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Strapping Young Lad

Strapping Young Lad
Century Media

For more than a decade, Canadian maniacs Strapping Young Lad have been one of metal’s most enthralling, yet ultimately terrifying prospects. With their 1995 debut – the peculiarly titled ‘Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing” – Devin Townsend and his merry men set a new standard in the realms of aggressive music. A relentless sonic assault of grinding guitars, pummelling drum fills and blood curdling screams; it was to be an underground cult classic that would stay firmly in the memories of all those who heard it.

Ten years later the quartet would release their fourth and possibly finest album to date ‘Alien‘. Undoubtedly the final step in what would prove to be a slow but sure evolution towards perfection; the result was ten tracks of mind-melting metal mayhem with a new found purpose and maturity. While their thrash/grind roots would remain greatly visible, a spine chilling cocktail of haunting melodies and twisted ideals (including a choir of children) were thrown into the mix to create one of 2005’s benchmark releases.

With a soaring vocal led chorus and enough spiralling grooves to satisfy even the reddest of hillbilly, ‘Love?’ is a stark reminder that while perfection may come with age, we should all remain very much afraid.

Ryan Bird