Saturday, October 22, 2016
When Lamb of God recorded last year's VII: Sturm und Drang, they held onto a song they felt was special enough to stand on its own: "The Duke." The track, which finds frontman Randy Blythe singing about mortality, is dedicated to Wayne Ford, a fan of the band whom the singer befriended in late 2012. Ford was suffering from leukemia and after Blythe heard his story – captured on the band's website – it left a profound impact on him.
To honor Ford, the group is releasing an EP, also titled The Duke, which features the hard-rock–leaning song along with another unreleased track that dates back to their Wrath LP, the thrashy, heavy "Culling," which they finished up especially for this EP, along with live recordings of three Sturm und Drangtracks. The Duke is due out November 18th with a vinyl edition following on the 25th; pre-orders for those editions begin today, while digital pre-orders and streaming will start Friday. Blythe is hoping the EP will raise awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and BeTheMatch.org, a website operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. (Blythe joined the marrow registry after the band's merch seller, Evie Carrano, died of leukemia in 2008; he also supported it when Behemoth frontman Nergal battled the disease in 2010 and survived.)
In conjunction with the EP release, the band has also organized a charity campaign to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Randy Blythe will be offering his personal gold plaque for Lamb of God's Ashes of the Wake, signed copies of handwritten lyrics and a signed copy of his bookDark Days, and band members will be contributing signed signature-model guitars, signed copies of The Duke on CD and vinyl, and other items. [source]