Lamb Of God’s name brought along some troubles for the band in the late ’90s and early 2000s. At some point, The Forum in Los Angeles, owned by The Faithful Central Bible Church, even banned the group from performing there due to its name and former title.
John Campbell, Chris Adler, Mark Morton, and Matt Conner originally started Lamb Of God as ‘Burn The Priest’ in 1994. The release of their self-titled debut album led to a change in the name, resulting in questions about the reason and the meaning of these monikers.
While ‘Burn The Priest’ caused some to see the band as having satanic undertones, others speculated if the title ‘Lamb Of God’ suggested Christian relations. Campbell clarified these speculations in a past interview with Wiki Metal by saying:
“The problems we had were that people thought we were satanic band, would kind of write us off and not pay any attention. And I was really frustrated, considering all the hard work that we put into. So we decided to change the name at the time, and we kind of went the other way with it.”
About the religious meaning behind the name, he noted:
“A lot of people think we’re a Christian band, but ultimately, it may be a little more offensive to call yourself the savior of someone’s specific religion. But it’s water under the bridge at this point.”
Revisiting The Original
According to other explanations, another factor affecting the name switch was the change in the band’s lineup in its early years. Before the debut’s release, Abe Spear and later Willie Adler replaced Morton when he left for his studies.
When the guitarist returned to the lineup in 1997, the band continued to release records under the title ‘Lamb Of God.’ But the members revisited the original name once again in a 2018 cover album called ‘Legion: XX.’
Morton explained this choice in a public statement at the time as follows:
“Our inauspicious beginnings somehow grew into something none of us had ever even imagined possible, let alone aspired to; however, this is the story of Burn the Priest. The songs we chose to cover on this album reflect that story.”
Referring to the tracks, he went on:
“They are touchstones from that point in time. The inspiration we gleaned from these bands and these songs carries through our work and our creative pursuits, even to this day. Many thanks to these bands for lighting our fire and endless gratitude to our fans around the world for keeping it lit.”
‘Legion: XX’ included tracks like The Accused’s ‘Inherit The Earth’ and Ministry’s ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod,’ which you can hear below.