Manchester Attack

Alien

Strapping Young Lad leader/vocalist Devin Townsend says of "Alien," the band's new album: "This record isn't about anything in particular; it's just a freakout." The man is not kidding.

Strapping Young Lad leader/vocalist Devin Townsend says of "Alien," the band's new album: "This record isn't about anything in particular; it's just a freakout." The man is not kidding. By the time second track "Skesis" is over, whoever manages to withstand its battle-fire assault will be pummeled again by the next cut, "Shitstorm." SYL continues pushing brutal metal to the very edge of complete chaos, only withdrawing slightly on songs like "Love?" and "Shine" to let a faint melody slip through. No one probably thought that "Zen" could be achieved with an explosion of machine-gun drums, chain saw guitars and furious screams, but the wrath bursting from the song that bears its name will be a nirvana for SYL lovers. Finale "Infodump" is almost 12 minutes of unintelligible gurglings enveloped in a field of static, sounding like a lost broadcast from space.—CLT