Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing

Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing is the debut album by Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad

Heavy As a Really Heavy Thing

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  • TAG : SYL - Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing Russell Kedian
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  • Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing is the debut album by Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad. It was released on April 4, 1995. Century Media Europe released a remastered version of Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing on June 12, 2006, which includes the video for "S.Y.L.", several bonus tracks, and a 12-page booklet containing extended liner notes.

    Seeing as my most trustworthy sources for metal have dropped plenty of hints towards the height of quality found throughout this band's discography, I decided it was about time I shook off my preconcieved notions and give it a listen. As I was browsing through their catalouge, I noticed the familiar cover art of their debut release, Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing, which just happened to be re-released that past month. I picked up a copy, hurried to the counter and popped it in my stereo, and was floored instantly by the aural armaggedon earfucking me senseless.

    To put it simply, this album fucking sucks. The worst part is, I vowed to review this on request, so, not wanting to be a pansy and back out, I sat through every soul draining second of it. I'm gonna be outright: if I was less of a man, I would have bawled. As it was, I simply sobbed. As soon as I pressed play and the industrial sampling of S.Y.L. reeled in, I felt my hope for these guys begin to waiver and my lips begin to glisten with the words "lame" and an elongated "gay". About three songs in, it dawned on me that I wasn't just failing to "get into" the band's sound, but it was pissing me the fuck off.

    It's not the schematics that bother me, as nothing could be further from the truth. Really, the humor and approach was very appealing to me at first glance, and I still find Devin Townshend to be a likeable lyricist and a competent performer. Ultimately though, it's not the blueprints that matter, it's the execution.

    Throughout the 50 agonizing minutes, I failed to hear anything remotely "death" or "thrash" about this release. What I do hear is directionless, chugging aggro-metal combined with the industrial distortion and quirks of early Fear Factory with cheesy, sweeping melodic choruses and a post-thrash songwriting style. Everything from the subpar drumming, teeth grating sound mix, pointless industrial interludes, and the wasted vocal prowess annoy to the bitter end. The only redeeming factors about this release are Devin Townshend's solid vocal patterns and his ridiculously over the top lyricism.

    I can't compare this to their other work, as I really have no interest in hearing it, but if it's even remotely like this... yuck. Just an underrated album by an overrated band. It's rare that I have trouble sitting through a release for a reason other than boredom or cheesiness, but this is simply the most annoying album I've listened to in a long time. Boy, do I have some reconstituting to do...

  • Seeing as my most trustworthy sources for metal have dropped plenty of hints towards the height of quality found throughout this band's discography, I decided it was about time I shook off my preconcieved notions and give it a listen. As I was browsing through their catalouge, I noticed the familiar cover art of their debut release, Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing, which just happened to be re-released that past month. I picked up a copy, hurried to the counter and popped it in my stereo, and was floored instantly by the aural armaggedon earfucking me senseless.

    To put it simply, this album fucking sucks. The worst part is, I vowed to review this on request, so, not wanting to be a pansy and back out, I sat through every soul draining second of it. I'm gonna be outright: if I was less of a man, I would have bawled. As it was, I simply sobbed. As soon as I pressed play and the industrial sampling of S.Y.L. reeled in, I felt my hope for these guys begin to waiver and my lips begin to glisten with the words "lame" and an elongated "gay". About three songs in, it dawned on me that I wasn't just failing to "get into" the band's sound, but it was pissing me the fuck off.

    It's not the schematics that bother me, as nothing could be further from the truth. Really, the humor and approach was very appealing to me at first glance, and I still find Devin Townshend to be a likeable lyricist and a competent performer. Ultimately though, it's not the blueprints that matter, it's the execution.

    Throughout the 50 agonizing minutes, I failed to hear anything remotely "death" or "thrash" about this release. What I do hear is directionless, chugging aggro-metal combined with the industrial distortion and quirks of early Fear Factory with cheesy, sweeping melodic choruses and a post-thrash songwriting style. Everything from the subpar drumming, teeth grating sound mix, pointless industrial interludes, and the wasted vocal prowess annoy to the bitter end. The only redeeming factors about this release are Devin Townshend's solid vocal patterns and his ridiculously over the top lyricism.

    I can't compare this to their other work, as I really have no interest in hearing it, but if it's even remotely like this... yuck. Just an underrated album by an overrated band. It's rare that I have trouble sitting through a release for a reason other than boredom or cheesiness, but this is simply the most annoying album I've listened to in a long time. Boy, do I have some reconstituting to do...

    To anyone who has been following Devin Townsend's career, SYL will not have the mind-bending effect Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing had when it first came out, since the overall atmosphere and wall-of-sound production is very much in the same style as SYL's other studio albums. At this stage, Devin seems happy to keep annihilating his listeners with relentless drum/guitar riffing ("Aftermath") peppered with peerless melodic hooks ("Force Fed") and generally excellent, memorable songwriting. In particular, the middle third of this album is simply flawless: the songs are incredibly intense, balanced and melodic (but only when necessary, which is precisely what attracted me to SYL-the-band in the first place), the drumming is mind-blowing, and the riffs and vocals are some of the best Devin has ever written, with Strapping Young Lad or elsewhere.

    Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing
    (1995)
    City
    (1997)

  • Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing
    Studio album by Strapping Young Lad
    Released April 4, 1995
    Recorded 1994
    Genre Extreme metal, industrial metal
    Length 39:48
    Label Century Media Records
    Producer Devin Townsend
    Strapping Young Lad chronology
    Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing
    (1995)
    City
    (1997)

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Heavy As a Really Heavy Thing - Microsoft Store

S.Y.L.
In the Rainy Season
Goat
Cod Metal King
Happy Camper (Carpe B.U.M.)
Critic
The Filler: Sweet City Jesus
Skin Me
Drizzlehell
Satan's Ice Cream Truck
Japan
Monday
Exciter (Judas Priest cover)

Strapping Young Lad was a Canadian extreme metal band formed by Devin Townsend in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1994. The band started as a one-man studio project; Townsend played most of the instruments on the 1995 debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing. By 1997, he had recruited permanent members; this line-up, which consisted of Townsend on vocals and guitar, Jed Simon on guitar, Byron Stroud on bass, and Gene Hoglan on drums, lasted until the band's dissolution.

Containing elements of death metal, thrash metal, black metal, progressive metal and industrial metal, Strapping Young Lad's music was characterized by the use of complex time signatures, polyrhythmic guitar riffing and drumming, blast beats and Wall of Sound production. The band's musical direction was mainly determined by Townsend, whose battle with bipolar disorder and dark sense of humour were major influences on his songwriting. Townsend was also noted for his eccentric appearance and on-stage behaviour, which greatly contributed to the band's intense live performances.

The band gained critical success and a growing underground fan base from their 1997 album City. After a hiatus between 1999 and 2002, the band released three more albums, reaching their commercial peak with the 2006 effort, The New Black. Townsend disbanded Strapping Young Lad in May 2007, announcing his decision to retreat from public view while continuing to record solo albums.