Review: Strapping Young Lad

Strapping Young Lad
(Century Media)

A white feather, perhaps the tail feather of a dove, is splattered with some of Jackson Pollock’s red paint, perhaps blood.  The image of a dove feather covered in blood is a pretty sure fire metaphor for the defilement of peace.  It’s difficult to tell what Strapping Young Lad’s take is on the whole war thing, but if I had to guess they’re rather pissed about the terrorist attacks of late 2001 on the united States.  The reason this album exists it is said is because SYL’s vocalist/guitarist, Devin Townsend, got mad again after the attacks.  Rightfully so.  It’s okay to be mad as in angry, but not mad as in insane like Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Powell.  Speaking of Powell, isn’t it nice to blacks and southern rebel yellin’ whites getting together and bombing the fuck out of those Iraqi niggers?

I was watching TV the other day, war coverage, and there was this strapping young lad out in the desert firing his big fucking gun off the back of his military Hum Vee and he was screaming, “Mother fuckers!  Mother fuckers!”  I realized that a blow against censorship had been struck.  FOX News decided that you could shout, “Mother Fuckers!  Mother Fuckers!” on television as long as it’s in the proper context.  And what exactly is that context you ask?  Well, it’s okay to yell, “Mother Fuckers!  Mother Fuckers!” on television as long as it’s in the context of killing niggers.  Thanks FOX!

Digressions about the war aside, this SYL album is magnificent.  It makes the blood boil and the brain writhe like a big sack of night crawlers in fermenting cat shit.  The industrialized drumming, by the one and only Gene Hoglan, is worth the price of admission alone, but is far from the only thing this album has going for it.  The guitars perform terrible torrents of mixed death, black and straight ahead thrash metal riffing.  The vocals don’t scream with you they scream at you.  If you like metal, and I mean metal in its broadest most all-encompassing sense, then you should already own this album.