Lamb of God set the metal world on fire throughout the early 2000s after releasing a series of hugely successful genre-defining albums.
Their style utilizes catchy and groovy guitars that take old-school Pantera-esque Southern American riffs and then ramp speed and aggression up a notch or three.
Not only do their riffs sound great, but they’re also a ton of fun to play along with! So in this article, I’m going to share everything you need to know in order to replicate their signature sound for yourself.
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Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Alder both use similar tones.
The goal is to be hairy and aggressive, while still remaining tight, articulate, and with a very defined pick attack as single-note riffs are utilized so heavily in this style.
Jackson Dominion Mark Morton signature model
One of the best things about Mark’s signature dominion guitar is that at first glance it doesn’t look like an overtly metal guitar.
But once you take a look at the specs you’ll quickly find out it’s a riffing machine!
Solid mahogany body, tune-o-matic style bridge, and dual custom-made DiMarzio Dominion pickups.
You’ll also notice similarities between this and a Gibson Les Paul. It uses the same 4 knob control system, bridge, and it even has the toggle switch on the upper horn.
This means you’ll be able to get very similar results, at a fraction of the cost, with something like an ESP LTD Eclipse or an Epiphone Les Paul Custom.
ESP Willie Adler Warbird
Willie has had a long-standing relationship with ESP and has released a number of signature models with them under the name Warbird.
Fundamentally these are based on the ESP E-II Eclipse models but have some great-looking custom inlays and distressed hardware.
One key aspect of his sound is the use of his signature model of Fishman Fluence pickups, which are essentially the same as regular Fishman Fluence modern pickups.
So if you’re on a budget you could easily use something like an ESP EC-256 and install some Fishman’s to achieve a comparable sound.
Lamb of God, much like Gojira, are undeniable proof that tuning low doesn’t necessarily make you heavier.
They use Drop D pretty much exclusively aside from a few tracks (mostly from their Resolution album) that are in Drop C#.
Both Mark and Willie are devout Mesa Boogie users. Throughout their careers, they’ve made use of pretty much every big, high-gain tube amp that Mesa offers.
Despite using high-gain modern metal tones, their sound is still somewhat organic and distinctly tube-sounding.
Mesa Boogie Mark IV
The Mark IV saw a lot of use for both recording and touring cycles of their early 2000s albums such as As the Palaces Burn and Ashes of the Wake.
Of course, this amplifier has since been superseded by the Mesa Mark Five that Mark commonly favors now.
For anyone who needs something a little more portable and bedroom-friendly, the Mesa Mark Five:25 is also a great option!
Mesa Triple Crown TC-100
Willie actually used prototypes of the Mesa Triple Crown TC-100 several years before its production release when playing live.
He’s described the TC-100 as being versatile and streamlined.
What’s interesting about this amplifier is that it’s available as a rackmount unit which is something you normally only see in modelers such as the Axe FX or Kemper Profiler.
The Triple Crown is closely associated with the Mesa Rectifier series of amps for delivering that same tight and aggressive sound.
Lamb of God Amp Settings
In order to make a tone like Lamb of God, the tone has to be both hyper-aggressive yet articulate enough to where you can hear every note.
The general ethos behind their sound is that you can’t be afraid of saturating the gain, but it’s going to fall to your technique to pick hard and accurately in order to make the notes pop.
Gain: 8.5 – Lamb of God relies heavily on heavy tube saturation to get their sound. So here you’ll want a huge boost to the gain, bringing it right to the cusp of it becoming muddy.
Bass: 7 – There’s a distinct classic rock quality to their sound that sets them apart from the regular thin, mid-focused guitars that a lot of modern metal bands utilize. So for once, you can be pretty generous with the bass!
Mids: 4 – A slight scoop here helps to create that darker metal sound, but you’ll still need some mids to be present as it helps the pick attack and definition come through.
Treble: 8 – A generous boost to the treble provides a lot of hair and unwieldy aggression to the sound.
For the most part, Redneck uses the standard Lamb of God tone. But by backing off the gain and bass just a bit you can get the start-stop style riffing on the verse much cleaner.
Laid to Rest
Laid to rest has a lot of melodic guitar playing over the top of the heavier riffs. So backing off the gain a bit and applying a small mid boost can help the lead guitars slice through the rhythm guitars better.
This track focuses on heavy, down picked and palm muted riffs. So here a small treble boost helps to add some extra teeth to the aggressive palm mutes.
As a metal band that rarely strays away from a quite dry rhythm tone, they don’t use many pedals.
But there are a few good utility pedals they use to assist their main rhythm tones.
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
As Lamb really likes to crank the gain on their amps, it can be difficult to quickly mute the strings without having a ton of residual noise ringing out.
So by using a Boss NS-2 they can retain the ability to quickly mute the guitars and get that snappy response, without needing to roll the amp gain down.
The NS2 also helps to reduce amp noise and hum, but it still functions very much like a gate, despite using the term suppressor.
You can use any old gate for this purpose such as the MXR Smart Gate or the very affordable TC Electronics Iron Curtain.
MXR Carbon Copy
The MXR Carbon Copy is a great delay for players who aren’t really into modulation effects, but still need some kind of delay on their pedalboard.
Other popular alternatives with comparable tones are the Boss DD-3T of the EP103 Echoplex from Jim Dunlop.
Lamb of God has been able to craft their own unique signature within the metal world and really help set the standard for what great modern metal should sound like.
I hope you have fun using the information provided in this article to make some world-class guitar tones for yourself!