Strapping Young is a Canadian band born a day of 1994
, under the impulsion of Devin Townsend
, the great author/composer/performer (also a great guitarist and a good keyboardist) known thanks to Steve Vai
. This (alternative) technical thrash metal band knew dissolution after the psychiatric hospital stay of Devin, a consequence of his absolute involvement into the awesome record named “Infinity
”, which has become cult and changed the way progressive metal was made. But let’s stop the intellectual masturbation! The last album of the Canadian band, “The New Black
”, came in stores in 2006, but does it really worth?
Greatly influenced by The Devin Townsend
project? This record surely is! Given that Devin was devoting time both to his progressive metal project and his group of thrashers reformed during the recording of “Accelerated Evolution
” (2003), I was expecting an off-the-wall job but more wise than “Aliens”. “The New Black
” is a disc of hysterical music, a chaos of violence matching with the complex personality of Devin Townsend
, leader of Strapping Young Lad
. Descent into unclear waters…
First, let’s talk about the craziest title of the record, with guitars riffs where the strings are twisting all over the place and where the verses are a kind of slogan in favor of collective psychosis; The chorus is repetitive but quite comic, and Gene
Hoglan (actually member of Fear Factory
) at the drums keeps on drumming on like one possessed! “Wrong
Side (of The Head
)” is a concentration of North
American brutality with, in the background, the cool touch of the guitarist and melodic vocals rather offbeat in this industrial thrash ambiance… Kind of nutty!!!
metal” and his schizophrenic choirs give to the song a forward atmosphere, close to some of “Infinity
” compositions (especially with the high-pitched singings in the middle of the title) A nice duo of guitars between Devin and Jed Simon opens the way to a mischievous partition of synthesizers and to a second vocal bridge that sounds pretty good! Drums, percussions and double pedals introduce to us “Antiproduct”, in which sludge metal’s greasy riffs get their way in during the verses. The vocal of Devin goes from the candied softness to the bestiality of death thrash songs. Saxophones contribute to the “fiesta” of Dev’ in a short but inspired musical bridge. We find again this grain of madness likely to the Devin Townsend
of The Devin Townsend
Band’s time. It has pleased to me so much!
“Fucker” begins by a typically thrash metal composition where Devin sings high-pitched before coming back to savage vocals for a wild and salutary chorus. Guitars go nuts on the untamed tempo of a heavy drum kit; Witness the fleeting dance between both guitars on the weighty rhythm of the bass drums and drums, and the more we progress to the end, the more the chanting sample keeps on saying “Full Access” and the more the guitars’ riffs become insane. A big slap in the mouth!! Let’s end this review with the very melodious “Almost Again
”, a powerful ballad into the psyche of Devin Townsend
, able to almost everything in terms of experimental music and so delicate in his singing, cold hands, warm heart and on edge! Amazing song where the sumptuous vocals of the Canadian and the everlasting symphonic grace last five (short) minutes… Simply exceptional!
Be sure that with “The New Black
”, you will spend a great big moment of which you won’t be growing tired of while there is eccentriCity in every song of this record.
Have a nice trip!