Strapping Young Lad - The New Black - (2006)

By Elric on 12:18 PM 29 July 2006

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I wanted to write this review for sometime now but no matter how many times I started writing I couldn't finish it. Surely, Strapping Young Lad is one of the hardest groups to review and talk about. I know that I will edit this post many times in the near future but I'll give it a first try now.

For those who don't know S.Y.L. is a side project of some veteran musicians. Devin Townsend ( Devin Townsend's Band, Steve Vai) on vocals, Byron Stroud (Fear Factory, Zimmers Hole) on bass, Jed Simon (Zimmers Hole) on guitars and behind the drums is the man that had played in almost every metal band, Gene Hoglan ( Death, Dark Angel, Testament, Old Man's Child, Daemon few of them).

It's logicaly to wonder how this people that come from musicaly different bands can stick together and what kind of music do they play. The answer is simple, they play a little bit of everything. Musicaly, S.Y.L. stand somewhere between Death-Thrash-Hardcore-Industrial (like early Fear Factory) with some Jazz solos. Sounds crazy ? It is !!!

Anyway, back to the review now. S.Y.L release a new album after last years "Alien" (probably the bands best album so far). Rumor has it that their company pushed them for a quick release in order to promote the album in OzzFest. The album start with "Decimator" a small and fast song that leads in to more death-like "You Suck". Then, the style change again to industrial with "Antiproduct" which is my favorite song lately! The band, then change again from Fear Factory style in "Monument" to something chaotic in "Wrong Side". In general each song consists of many ideas riffs and changes both in speed and style. The album close with a very good song called "The New Black"

Devin screams and spits (while in all other bands his voice was extremely clear!) while Gene Hoglan proves that he is the man that can merge any idea, no matter how different they are. His drum play can be slow, fast, very fast, super fast, and uber fast! I believe that Hoglan is the one that hold the songs together with his perfect beats and fills.

S.Y.L have the ability to change from serius songs and lyrics to songs like "You Suck" and "Fucker". Still, they prove that they are, alongside System of a Down, the only band that can create chaos. The major characteristic of "The New Black" is that has many complex and diverse songs. Bu there is one major drawback. While, chaos and the diverse songs are the reasons that this album is good, there are also the reason that this album is very hard to listen. Sometimes, there are so many ideas in one song that will tire the listener while, other songs are too chaotic that the listener can't follow. I think it would be better if S.Y.L. put their ideas in some order first and then record an album. Besides that, the album is very good and will help to withstand the summer hot.

Band :
Davin Townsend - Vocals
Gene Hoglan - Drums
Byron Stroud-Bass
Jed Simon-Guitars


1. Decimator
2. You Suck
3. Antiproduct
4. Monument
5. Wrong Side
6. Hope
7. Far Beyond Metal
8. Fucker
9. Almost Again
10. Plyophony
11. The New Black

Rating: 80/100

5 comments for this post

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