Sound — 7
First things first: If you can't take a joke, or you think you're too mature to laugh at something that's utterly ridiculous, or you just don't have a sense of humor in general, stop reading now. Just stop. Don't even think about listening to this record. Now, if you enjoy metal, you're a normal human being, and you enjoy a hearty LOL every once in a while, keep reading. For those of you who don't know, Austrian Death Machine is the joke-band side project of As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis. Everything revolves around Arnold Schwarzennegger and how "brutal" he is. Song titles and lyrics are all influenced by (sometimes taken from) various Ahh-nuld movies. This album is much more about the lyrics and vocals (which are occasionally done by Ahh-nuld himself, played by Chad Ackerman, singer from Destroy the Runner) than the music, but that doesn't mean that the music was quickly thrown together just for the sake of having music. Oh no, this is much better than that. This is legit. This record explores much more musical territory than on the previous record. Some of these songs are strict metalcore, other songs are pure thrash, and there's a lot in between (crossover, anyone?). There's even a deathcore song (Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies?) on this record, which surprised me. It doesn't sound like Tim's normal style at all, but it was pretty decent. The second disc is full of cover songs, some of which are pretty fun to listen to. The covers come from bands that play anything from hardcore punk (The Misfits) to brutal death metal (Goretorture). Some of them are done very well, like Hell Bent for Leather (Judas Priest) while others were somewhat of a letdown for me, like Killing is my Business... (Megadeth). All of the songs played can relate in some way or another to one Arnold movie or another. Some people may think that the music is a bit too generic or predictable, but you have to remember, this band is more about lyrics than music. That being said though, pretty much every track is high-energy headbanging material. The riffs are crushing, the drums are pounding, and the bass I really can't remember (no surprise there). There are way more guest guitar solos on this record than on the last record. Some of these solos are done very well, and some of these solos are pure wank. Oh hey, that sounds like thrash metal. Anyway, there's tons of shredding on this record. Some guest guitarists include: Andrew Tapley (The Human Abstract) Rusty Cooley (Outworld) Buz McGrath (Unearth) Jason Suecof (Capharnaum) For a record which was composed and recorded entirely by one man (aside from guitar solos), it worked out pretty well.
Lyrics — 8
According to Tim, Austrian Death Machine is "an outlet of pure testosterone and stupidity". And the lyrics really show it with pride. Seriously. But, no matter how stupid the lyrics are, you can't help but feel the urge to shout along to nearly every song. As soon as I put the first song on in my car (after the first skit, of course), I couldn't resist rewinding it just to sing along to the first chorus. "I need your clothes! Your boots! Your motorcycle!". Tim has a way of making anything sound anthemic, infectious, and catchy. There are several examples of this, including (but not limited to): "It's simple! If it jiggles, it's fat!" "Come on Cohaagen! Give these people air!" and my personal favorite; "NYEEEEEAAAAHHHH!" Songs aren't the only place where Tim's comedic side comes into play. The skits are actually quite funny themselves. Ahh-nuld continually refers to Tim as "girly man" with "colorful tatoos" and even goes as far as to say "Your voice is terrible. You sound like... a dying moose or something..." Ahh-nuld even admits "whenever I forget the lyrics I just go BLARGH... like that". I enjoyed the vocals on this record even more than the vocals on any As I Lay Dying record. Tim is much more varied in his vocals on this release than he is with his main band. With AILD, he sticks to his mid-range screams for the most part. It gets monotonous after a while. But, with Austrian Death Machine, Tim doesn't hold back at all. He'll use his mid range screams, he'll reach piercing highs, and on a few songs, he'll reach lows that are comparable to Corpsegrinder Fisher's low growls. I may be mistaken, but the clean vocals on certain songs may also be Tim. If you want to hear Tim's entire vocal range on one song, listen to their cover of The Misfit's "I've Turned into a Martian". You'll also get some vocal shenanigans courtesy of Arnie. His best lows can be heard on the Goretorture cover on the second disc. They're pretty ridiculous, it doesn't even sound like Tim at all. I'd be happy if he used his full vocal range on the next AILD record.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is a pretty solid album. Some of the riffs sound like they were rehashed versions of riffs from the first Austrian Death Machine. If you were to ask Arnie, he'd probably tell you "Of course they sound the same! That's because they're all BRUTAL!". Jokes aside, I had a good time listening to this album. It's the kind of music you play in the car with a group of friends who are hopped up on absolutely nothing. Crank up the radio, roll down the windows, and shout along. Seeing as how the only competition they have as a joke metal band has become less of a joke (Dethklok), Double Brutal is probably the best joke album to come out this year. This record is the physical incarnation of the "all brawn and no brains" saying. I'll say it one last time, this is an album for those of us who don't mind throwing our maturity out of the window for a short period of time. If you're chill enough to let loose and laugh every once in a while, give this record a spin, and try to appreciate the utter ridiculousness of it all.