STRAPPING YOUNG LAD — Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (review)

STRAPPING YOUNG LAD — Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing album cover Album · 1995 · Industrial Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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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