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Bigger Than the Devil - 84%

Big_Robot_Monster, March 15th, 2016

Stormtroopers of Death were never the most serious thrash/crossover band. And that’s saying a lot, all things considered, but I actually really appreciate metal bands just…you know…having fun. As opposed to other bands all up their own asses with how grim and brutal they gotta be. Then again, S.O.D. was more of a “sometimes band,” and not a serious pursuit to anyone involved with it. So, fuck it, I guess.

First of all: This is not an album that you wanna look to if you really need that technical sophistication in your life. There’s not shredding to be had here, it’s all simple, effective riffs that literally (figuratively) blast the face off your skull and on the floor for your pet to eat. “Bigger Than the Devil” is entirely short, relentless, no-frills metal. And some other stuff that’s barely music, and really just the band fucking around, but it doesn’t really detract from the album’s intensity at all, so who cares?

Secondly: This album was released in 1999 and it sounds just as relevant, heavy, and intense now as it did way back then. A lot of the songs on “Bigger Than the Devil” could easily stand up against anything put out by modern crossover bands like Municipal Waste. The production is crisp, but not so refined that it makes the music sound mechanical. The songwriting, as I mentioned, isn’t really anything special or overly complex. It is what it is, and what it is is perfect exactly the way it was written.

Thirdly: The lyrics are stupid. They’re meant to be stupid. Don’t take them seriously, S.O.D. clearly didn’t. There are a few lyrics that venture into “haha, look how non-P.C. and offensive I am!” territory, which can get obnoxious, but it’s ultimately harmless. The digs at King Diamond, Celtic Frost, and The Scorpions don’t feel too dated, mostly because those bands were already well past their prime in 1999, having already secured their own legacies.

“Bigger Than the Devil” is a good solid album. If you need something heavy that rocks, but you don’t want anything with a “metaller than thou” attitude, this is it. It isn’t refined, it isn’t perfect, but fuck you if you think it needs to be.