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Easy album to pass over, unfortunately - 85%

CrowTRobot, August 21st, 2003

My initial review of this album wasn't so good. I simply put it off as a loud, jumbled mess not worth examining. Thankfully, I was horribly wrong in that assumption and now recognize this album as the unique monster it is. The technical proficiency of each band member is amazing, to say the least. Although a lot of clashing elements give the false impression of poorly structured songwriting, there is something brilliant buried beneath the dissonance and cacophony.

Think of Fear Factory on speed, and you may have a good mental portrait of Strapping Young Lad. A mix of Thrash and Industrial metal is an appropriate description of the sound. The one aspect that really turns me off sometimes is the vocal work of Devin Townsend. Although there's a fair amount of variation in his approach (really pissed to extremely pissed), I can't get over how annoying he sounds. Anyway, Gene Hoglan is a fucking maniac, putting almost every other drummer to shame in terms of speed and technicality. The riffs are killer, and barely ever slow down enough to make a huge impact, but an impact never the less.

"Oh My Fucking God", "Underneath the Waves", and "AAA" are superb tracks, but the whole album is pretty consistent in quality. I hope this will be a reminder to everyone that first, or even fifth impressions aren't always the best.