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A Masterpiece - 92%

Evilspeak, July 30th, 2006

Its no secret about my passion for Devin Townsend and his work and there is logic to my reasoning. Devin and the music he creates exemplifies everything that i love about music in general. It can be in a somewhat classic rock vibe, a thrash vibe, a bluesy vibe, or just plain old pop rock. And it is with this that Devin simply unleashes all the fury and frustration of everyday life which in turn becomes Strapping Young Lad. The opener is a blasting and upbeat intro that opens up a astral gateway to the madness that awaits you. Then the song All Hail the New Flesh is one of the most ferocious and earth pounding songs on this record. It totally numbs you with a sonic boom as if you had just witnessed a earthquake. with a opening lyric [i]Hey man, im going to fuck this shit up[/i] you know you are in store for a wild and crazy ride. The band is truly at the top of its game here and while Devin and Jed rip open your lungs with their screeching guitar riffs, Hoglan is crushing the atomsphere with his immortal drum playing. The way that Devin screams on this song makes you envision yourself losing your soul which is trying to escape your very own carcass.

The song Oh My Fucking God opens up with a narration ( perhaps taken from a movie? ) while the riffs come crashing on you like waves of thunder and all the while Devin sings so fast that it almost becomes incoherent.Other parts of his vocals on here feel as if Devin is heeving up his internal organs. The keyboards add a nice touch to this song as well especially towards the end where it feels as if a bunch of ants are crawling all over you. By far my favorite song not only on this album but of all time is Detox. The amount of energy that Devin and the boys create here is overwhelming and powerful. Using a basic chug riffing at the beginning it takes no time for the rest of the band to jump in and create havoc. Without a doubt this song was made for moshing and i cant keep myself from continuely headbanging to this classic. It seems that Devin has poured a lot of energy and emotion into this song as if he was screaming for help only to meet frustration. My favorite part of the song is during the break and Devin jumps into this lyrical passage [i]How, did i get here tonight?, what am i looking for?, how did i reach this state?, how did i lose my sight?, Im lost. Im freaking. and everybody knows, everyone watching. So here's, all my hopes and aspirations, nothing but puke, God, its so lonely[/i] This passage speaks volumes not only in this song but to me as a person. i cant help but get emotional while listening to it. There are many songs that people listen to to unleash their frustration, anger, and sadness and this song is one of them.

Underneath the Waves has a rip like riff from the get go and it reminds me a bit of early Megadeth which can never be a bad thing. This is probably one of the more chaotic songs on this album in terms of riff arrangement. Listening to this song it is so amazing to see how Devin can keep up his vocal range as he has long drawn out screams of chaotic lunacy. The keyboards are a very nice touch at the break point giving the listener a sense that maybe a brooding war is about to commence. The song is just unrelentless from start to finish and i wouldnt change a FUCKING THING ABOUT IT. The song Room 429 is probably the most diverse and odd song on this record is Room 429. Starting out with a creepy keyboard sound much in the likes of King Diamond Devin starts to kick out his dark and morbid vocals. One can get a sense from this song that Devin is maybe sounding like a very twisted version of Captain Howdy. Even some of the background vocals remind me of movie scores like The Omen or The Amityville Horror. It has that creepy sound yet is almost laughable at the same time. The band has a lot of energy and chemistry and it shows throughout this record.

If there are any problems on this record i cant find any. This is Devin and crew at their most extreme and excellence.This album will forever be a landmark in this band's career and a ode to the emotional turmoil that we all suffer while we continue our journey in life. There are many other albums and styles that Devin has created but this is one that truly stands out. For anyone who hasnt had the opportunity to check out Devin's work this would be a great starting place.