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Strapping Young Lad


The New Black

Year: 2006
Format: CD
Label: Magic Arts/Century Media
Genre: [Extreme Groove Metal/Experimental Death Metal]
Overall Rating: 9.0
Music: 9.0
Production: 9.0

"The New Black" is white, right? Well, at least it's the title of the latest Strapping Young Lad album, which might well be the last. Devin Townsend has openly revealed wanting to make different kind of music for a change - and that is pop music, I reckon. Actually this trend was already clearly audible on Townsend's previous solo album "Synchestra", which was rather up-beat record. While the previous SYL album "Alien" was really dark, this isn't the case with the New Black - though this still is a SYL album we're talking about, the material is a lot more similar to Devin Townsend's solo efforts than earlier. There are actually parts on this record that have been taken from Synchestra. Nonetheless, they fit seamlessly to the songs.

I believe this album was somewhat rushed, since SYL has never released two albums on consecutive years before. Most likely Devin Townsend wanted to quickly complete and get out of the record deal with Century Media Records... so that he can wholly concentrate on his future endeavours. Regardless, the material on this record is of high quality - something that one could easily expect coming from Townsend. The New Black features some neck-breaking riffs, beautiful melodies and harmonies, witty lyrics and at times almost unearthly technicality. So there, not much has changed since the previous SYL album after all.

The production on this record has been handled well. The famed Mike Fraser (Aerosmith, Metallica) took care of mixing the material, and the result is nothing but an impressive sounding tour-de-force metal album. In addition, focusing the concept of this record around the current abhorrent music scene just makes this album even more entertaining. Yeah, the New Black really rocks - listen to the dance-able eighth track "Fucker" and pay attention to the lyrics. At 1:20 Townsend sheds "I've said it before, now I say it again... it was all to watch for the Alien!".

All in all, Strapping Young Lad's The New Black is a great album, and definitely belongs to every dedicated metal music enthusiast's record collection. I truly can't wait to hear what Townsend's next undertaking will sound like. While on the wait, The New Black shall get more spins, and I suggest everyone does the same. If this indeed will be the last SYL album (which I doubt), it does provide a great ending for one of the "more" influential metal groups out there.

Release date: July 17th, 2006 (Europe)

Visit Artist's Website

- MAGE (July 9th, 2006)


Townsend, Devin: Vocals, Guitar Left, Computer
Hoglan, Gene: Drums and Percussion
Stroud, Byron: Bass
Simon, Jed: Guitar Right
Campagna, Willy: Keyboards and Samples

Campagna, Will: Keyboards
Urungus, Oderus: Guest Vocals on "Far Beyond Metal"
Naked, Bif: Guest Vocals on "Fucker"
Kroetsch, Cam: Guest Vocals on "You Suck"
Producer: Unavailable
Mixing by: Fraser, Mike
Mastering by: Unavailable
Strapping Young Lad - The New Black  CD  Cover Image
01. Decimator
02. You Suck
03. Antiproduct
04. Monument
05. Wrong Side
06. Hope
07. Far Beyond Metal
08. Fucker
09. Almost Again
10. Plyophony
11. The New Black

Length: 42:43
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