Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Strapping Young Lad|
Heavy As a Really Heavy Thing
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 09/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before the utter masterpieces "City" and "SYL," there was this rampaging slab of industrial-metal madness from the great Devin Townsend. It was here that Devin began to establish himself as metal's answer to Mike Patton, in terms of both vocal prowess and musical diversity. This may be a metal album, but it also shows the early signs of Devin's genre-bending tendencies. Like most great albums, it not only exemplifies its genre but also busts conventions to create something truly unique.The sound of "HAARHT" can best be described as a sort of barely controlled insanity, with equal parts aggression and catchiness combined to form one of the most potent sounds in recent history. The opening one-two punch of "S.Y.L." and "In The Rainy Season" is a perfect summation of Strapping Young Lad's musical mission. Both songs reach a grindcore-esque level of speed and intensity, but if you listen closely enough you can hear melodies emerging from the sonic carnage, making things go down just a bit easier. From there, the album branches out in some surprising directions, but it manages to remain firmly rooted in metal at the same time. Devin's voice is all over the map here, ranging from ear-piercing shrieks to fearsome death howls to something that actually bears some resemblance to singing. And in the grand tradition of Fear Factory and Ministry, samples and industrial beats are used often enough to make the album interesting, but not so much that they become tiresome or distracting. Perhaps most importantly, "HAARHT" provides convincing evidence of the demented songwriting genius that would only become more apparent on SYL's subsequent albums. "Goat" slows things way down from the first two songs, but doesn't soften the album up one bit; the slower tempo merely serves to drive the steamrolling heaviness into you even harder. The Ministry-style "Cod Metal King" actually shows an admirable grasp of dynamics, moving from mid-tempo and subdued (by Devin's standards, anyway) to all-out headbanging fury without warning. "The Filler-Sweet City Jesus" has one of the most addictive guitar riffs in history, hands down. "Happy Camper (Carpe B.U.M.)" and "Drizzlehell" are quite possibly the most manical compositions in Devin's catalog, propelled by harsh vocals and vicious grooves that make the mirrors in my car vibrate (or maybe I just need new tires). Metal lovers everywhere definitely owe a debt to Devin Townsend. Along with Meshuggah, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Soilent Green, and a few other bands, Strapping Young Lad are ensuring that the genre stays intriguing as it moves into the new millenium. If you consider yourself any kind of metal fan, you need this album. And if you don't like it, you're lame."
The beginnings of greatness
spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before Ocean Machine, before City or Terria or Alien, there was this - Devin Townsend's first small twisted masterpiece. The seeds of all those other works can be heard here, although this album is much more.. I guess 'crude' would be a good word. Heavy... is the sound of a brilliant headbanger's mind being let completely loose for the first time to produce what it will with no restraints or straitjackets. (Scared? Good.) It's not just extreme metal or industrial or hardcore or thrash. The genre's cliches are gleefully undermined, twisted, embraced and lampooned all at once to make a refreshingly wacky pile of heavy-metal slop.
We go all over the map, from slow-and-heavy to hyper-and-REALLY-heavy, from pure straightforward guitar squawk to synths and techno-beat loops, from shrieking to singing to goofy growling and back to shrieking again, from the savage fury of "Critic" to the almost childish silliness of "Satan's Ice Cream Truck." No metal stone is unturned. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wince in pain, your eardrums will bleed. Sure it's less cohesive and refined than anything else under the SYL name, but I wouldn't hold that against this disc. Its head-spinning disjointedness is what makes Heavy unique among the catalog, and it's got a wild abandon that the others (for all their psychotic lethalness) inevitably lose.
This is essential for fans of metal in any or all forms. Nutty, crazy, ferocious, bizarre, silly, punishing, brutal - you may not like all of it, but this is one album that leaves a mark (or perhaps a second-degree burn scar) like no other."
A Screaming, Stomping, Monster of Pain!
spiral_mind | 02/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever heard that Steve Vai album several years back with the freaky vocalist who sounded very different than others in the genre? Well this would be his own band & WHOA is it freaky! This mosh masterpiece is one of those albums that comes along every now & then that just absolutely SMASHES you like a diesel crushes a small mammal! My personal favorites are S.Y.L. which chorus' rage with "I F#%*ING HATE YOU!!! (repeat with furious intensity 8x) A song that from what I can tell, (no lyric sheets : ( ) is about the evils of the Corporate world. (i.e. using people, favoritism, facist uniformity, backstabbing, etc.) The other is DEFINITLY "Happy Camper". This song is so insane & ferociuos that I literally just sat there staring at the speakers like "DA------MMM!" So, if you're angry that Metallica sucks now & maybe you're wanting to vent because you're chasing that dream/nightmare of climbing the corporate ladder (good luck) buy this album, sit down in your lazy-boy, and let the soothing sounds of Devin & Strapping Young Lad ease your anxieties & bring your stress level down a bit with their brand of Metal Core/Industrial/Grind mayhem! Enjoy."