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This absolutely rocks my socks off. Like, this album kills babies and beats women at the same time while playing this bitchin' music at the same time. That's how hardcore it is. Meanwhile, underneath the brutal massacre, there's soft melody, subtle usage of keyboards, exotic instruments used, lots of voices, all sorts of neat stuff. But most of all...insanity. Pure insanity, stemming right from Devy's screaming mouth.
City was a monumental release for not just SYL, but metal in general, for it's relentless yet natural barrage of fuckin' balls to the wall metal that kicked ass and took names. Songs like Underneath the Waves and Oh My Fucking God rank up there as some of the most badass songs I've ever heard. Could they top it? Nope. SYL was good, but not as good as we al lhoped. The s/t turned out to be...above average, which is not acceptable for SYL. So for Alien, SYL needed to come back in a BIG way...and they did. This album absolutely fucking rocks...but why 88? Cause of Info Dump. I'm only gonan cover the songs I like...and Info Dump.
The album opens with Imperial, which is a perfect opener for the album, fast brutal, yet still a great melody halfway through. It's short, and quickly turns into Skeksis. In my opinion, this is one of three big standout songs on the album, which actually come three in a row. It starts with a pretty simple non-melodic guitar riff and builds off of it, until Devy comes in with a great vocal line: "I control / an awkward soul / and my lines / are automatic / are automatically drawn". This is actually quite catchy and infectuous, just like the chorus and the stuff before the chorus. It kicks major amounts of ass, and if you listen closely, you hear that thingy...the xylophone except metal in the background going on. This song just rocks. ROCKS.
Next is Shitstorm, which is another standout in the album. It's also the most brutal song on the album...as my friend put it after hearing the song, "...now that we're all non-virgins...". How very true it is. It's fast, brutal, angry, no singing, just drumming and vocal work crazy enough to rip your head off. Great song. Song to the apocalypse, basically.
The third standout of the album is next, called Love. This song was clearly geared to be the single of the album, fortunately it's an awesome song. The durmming here absolutely fucking slays, and Devy shows off his extremely versatile voice. The chorus here is very very catchy and very cool. Hell, a jazz/Mars Volta kid even liked this song.
Shine is next, it's OK, nothing special. We Ride is the fastest song on the album and is probabaly the best to go crazy to. It's got some weird stuff all throughout the song...you should just hear it. Possesions is next, it's quite cool and has a fun keyboard riff...I enjoy this song. Then...is Two Weeks. This is Devy going, "Let's fuck with our fan's heads right here,", cause he most certainly does. This song is all acoustic, focusing on subtle keyboard effects and vocals and basically beauty throughout the song. It's a nice break Thalamus is next, another just OK song. Too slow for me.
Zen is last, it's easily compared to Love in all respects and is a great song, awesome closer. Oh wait, another one! A 12 minute instrumental...oooh, high hopes! Wait...it's quiet. All I hear is some weird scratching type noise and some distant talking. WTF? Oh wait, it's getting louder...nevermind, back to normal. Prtety much, this is 12 minutes of NOTHING. Some people may see some genius or osmething in this, but I don't. It ends with some screaming and yelling, and that's it. Blarg. That's what hurts this album from being as good as City.
I do have to mention that Devy has the second best voice in music, second only to Daniel Gildenlow, and Gene Hoglan as the second best extreme metal drummer, second only to Flo. These guys kick ass.
Well done, Devy! Keep the insanity coming!