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Lamb of God’s Mark Morton to Reflect on Tragedy, Hope in ‘Desolation’ Memoir

Mark Morton, the guitarist who co-founded the heavy-metal group Lamb of God three decades ago, will release a memoir this summer that looks back on the triumphs and tragedies of his life so far.

In the book Desolation: A Heavy Metal Memoir, which will come out June 25, the musician reflects on how he felt like he had to push forward with the band even after the death of his newborn daughter in 2009. That event and the perpetual motion of band life led him to addiction. His story, which he co-wrote with author Ben Opipari, also contains moments of hope and joy. He has since celebrated five years of sobriety. The book’s publisher, Hachette, promises it also contains “strange and hilarious tales.”

“Initially, I started writing this book just to see if I could do it,” Morton said in a statement. “But as the writing process unfolded, it quickly took on much more meaning. Unpacking my story, I was able to observe events in my life with an objectivity that I hadn’t experienced while I’d lived them in real time.

“Through a lens of hindsight and recovery, I made friends with my past and found value in my most difficult days,” he continued. “I hope that by offering my experiences, I can create a point of connection and commonality. There are a lot of fun stories in here and a few really sad ones. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share them.”

Hachette Books

Born in Virginia, Morton co-founded the band, which initially called itself Burn the Priest, in 1994. Lamb of God’s 2004 album, Ashes of the Wake, and their LP from 2006, Sacrament, have both been certified gold by the RIAA, and the group has been nominated five times for Grammys. In 2009, Morton’s baby, Madalyn Grace Morton, died the day she was born after developing an infection during delivery. He wrote about the loss on the song “Embers,” which came out on Lamb of God’s 2015 album, VII: Sturm und Drang, and in an essay that Noisey published.


In 2019, Morton released his debut solo album, Anesthetic, which featured guest appearances by Mark Lanegan, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington on one of the latter’s final recordings. Lamb of God’s most recent album, Omens, came out in 2022.

Morton will be on the road this summer as Lamb of God embarks on the Ashes of Leviathan tour, which they’re co-headlining with Mastodon. The group will play Ashes of the Wake in its entirety while Mastodon performs their Leviathan album, marking the 20th anniversary of each LP.

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