Grating, blistering, relentless industrial thrash death metal about marriage and starting a family? Leave it to Strapping Young Lad's freakish mastermind, Devin Townsend, to create Alien, an aural onslaught of Ministry-indebted mayhem that spends a surprising amount of time on the topics of love and babies. To top it off, the Vancouver-based act throws in a credible David Gilmour-esque ballad ("Two Weeks") and a twelve-minute noise track ("Info Dump"). But with all that, SYL still manages to hit harder than many bands who stick to the tried-and-true metal themes of hate and death. With other albums titled Heavy As a Really Heavy Thing and No Sleep 'Til Bedtime, Strapping Young Lad has established itself as the ultimate metal iconoclast, making a mockery of the things many 'heads hold sacred without getting too jokey -- not to mention writing love songs while producing a consistently punishing barrage. No, metal isn't known for its humor or romance, but Strapping Young Lad proves there's room for a little goofiness when you're this freakin' hard.
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