Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 3/11/2008
When You Were Shouting At The Devil...We Were In League With Satan
posted on 5/2008 By:
The problem with metal parody and satire is that metal fans are used to being made fun of for the music they listen to so when a band like Crotchduster or Zimmer's Hole comes around, sceptical glances are often thrown their way. For most fans the idea of poking fun at metal isn't needed, it gets enough flak as it is, of course some wink-wink, nudge-nudge jokes are more often than not welcome, even among the most hardcore of us (Metalucifer?), a full on joke or parody is more often than not welcome. Zimmer's Hole, Strapping Young Lad's twin brother (the band is SYL minus Townsend), is one of said joke/parody bands who more than likely won't see more than a few metal fans joining their fan base, while receiving more than their fair share of dirty looks from the average metal fan.
While I'm sure many metal fans will have their first exposure to Zimmer's Hole via 2008's Century Media debut, and the long winded, When You Were Shouting At the Devil...We Were In League With Satan, I've found myself with more than a handful of encounters with the band. In 2002 I was able to get a hold of the band's two prior albums, Legion of Flames and Bound By Fire, finding myself both laughing and banging my way through both albums. The band had an impeccable sense of dirty, toilet humor while melding it with elements of death metal and strong hints of thrash and traditional metal. Borrowed riffs were thrown around like rice at a wedding, often times beloved riffs being put into rather odd scenarios. I can't say it wasn't interesting to hear "Master of Puppets" take a turn for arena rock territory, plus the song "That's How Drunks Drink" can be turned into one hell of a drinking game. I was also able to see the band open for Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band, witnessing the Gwar-like antics of lead front man The Heathen (also known as Chris Valagao).
With their third album Zimmer's Hole again takes the piss out of metal but lay off a lot of the more slapstick styled humor instead choosing to play up many metal clichés in the name of humor. The lifting of riffs has definitely been cut down from the previous album, Legion of Flames, this album only containing two nods in the liner notes. As well, the band doesn't jump around as much stylistically, there's definitely a lack of the more extreme side of things, the band seeming to capitalize on the popularity of "true" metal at the moment, as well seeming to play up the interest in SYL's "Far Beyond Metal". Of course this is no problem for Chris Valagao as he is as capable of soaring clean vocals as he is of brutal death growls, his voice being the perfect chameleon for the band, allowing them to jump from the epic "Hair Doesn't Grow on Steel" to the extreme "The Vowel Song", which contains some help from Dethklok's Nathan Explosion.
The album opens with its title track, decrying glam rock (is it still such an issue?), and those that were indeed listening to Motley Crue, while the real metal fans slashed through Venom's "In League With Satan" and listened to Exodus' Paul Baloff cry for the death of posers (internet savvy fans will be happy to see the term referred to as "poseurs" in the booklet). The song is thrashy and even pays tribute to Exodus with one of only two lifted riffs on the album, it's also quite clear that the band isn't entirely removed from Strapping Young Lad as the production and riffing style isn't exactly worlds away. Bouncing, choppy riffing dominates "We Rule the Fucking Land", a song that, like many others on the album, will be ripe for crowd participation with soaring vocals, a big open chorus, and some gang growls. "Flight of the Knight Bat" is comical, if only for its cry of "I feel a breakdown, Cheeseburger Breakdown, We Need a breakdown, Cheeseburger Breakdown!" and the random ending of "Your mother sucks cocks in hell". Of course the album wouldn't be complete without the over the top sexual humor even if it's not all over the album but it does come out in spades on "Fista Corpse" and " Anonymous Esophagus", both being pretty self-explanatory lyrically.
This third album from Zimmer's Hole is easily the strongest musically, the album clearly having a longer shelf life than the two prior. With more fleshed out songs, more original material, and a toning down of the humor, there's a possibility the band might swing a few fans their way.
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