Review by Kevin Templeton
With 1995's Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing serving as a framework for Devin Townsend's excessive persuasions, City sees his Strapping Young Lad project mutate into a misanthropic noise machine. Featuring a thrashy cast of all-stars, including drummer Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death), and Caustic Thought alumni Jed Simon (guitar), Byron Stroud (bass) and Townsend (everything else), City has the Lads putting the boots to conventional metal-isms via techno-grind structures and rhythms that churn alongside Townsend's cathartic vocals.
If you enjoy the hardened, mechanized approach of bands like Front Line Assembly and Fear Factory, you'll like this album. But what separates SYL from the pack is the balance of humility and intensity in the songwriting: Townsend seems grounded enough in his psyche's unease and his band's metallic trappings to come up with songs like "Velvet Kevorkian," "Oh My Fucking God" and "Home Nucleonics." Throw in a jilted cover of Cop Shoot Cop's "Room 429" into the equation and you have one uniquely colossal album.
All hail the new flesh. Strapping Young Lad have arrived.
Artist Contact Info: P.O. Box 44116, Burnaby, B.C., V5B 4Y2, Canada
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