STRAPPING YOUNG LAD — Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing

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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing cover
3.48 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1995

Tracklist

1. S.Y.L. (4:47)
2. In the Rainy Season (4:37)
3. Goat (3:30)
4. Cod Metal King (5:08)
5. Happy Camper (Carpe B.U.M.) (3:00)
6. Critic (4:07)
7. The Filler - Sweet City Jesus (5:24)
8. Skin Me (3:29)
9. Drizzlehell (3:09)
10. Satan's Ice Cream Truck (2:33)

Total Time: 39:48

Line-up/Musicians

- Devin Townsend / Guitars/vocals
- Adrian White / Drums
- Jed Simon / Additional guitar on 6 & 8
- Chris Bayes / Drums on 6 & 7
- Chris Meyers / Additional keys on 3 & 8
- Greg Price / Assistant drum prog. on 8 & 9
- Smokin' Lord Toot / Drums on 4
- Stooly and E.Val Yum / Bon Jovi gang vocals

About this release

Full-length, Century Media, April 4th, 1995

Produced by Devin Townsend

Reissued June 12, 2006 by Century Media with the following bonus material:

11. Japan (5:17) (originally a Japanese bonus track)
12. Monday (5:13) (previously unreleased bonus track)
13. Exciter (Judas Priest cover) (6:04) (European bonus track from original
version)
14. Satan's Ice Cream Truck (2:34) (Hidden bonus track from original original)

+ "S.Y.L." video clip (4:50)

Thanks to UMUR for the updates

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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD HEAVY AS A REALLY HEAVY THING reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
I am always amazed how some of the most unique sounding albums garner such a low rating in the metal world. Such is the case with the debut album by STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. This is the first album and group that Devin Townsend put together after his debut with Steve Vai on the album “Sex & Religion.” After a brief stint on tour with the power pop / rock outfit The Wildhearts, Townsend was ready to unleash all his inner pent up energy and that’s what we get on this debut album HEAVY AS A REALLY HEAVY THING. And heavy it is. This is some of the most intense and raw albums in the universe. It is relentless with an energy level that will literally drain your reservoirs after listening to the album in its entirety.

TOWNSEND was a bit ahead of his time. This album fuses elements of thrash, industrial, death and black metal all into one package. The riffs pummel your inner ears at the speed of light while the nice background frosting of synths sooths your soul simultaneously. At time Devin sounds like a black metal maniac complete with blastbeats, at others like Marilyn Manson or White Zombie. The thrashy parts can remind of Pantera, the electronic drums of Skinny Puppy. Most of the time though the influences are kept on a leash and Devin relentlessly delivers a his signatory wall-of-sound with the full backing of a caffeinated band. The music is both accessible and experimental at the same time. Usually one element of the music hooks you while the rest is free to go wherever it wants. The perfect example is “Satan’s Ice Cream Truck” where a nice groove sucks you in but weird sliding notes in all directions simultaneously sound like rabid bats flying over your head. I really like this album!

I have the 2006 remastered version and it sounds like a modern album. I have not heard the original so no comment. It comes with bonus tracks but i never listen to them because this album is so intense that when it is done, so am i, but i relish every energy infused second until that point. Not every track is of equal value but most are excellent and the remaining very good.
UMUR
Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing is the debut full-length studio album by Canadian metal act Strapping Young Lad. Band founder/ guitarist/ vocalist/ producer Devin Townsend had recorded and toured with Steve Vai and then toured with The Wildhearts before getting tired and angry at the music business. He needed a place to let out some steem and as he had been blown away by Fear Factory´s aggressive, industrial and technical take on extreme metal, Devin felt that he had the right ingredients to make something aggressive and unique. The 2006 Century Media re-issue of the album includes a 12-page booklet with extended liner notes by Devin Townsend where he recalls the troubles he had with getting a record contract. I found one anekdote particularly entertaining. After Devin Townsend had spend a lot of time sending demos and going to business dinners with Roadrunner Records, his project was rejected. He promtly responded by sending Monte Conner from Roadrunner Records a package full of rocks and a picture of his asshole, having promised Monte Conner that it was a project he had been working on that sounded like Type O Negative. That is some great dark humour in my book. Fully displaying the madman genious of Devin Townsend.

It´s pretty hard to explain how the music sounds, but edgy thrashy riffing, loads of samples and sounds and some often manic sounding vocals are some of the ingredients on this album. The trademark Devin Townsend wall of sound production is also very present on this album. Headphones is a good idea if you want to experience this album and get the most out of it. The songs often sound a bit too much like experiments and not enough like compositions for my taste but on the other hand those are some very interesting experiments. The two tracks that open the album S.Y.L. and In the Rainy Season are probably the songs on the album that reminds me the most of later material by the band. The former is an absolutely brilliant track. The 2006 Century Media re-issue of the album includes 4 bonus tracks and the video clip for S.Y.L.. None of the bonus tracks add much value to the album IMO. The cover of the Judas priest song Exciter is not among Strapping Young Lad´s finest moments that´s for sure.

Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing walks the fine line between madness and genious, noise and brilliant compositions. It´s a very difficult album and it won´t please everyone and to be honest it doesn´t please me all the time either. Therefore a 3 star rating is warranted. All Strapping Young Lad albums have a distinct and unique sound, but Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing is probably the one that stands out the most from the rest. For better and worse.

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