The only vocals on this track are statements made by Jimmy Massey, a Staff Sergeant in the US Marines who was honorably discharged in December 2003 after a 12-year career. Massey, who was part of the US invasion of Iraq, spoke out about the atrocities that went on as part of the operation, including the killing of civilians. Much of the Ashes of the Wake is a condemnation of the war.
Unusual for Lamb of God, there are guest musicians on this track: Alex Skolnick of Testament played the second guitar solo, and Chris Poland of Megadeth played the third.
"The Way" by Fastball was inspired by the story of an elderly couple from Texas who drove to a nearby family reunion and kept going. Fastball's bass player imagined them taking off and having fun like they were young. The story didn't end well: the couple was later found dead after they crashed in a canyon.