the (4) &.
In the first three measures, simultaneous left-hand snare and double bass sixteenths are played under eighthnote crashes. Adler then ends the phrase with a punishing assault of 24 consecutive single strokes. As a screamo verse begins, Adler rides on a short duration China (using two-beat phrasing in six).
“Engage The Fear Machine”
In the first seven measures of this tension-filled metal march, Adler plays four hertas followed by thirty-second/ sixteenth combinations. The hertas create an unstable hemiola effect, while the bass drum part serves two functions: providing downbeats and gradually upping the rhythmic density — EDM style — over the entire eight bars.