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CD Review: S.Y.L. – The New Black

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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

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About guppusmaximus

  • http://www.moviesteve.blogspot.com Steve C.

    So what you’re saying is that this is better than that godawful sorta-self-titled album they released a couple years back? (Jesus, it’d hafta be.)

  • Guppusmaximus

    Nope… Their “self-titled” release was unreal and absolutely brilliant but I guess that’s because I’m the Metal Enthusiast and you are just an observer….*JK* No really, if you don’t like that release then I don’t think you would ever like SYL.

  • http://www.moviesteve.blogspot.com Steve C.

    Actually, City is among my favorite albums of all time, and Heavy as… ain’t too far behind. I just thought S.Y.L. was weak and forced, like Townsend was catering to the fans rather than following his true muse. But then, I’m cranky like that. Feel free to point and laugh at me… :-)

  • Guppusmaximus

    *Point & Laugh*
    It’s interesting to hear another fan’s pov especially here on BC where I don’t meet too many people who know about certain bands. I agree,”City” was an excellent album but I prefer SYL because it was alittle more straight-forward and brutal. Also, because it was my first. But, I also agree that when Devin is allowed to follow his gut “it” becomes a whole different monster. Parts of “ALIEN” are a good example of that as well.
    I think “The New Black” is a pretty good blend but I guess I feel alittle let down because “ALIEN” was such a good progression from SYL… It really had no filler tracks(my opinion)
    But, I still like what they do. It’s definately refreashing.

  • http://bryanmckay.com/blog Bryan McKay

    Occasionally some decent bands wind up on the Ozzfest second stage. I don’t know if they’re your style, but Shadow’s Fall has been on the tour a few times and always puts on a great show.

  • http://www.moviesteve.blogspot.com Steve C.

    What I’m starting to think here is that I need to hear Alien after all…

  • intoc

    Yup. Alien is extremely awesome. As is The New Black.

  • Doctor Vic

    I think The New Black is brilliant. It’s just as heavy as any other SYL album, his voice has improved, and they still have those sarcastic, slap-in-the-face lyrics that I absolutely love. I personally think it’s hilarious SYL is touring with Ozzfest. They’re not going to become “mainstream peasents”; I simply believe they’re playing Ozzfest for the soul reason of making fun of every other band there(except for a SELECT few good bands.).
    I mean, come on; read what he said in his interview about Ozzfest. The “pubic hair on the cheescake”. They’re totally playing at Ozzfest to be a slap to the face to the “metal society” of today.
    -Doctor Vic.

  • ozzfest rules

    well i agree with ur review that it is more accessable, The New Black i think is an extraordinary album and ive been spinning it for weeks. I was never really into SYL but after gettin into the groove of new black, i have been checking out their previous efforts and am very impressed. I think New Black is amazing, just about every track is kick ass, those that dont like the older shit should check it out, and if those that are hardcore older SYL fans dont dig it, then ur just being biased. I have however been listening to The Devin Townsend band for a bit and would have to say that The New Black is kind of a agreeable blend between the few.

    And for any asshole thats talkin shit about OZzfest, any such individual is truly a dumbass. Yes, somtimes ozzfest is riddeled with lame ass nu-metal bands, but for every Limp Bizkit there has been Iron Maiden, for every Crazytown there has been Slayer, oh wait lets see hmmm Mastodon, Fear Factory, Arch Enemy, trivium, chimaira, Pantera, Judas Priest, machinehead, tool, and of course, THE ALMIGHTY LINKIN PARK THE HARDEST ROCKIN FUCKERS ON THE PLANET. biotch

  • Doctor Vic

    Well that is true “ozzfest rules”, but lately it’s been plagued with terrible bands. It used to be an AMAZING show to see, but the past few years it went downhill. I mean come on, MTV even had a show “Battle for Ozzfest”. Every band on that show was terrible, all nu-metal hardcore garbage. Ozzfest is just a mainstream tour now, only used for money and false recognition.
    So if you talk shit about Ozzfest because the bands suck now, you’re not an asshole, you know what you’re talking about.
    If you’re talking shit about Ozzfest just because you wanna be non-conformist, then you’re a tool. =P
    I wish Ozzfest still was packed with bands like Maiden, Priest, Slayer, Megadeth, Tool. Bands with talent that sets them apart from other bands. Only then would I spend that ludicrous amount of money on tickets.
    -Doctor Vic.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Hey Doc… I don’t see the Snoozefest as being any kind of representative of the metal scene today or even in it’s heyday. Ozzy should feel lucky that every now and again real bands saved it from it’s demise.I would give much more credit to The New England Metalfest for their 2-day lineup that they bring every year. That’s about as close as you will get to The Waken Open Air Festival and the tickets are pretty inexpensive.I do think it will be funny to see how those bands will stand up against the brutal attack that these guys will bring to that boring second stage.

    As for Mr. Ozzfest Rules… The mere fact that you can call people an asshole and then praise such shit like Linkin Park shows me that you’re the dumbass. Yeah, nevermind that Hip-hop is the truest presentation of untalented hacks but their vocabulary sounds so intelligent….
    Bizznatch!

  • FROMYOURASSTOYOURMOUTH.

    THIS ALBUM IS SIMPLY… TITS. IF SYL GET BIG, THEY DESERVE THE MONEY… AND REAL FANS OWE IT TO SYL TO SCALP ANY LITTLE POSER COCKSUCKER WHO ACTS LIKE HE/SHE KNEW ABOUT THEM “YEARS AGO”.

  • truth

    when i first heard it, i wasn’t that keen, but after about 10 listens i really love this album, especially you suck, hope, wrong side, the new black. these songs alone make this an amazing album for me, but the ‘play this shit on the radio’ in the intro to fucker does make me cringe at the nu-metalness of it. anyway this is another damn fine album, different to alien.

  • Devin

    The New Black fucking kicks ass! How can you not like the song “Fucker”?? That is classic Townsend in my book. I would agree that “Monument” is the weakest track by far but its not even that bad and the rest of the cd is near perfect.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Hey… Give me a break!! I was being honest!! I think, overall, the cd is fucking KILLER with the exception of 2 tracks but that is my opinion. As for Ozzfest… It can suck a dick! I hope SYL gets more popular but I hope Ozzy and his cronies goes fucking bankrupt. For all you whiny ass metal wannabes,
    Go Check Out: wacken.com for a real Metal Meltdown!!