On March 1, Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton released Anesthetic, his first foray into solo album territory. Featuring his signature heavy-as-hell guitar tone throughout the record, Morton was aided by a number of special guest vocalists, including the late Chester Bennington, who recorded the track “Cross Off” mere months before his passing in July 2017.
With Lamb of God enjoying a bit of a break at the moment, Morton went out on the road for a U.S. tour supporting the album, and that tour crashed into the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip earlier this week. Featuring a backing band comprised of Mark Morales (vocals) and Nick Villareal (bass) of Sons of Texas, Bad Wolves guitarist Doc Coyle and drummer Art Cruz (Prong and currently Lamb of God’s touring drummer), Morton shredded across the stage, helping to bring these new songs to life in a live setting.
Opening the night was Moon Tooth, a Long Island-based metal band with progressive tendencies. Preparing to release a full-length album, Crux, this Friday, March 29, the band previewed the record with a handful of tracks, including the intriguing “Trust.”
In all, theirs was a set that turned some heads at the Roxy. It’s not hard to imagine Moon Tooth earning a ton more attention as the album is released.
Light the Torch, featuring former Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones, were just pulverizing in their hour-long set. Jones was clearly very happy to be there, his candid stage banter emphasizing that point well, as he’d been hospitalized and canceled some dates earlier in the tour due to the flu and other maladies.
He was healthy at the Roxy, and it showed. Leading his band through songs from their latest album. Revival, and their previous records under the name Devil You Know, their set was a powerful sight to behold.
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Good times at @theroxy Monday night with @mark.duane.morton of @lambofgod and @lightthetorchband. Riffs for days, and an assortment of premier rock and roll players. If you haven’t checked out Morton’s new solo album Anesthetic yet, do it. #MarkMorton #LambOfGod #Metal #LightTheTorch
After Light the Torch’s masterful hour of energy and riffs — oh, so many riffs — Morton and his band took the stage for even more riffs.
Morales, who appears on the Anesthetic record singing on the track “Blur,” did a great job handling vocals on the other songs, which on their recorded versions feature Bennington, Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix (“Sworn Apart”), Mark Lanegan (“Axis”), Myles Kennedy (“Save Defiance”), Josh Todd of Buckcherry (“Back from the Dead”) and more.
Naeemah Z. Maddox joined the band for the song “Reveal,” which she sings on the record, as a fun special guest moment. As did Stone Sour drummer Ray Mayorga, who spelled Cruz behind the kit for “The Truth Is Dead.”
In all, Mark Morton’s entry into solo album territory made for a solid exploration of heavy metal precision from one of the industry’s most able and accomplished axe men. Doing so with a host of special guest friends elevates Anesthetic to a must-listen for fans of the genre, and the live show followed suit.
It was a great time, and anybody who caught a show on this tour was in for a treat.