Alien review by Strapping Young Lad

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  • Released: Mar 22, 2005
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.9 (34 votes)
Strapping Young Lad: Alien

Sound — 10
I have only one thing to say: holy crap. Never have I heard such an intense, over the top, psychotic yet so highly entertaining album. This is the first Devin Townsend project I've heard, and let me tell you, it is quickly becoming a staple in my car stereo! Perfect for the odd bout of road rage. In the making-of DVD, Devin states that he wants this album to be the ultimate middle finger statement, and he certainly has made this apparent. The sound of this album is massive in scope. It's like all the air has been sucked out of the mix and every track magnified to the nth degree. For best reference, check out the programmed beats dropped in 'Shitstorm'. They momentarily drown out the rest of the sound (guitars, vox, bass, drums, choir, keys) and make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Even Devin's vocal assault when switching from psychotic ramblings to clean crooning is intense intense intense.

Lyrics — 9
Apparently Devin went off his bipolar disorder medication to write this album, and nowhere is this more apparent than the lyrics. Mostly just ramblings about society and general ills, Devin takes these everyday notions and turns them into dark twisted nightmares. Even songs about having babies ('Possesions') or breakups ('We Ride') are infused with a sense of pure anger and hatred. This is mainly channeled through Devin's possesed vocal attack and ability, as he manages clean singing, evil growls and near-vertigo inducing screams (check out his scream of "F--k you!" in 'Shitstorm'). Bland: never.

Overall Impression — 10
This album, in terms of pure intensity, blows pretty much any death/black/thrash/gore album out of the water. If you want highlights, check out 'Shitstorm', 'We Ride' and 'Skeksis'. Actually, just get it and listen to it from go to whoa. It will blow your mind. Everything about this album is perfection, from the production job to the drum beats to the insane vocals.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My personal Favorite song on this album, by this band, and of this genre is "Love?". The bass drum is so fast you nearly wet yourself when you hear it. It blew my socks off. And 1st.
    I LOVE THIS WHOLE CD!! Every song has been stuck in my head at least once since I bought it!