"Memento Mori," the opening track to Lamb of God's self-titled new album has been unchained. In tandem with the music video release for the new song, vocalist Randy Blythe has also issued a message urging calm while stressing the severity of the coronavirus outbreak.

The track begins on a somber note — clean-toned guitars set an eerie mood and guitarist Mark Morton nailed it when he said, "Vocally, Randy heard the intro and said he instantly got a throwback Sisters of Mercy type vibe from it and he took off from there." Just over a minute-and-a-half in, Blythe cracks the atmosphere with a banshee scream of "Wake up!" and the rest of Lamb of God come crashing through the gate.

Watch the music video at the bottom of the page.

Before addressing "Memento Mori," Blythe used this opportunity to relate society's obsession with digital devices to the current issue the collective world is facing, as learned about on those digital devices that deliver a deluge of updates on the coronavirus around the clock.

"There is a vast amount of indisputably real and depressingly negative occurrences happening across the globe," explained Blythe. "Currently, at the forefront of everyone’s mind is the global COVID-19 pandemic. This is a very real concern, and proper precautions need to be taken by EVERYONE in order to protect those most at risk - the elderly, infirm and immunocompromised," the singer urged.

"It is indeed a scary time," Blythe admitted, "but in this hyper-connected age with its 24/7 never-ending news cycle of atrocity, outrage and lurid click-bait headlines (not to mention ill-informed lunatics running amok and spreading misinformation and panic on social media), it is all too easy to lose sight of the fact that life is still carrying on, and good things do in fact still happen."

Turning his attention to the opening track to Lamb of God's forthcoming record, the vocalist explained, "Months before the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, I wrote ‘Memento Mori’ as a reminder to myself to not be consumed by the omnipresent electronic harbingers of doom that surround us - cellphones, computers, and television screens."

"While these devices can be useful tools, and it is important to stay informed, it is equally important to remain engaged with the real, physical world we with live in, not just digitally filtered representations of reality," he expounded.

As for the music video, Blythe was behind that too.

"I wrote the narrative music video treatment a few months ago to illustrate how warped and myopic our mental states can become when we fail to remain engaged with that reality - if all you pay attention to is catastrophe, then soon you will begin to see monsters everywhere you look," he cautioned.

Going a bit deeper into the video, Blythe continued, "The actual monsters we used in the video are Sinisteria, a local Richmond, Virginia haunted house/dark performance troupe I met on the street at our annual Krampus Nacht parade."

Proud of his hometown, the vocalist further explained, "Richmond has a strong tradition of loud music and weird costumed monsters working hand in hand to make salient points (we are the birthplace of GWAR, after all), and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results."

He's hoping fans take a lesson away from all this as he wrapped up his thoughts, sharing, "Music has always been there for me, raising my spirits during hard times, and it is my hope that this song’s positive message will do the same for fans of our music right now and beyond. The release date for the tune was set a good while ago, but the timing seems eerily prescient to me now. So enjoy the song and video, and then remember to step away from the screens for a bit - real life is waiting for you. We only get one shot, so don’t waste this day. Everyone be well, keep a cool head, take care of yourselves, and take care of EACH OTHER."

Morton weighed in on the instrumental side, offering, "I had been sitting with the music for the intro and the post chorus for quite a while. I was trying to develop those two parts as separate songs altogether and was a little bit stumped, particularly with the intro piece. Me, Willie  and Josh Wilbur (producer) were doing demos in the studio and the idea came up to try to mash those parts into the same tune and everything just took off.   It was one of those times where once I knew what we were trying to do, the riffs just kind of fell out of me like they were writing themselves. It’s always a crazy feeling when that happens."

Lamb of God, "Memento Mori" Lyrics

By the darkest river, beneath the leafless trees
I think I’m drowning, this dream is killing me
In the coldest winter, between the fading lights
I feel I’m falling into a frozen sky
Past the blackest heaven, above the dying stars
I watch me breaking into a million shards
But through the hardest hour, below the cruelest sign
I know I’m waking up from this wretched lie
Wake up

A depression fed by overload
False perceptions, the weight of the world
A universe in the palm of your hand
The artifice of endless strands

Distraction flows down an obsessive stream
Rejection grows into oppressive screams

The hardest hour, the cruelest sign
I’m waking up from this wretched lie
I fight it the same, don’t waste this day
Wake up, wake up, wake up
Memento mori

The regression of advancing modes
And Imperial corrosive nodes
A prime directive to disconnect
Reclaim yourself and resurrect

Distraction flows down an obsessive stream
Rejection grows into oppressive screams

The hardest hour, the cruelest sign
I’m waking up from this wretched lie
I fight it the same, don’t waste this day
Wake up, wake up, wake up Memento mori

There’s too many choices
And I hear their relentless voices
But you’ve gotta run them out
Return to now and shut it down
A depression fed by overload
False perceptions, the weight of the world
Because there’s too many choices
Gotta kill their relentless voices

Wake up

Lamb of God, the band's eighth overall record, first since 2015's Sturm und Drang and debut for new drummer Art Cruz, drops on May 8 through Epic Records. Pre-order the disc via their website.

Megadeth and Lamb of God announced a co-headlining tour earlier this year. The trek, which is slated to kick off in June (note: at press time, this tour has not been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus), also features Trivium and In Flames. See the list of upcoming dates here.

Lamb of God, “Memento Mori” Music Video

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