1995, Music

Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995) by Strapping Young Lad

I know Devin Townsend’s music for one reason and one reason only: I lived in residence in university with his current rhythm guitarist. And so I’ve been given a CD or two and been to some shows.

And honestly, I was never blown away. I was always like, ‘this man is really talented, and really esoteric, and really into genre-bending in all the right ways’ but there was something about the genres he bended that perhaps rubbed me the wrong way a little. (I must say, I have enjoyed the Devin Townsend Band a lot more live than on record, to date.)

And now I am wondering ‘where has this album been all my life’? My fragile little mind would have been horribly, horribly warped had I heard this in my developing years. (Up until age 20 I would have likely dismissed it as “noise”.) It shocks me – without hearing any other SYL album – that Townsend is so dismissive of this crazy, amazing record. It’s all the more amazing that Townsend did most of this himself. I wish I had listened to my friends and checked out this band when I had the chance.

I think the reason this isn’t thought so highly of by RYM is that it’s too diverse. The various metal subgenres can be really insular and they don’t take kindly to genre hopping. But this is just incredible stuff, save the last track.

Fantastic.

9/10

Listen to me talk about Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing

All tracks written by Devin Townsend except where noted.

  1. “S.Y.L.” (Townsend, Adrian White) 4:47
  2. “In the Rainy Season” (Townsend, White) 4:37
  3. “Goat” 3:30
  4. “Cod Metal King” 5:08
  5. “Happy Camper (Carpe B.U.M.)” (Townsend, White) 3:00
  6. “Critic” 4:07
  7. “The Filler: Sweet City Jesus” 5:24
  8. “Skin Me” 3:29
  9. “Drizzlehell” 3:09
  10. “Satan’s Ice Cream Truck” 2:33

Devin Townsend – guitar, vocals, keyboards, programming, mixing, editing, production, arrangements, art direction (as Nived)

Additional musicians

  • Adrian White – drums
  • Jed Simon – additional guitar (“Critic”, “Skin Me”)
  • Chris Byes – drums (“Critic”, “The Filler: Sweet City Jesus”)
  • Chris Meyers – additional keyboards (“Goat”, “Skin Me”)
  • Greg Price – assistant on drum programming (“Skin Me”, “Drizzlehell”)
  • Smokin’ Lord Toot – drums (“Cod Metal King”)
  • Stooly and E: Val Yum – Bon Jovi gang vocals
  • Ashley Scribner – bass
  • Mike Sudar – guitar

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