Strapping Young Lad didn't need a four-year hiatus to re-introduce themselves to the Metal World. Actually, it hasn't even been a year since their release of one of the most amazing and crucial CDs to own in The Metal Universe, so aptly titled ALIEN. (This is something you could be called if you don’t own that one by now.) On July 11th 2006, The Lads launch their audio assault once again. It's entitled The New Black, but this time it’s deemed "a stunningly well-defined and more diverse effort that is soon to be a landmark in the epic pantheon of Heavy Metal." Ha! We’ll soon see about that!
One could ask, as I have, “What does the album title mean?” Well, for a metal enthusiast like myself, I automatically think of The Black Album from Metallica. Considering that Metallica changed their sound drastically with the mentality of turning over a new leaf, which in turn led them to major success, that album was easier to listen to and probably more accessible, though I thought it sucked. So, with that being said, I feel that this album is a turn towards accessibility and a shot at getting noticed on a larger scale.
Well, Mr. Metal Enthusiast, what about the CD review? Oops, I almost forgot! I am now done with my speculations about the ulterior motives of a sick band that only deserves to get the cash for the product that they produce and it was fucking quick might I add!!
First off, like most people, I found out about the new album via their website and noticed that they had posted a new song in the MP3 format. That new song is called "You Suck" and it was in true SYL fashion with the full-on audio barrage of Mr. Devin Townsend’s vocal cords and pick, Mr. Gene Hoglan on his favorite Pearl kit, Byron Stroud on bass and Jed Simon on the axe. This happens to be my new favorite song especially with the part of the chorus that rants, "Even your fucking girlfriend sucks,” (group replies) ”Hell yeah, she fucking sucks!”
There are some major strong points on this release where the above quote is within merit, like "Far Beyond Metal", "Hope," and "The New Black," even so that I fudge myself with mere envy at the grooves that these vicious musicians lay down. But, with tracks like "Fucker" and "Monument", I really questioned the direction of this album because those songs, while they are still material that only SYL can produce, are rather weak. Granted I really haven’t sat down and read the lyrics; "Fucker" is a funny tune and sounds like an attack on the Zombie-esque style of metal that made its way into strip joints and music history.
"Monument" pisses me off because the rhythm sounds like a rip-off of a shitty Marilyn Manson track. Other than those two songs, I am pretty happy with the CD and can honestly say that I would love to embrace these works live. And that’s where we come to the worst part for this here Herald.
In support of the new CD, Strapping Young Lad will be performing their might and wisdom on the second stage at Ozzfest. (Author’s Note:*UUUGGHHH* I mean, COME ON!! This is the epitome of all shitty power/nu-metal shows and for a band like SYL to even acknowledge this atrocity is Blasphemy. This could be viewed as an act of audio subterfuge and can only bring to light their ulterior motive which is to make the transition from Heavy Metal Gods to Mainstream Peasants!!)
You can check out the new MP3 as well as tour dates and other linger-ficken' good stuff at (yup,you guessed it!) the group's website.