Thursday, August 12, 2010

Austrian Death Machine - Total Brutal

Tim Lambesis: The biggest crybaby in metal

Now, if Austrian Death Machine was treated as a light hearted joke, I would probably be much more generous in my analysis. Unfortunately, Tim Lambesis seems to think that Total Brutal is above criticism, and that is nothing but sheer arrogance on the part of the artist. Allow me to explain why I believe Lambesis needs to go drink a gallon of bleach. I heard "Get to the Choppa" from one of my friends. I thought it was actually pretty thrashy despite the goofy breakdown at the end, and I thought that the concept was really funny, so I bought the album. In the special thanks section, it reads, and I fucking quote: "No thanks to anyone who takes this record too seriously. We all recorded this to have fun, so if you don't like it, just put something else on. Also, if you have a better idea and your band is better than my friends and me joking around, then congratulations! Send your demo to Metal Blade Records with a cover sheet that says "We're better than a joke" in bold times new roman size 32 font". Well, this insecure ass decides that nobody is allowed to criticize the album because it is a joke and therefore above any such analysis. He then proceeds to invalidate anybody who thinks it sucks with the last two sentences. I would have let this little sniveling passage slide if it wasn't for track 12, "So Far, So Good, So Let's Talk About It". In this little skit, he actually takes time out of the album to point out that he only spent about an hour writing each song, and that "it sounds way better than a lot of other bands that are totally serious". All notion of this being a light hearted joke flies out the window with that one statement, and proves once and for all that Tim is an insecure douchebag who has no place in the music industry. One of the most important and vital aspects to writing music is the fact that people can and will criticize and offer suggestions for improvement. The fact that he cannot embrace or even grasp this concept is enough to put him on my shit list for eternity. And on top of that, he has the audacity to claim that it is better than several other bands who put their heart into their music. No matter how right he may be, cumming all over your own work is unforgivable as an artist. So fuck you Mr. Lambesis, I'm going to scrutinize the shit out of this record.

Musically, this isn't all that terrible, and actually does have a large crossover thrash influence, but many songs are still plagued by the cliched metalcore breakdowns that his main band, As I Lay Dying, is so fond of. Not only have I always found these breakdowns to be an abysmally lazy attempt at adding more to a song, but they fit even less on these otherwise fast paced thrash songs. The riffing on all of the songs is mostly average, with a few above average to good riffs sneaking in occasionally ("If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It" "You Have Just Been Erased"). The vocals are just Tim's metalcore yell that he is known for, and I think the concept would have been more cohesive if all of the vocals were handled by the "Ahnuld" impersonation. And on the subject of the concept, while it is indeed original and humorous, the joke is taken way too far at times, namely "What it's Like to Be a Singer at Band Practice", which is a fifteen or twenty second joke stretched out nearly a minute too far. Most of the little skits are completely pointless and could have easily been cut. But hey, if they weren't there, then maybe big, blubbering Tim wouldn't feel like he was conveying the message that this was a joke well enough (as if an Arnold Schwarzenegger concept album wasn't a big enough clue). So who knows, whether we like it or not, there are pointless and unfunny skits scattered throughout.

Every song also features a solo by some random dude that you probably haven't heard of and probably don't care about, but none of them are necessarily bad. They all show up at appropriate times, play for appropriate lengths, and are generally very good. It's sad that they play over such bland music. Again, none of the riffs are bad, but they aren't very stimulating either. There isn't much use to a song that just kind of runs through your head and exits immediately afterwards. It wouldn't be so forgettable if every song didn't follow the same formula. Intro, verse, chorus, breakdown/solo (these sometimes switch up), chorus, exeunt. While they may not all follow that template VERBATIM, the general idea is there. Every song has a forced, singalong chorus, a corny breakdown, and a guitar solo. Tim is quite proud of that last fact, and it quickly loses it's charm after you learn that he was purposely forcing them in because he thinks that's how metal should sound... at least he did a good job of covering it up.

Bottom line, Austrian Death Machine was formed purely for the sake of a joke. Lambesis makes it quite clear that he had fun making the record, and that's good. Music is supposed to incite enjoyment in some form. Unfortunately, he is so insecure about his mediocrity and inability to write a lasting song, that he's hiding behind the veil of the joke, and simply covering his ears and shouting "LA LA LA LA LA" every time somebody voices a negative opinion. So hear me on this one, Tim. The riffs are mediocre, the breakdowns are awful, the vocals are bad, and the songs are boring and forgettable. Please, stop acting like your shit doesn't stink. Maybe if you pulled your head out of your ass, you'd realize you've just gotten used to the smell.

RATING - 15%

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