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This three song single is my first impression of the odd and ferocious musical project known as Austrian Death Machine. I generally stay away from music involving metalcore, but thankfully the metalcore on A Very Brutal Christmas was outweighed by the nice amount of thrash metal and death metal. I can tell right away that this is a gimmick band of sorts, and that comedy is what the band relies on for a good portion of the music's success. To be completely honest, it actually works. All of the Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions and the tough guy attitude that wafted off of this release were applied just right.
There could've easily been some newer material on A Very Brutal Christmas, and it's always off-putting to me to see old songs or live recordings on single releases. Release a live album and only use new material. Thankfully there were none of the first of these two things, but as fun of a song as "Get to the Choppa" is, it's nothing new, and is by far one of Austrian Death Machine's most well-known and played songs. Oh well, the song isn't bad, but it's nothing too crazy. As for "Jingle Bells" it's a whole other story. This was one of the weirdest and coolest covers that I have heard of a Christmas song. I could have done without the metalcore, single monotone breakdown, but the song still worked. The alternate and amusing lyrics worked well with the thrashing beat and riffs. The melodies weren't exactly the same as the traditional "Jingle Bells" and revolved around some minor keys, so there was an astute sense of newer take at a song.
Speaking of a new take at a song, the cover of Judas Priest's "Hell Bent for Leather" was just as amusing as the other two songs, with a hilarious dialogue to start the song and a brief "what the hell was that?" at the end. I've got to say, I was asking myself the same question too. This version of "Hell Bent for Leather" was sort of Dethklok-ish with all of the harmonized guitars and the deeper and lower key that was chosen for the cover. Was it a bit over dramatic? Yes, but the guitar solo was perfect and the song wasn't butchered, at least all of the way. Some more clean vocals would have been nice, but hey, that's creative expression for you. This release is neither fruitful nor pointless, and is worth your time, but not your money. Also, I couldn't help but say the words to this review in my head while I was typing them like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bonus points to those of you who read this out loud in public with the same accent. Have a brutal Christmas!
The problem with making a joke band is that the joke can get old. First off, it’s always hard to do good impersonation of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m sure I’ve never heard one that was spot on, so the banter between Tim Lambesis and the poorly impersonated Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t come off too great, as it’s poorly acted. Beyond that, you’ve got a metal version of the song “Jingle Bells” - with a single note breakdown?! Damn these things are invading EVERYTHING! Then there’s a cover of the song “Hellbent for Leather”, which would be great, I mean you can’t go wrong with Judas Priest, but the harsh vocals mixed with a joke style of singing wildly clash. There’s also the song “Get to the Choppa” - but that song is already on the Austrian Death Machine full-length, so you’re only getting two new songs, which are only covers.
The novelty already wore off on “Total Brutal”, and getting only two new songs, both of which happen to be covers is very poor in value.
Originally posted at www.waytooloud.com