Sunday, November 17, 2013

Strapping Young Lad - S/T (2003)

It is pretty strange to believe it, but the follow up to Strapping Young Lad's critically acclaimed "City" came six years after "City"'s release. The band was placed on hiatus by Devin between 1999 and 2002 so that he could focus on his solo career, and one of the few reasons that made him get back to SYL was because he had "creative anger" as his motivation after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. So SYL was back in action and "Strapping Young Lad" would become the first album by the band where all the members was active in the song writing process.

So has the years changed SYL any significantly? Actually no, the heaviness and anger is still a big part of SYL's music, but it is more of a controlled anger instead of this bat shit crazy anger where Devin says fuck every three words. Now that I think of it, Devin only says fucking 5 times throughout this album. Anyway, the music may be more down to earth (or mature), but I miss that extra level of craziness that "City" had. Sure, some parts in this albums are pure WTF moments (like in the end of "Dirt Pride" where Devin screams "Wash my fucking balls"), but it is not enough to make this album stand out. Not so good when the album is only 39 minutes long.

There are not many songs that catches my attention in "Strapping Young Lad", but two songs are definitely interesting enough for me to notice. The first one is the bone crushing "Relentless". It is the only song on "Strapping Young Lad" that would fit nicely in "City" with its heaviness, speed, and epic chorus. The other song is "Force Fed", that impresses with an excellent mix of epic musical quality and doom-like groove. But I think it would have been better if it was slightly shorter. We also have songs like "Rape Song", "Aftermath", and "Dirt Pride" that may not impress me completely, but still satisfies my urge of great SYL metal.

Despite the fact that the quality is decently high, I still feel that "Strapping Young Lad" needs a personality. It is overall a slightly bland album for a SYL album. I mean, "Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing" had its silliness and "City" had speed and heaviness. What does "Strapping Young Lad" have? The answer is nothing in particular. The band does what they are good at, but nothing more.

It is without a doubt that I say that "Strapping Young Lad" is a great album, but it could have been even better with something that personified the album. There is a good couple of songs in the album, but nothing overly impressive. However, it is still a good album with the fact that the band was inactive for three years. But it is not enough to make me wash the band's fucking balls.

Songs worthy of recognition: Force Fed, Relentless, Aftermath

Rating: 7/10 Consequences

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