Strapping Young Lad - Alien


8.5 | 315 votes |
Release date: 22 March 2005
Style: Industrial metal, Thrash metal

Owners:

398 have it
33 want it


01. Imperial
02. Skeksis
03. Shitstorm
04. Love?
05. Shine
06. We Ride
07. Possessions
08. Two Weeks
09. Thalamus
10. Zen
11. Info Dump

Staff review by
jupitreas
Rating:
8.5
Although I have to admit that I much preferred SYL in their original incarnation as an industrial/thrash/grindcore curiosity and not as some weird metal revivalist band, "Alien" really isn't a bad album at all. As a matter of fact, its an enormous improvement over the band's previous, lackluster release; however, it is absolutely nothing compared to 1996's groundbreaking "City".

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published 07.05.2005 | Comments (8)

Found in 11 lists
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Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 403 users
26.08.2011 - 02:58
Rating: 8
musicalkaratekid
This album is so chaotic, probably the most chaotic album released by SYL in my opinion. But it isn't quite as good as 'city' to be honest-nevertheless, 'alien' begs you to take a deep breath before listening to this 40+ minutes of madness(courtesy of Devin himself). The second nhalf of the album i find is much more controlled,and for that reason,better. Its still one of the best albums of 2005 though!
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06.11.2011 - 01:23
Rating: 8
JÄY
Metal slave
This one has a little less character than City.....which is a good thing.
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15.04.2012 - 07:38
Rating: 10
Xytraguptor
Better than City. Magnum Opus. Infinitely chaotic and infinite insanity with the most massive and colossal production any album has ever offered.

Alien!
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12.05.2015 - 17:59
Rating: 7
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Written by Xytraguptor on 15.04.2012 at 07:38

Better than City. Magnum Opus. Infinitely chaotic and infinite insanity with the most massive and colossal production any album has ever offered.

City is far more chaotic than this album and the production does naught but take the edge off. I'm not comparing the quality of the two albums, but I'm just pointing out that what you're saying is a bit off...
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04.01.2016 - 23:34
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
God, this is so monumentally boring compared to City. The mind boggles how they have the same score.
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05.01.2016 - 00:04
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Guest on 04.01.2016 at 23:34

God, this is so monumentally boring compared to City. The mind boggles how they have the same score.


Yeah. ALso the one before this SYL is vastly superior and way more varied than this piece of compressed monotony.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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05.01.2016 - 00:06
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Guest on 04.01.2016 at 23:34

God, this is so monumentally boring compared to City. The mind boggles how they have the same score.



This sentence from Jup's review of this album Always cracks me up:

Quote:
"Alien" really isn't a bad album at all. As a matter of fact, its an enormous improvement over the band's previous, lackluster release;


If one album is totally lacklustre it is Alien.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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05.01.2016 - 00:08
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.01.2016 at 00:06


If one album is totally lacklustre it is Alien.

Yep, and somehow outside of MS it seems to be equally loved as well. Shitstorm is probably the only track off this I ever listen to.
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05.01.2016 - 00:12
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Guest on 05.01.2016 at 00:08

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.01.2016 at 00:06


If one album is totally lacklustre it is Alien.

Yep, and somehow outside of MS it seems to be equally loved as well. Shitstorm is probably the only track off this I ever listen to.


Same here. Just Shitstorm for me.

But all in all I would say I prefer it over follow-up The New Black which sounded like a total rush job, obligated by going on tour and such, to me.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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05.01.2016 - 00:16
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.01.2016 at 00:12

Same here. Just Shitstorm for me.

But all in all I would say I prefer it over follow-up The New Black which sounded like a total rush job, obligated by going on tour and such, to me.

I really don't remember much about that one, other than the production being the worst of the lot. I doubt I'll ever revisit it tbh.
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05.01.2016 - 16:01
Rating: 8
Darkside Momo
Retired
The New Black feels forced indeed, SYL toned down and mixed with some non-SYL devin stuff. There are some decent tracks on it anyway.
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
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05.01.2016 - 18:29
Rating: 6
Zaph
The Nothingth
The only track from The New Black that's worth listening to is Far Beyond Metal, but there's a better version of that one on the No Sleep Till Bedtime live album so TNB is completely redundant. Alien at least has Shitstorm.
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Wubba Lubba Dub Dub
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12.09.2016 - 15:48
Rating: 9
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
After listening to the self-titled record, I got a little bit afraid. Afraid of the quality of new SYL output. Although Devin was doing great in his solo career, his interest in extreme metal seemed to have diminished. All my worries were dispelled when I heard the first 3 tracks of these album which are great, no, brilliant! "Imperial" implies grandiousness and it sound like that and it has some incredible death/black vocals courtesy of Devin Townsend. "Skeksis" is among the top 5 best SYL tracks. Devin himself has described it as his favorite song which only underlines its greatness. There is an amalgam of riffs, exciting tempo changes, amazing vocals, and a speed crescendo that is hard to rival in all of thrash metal. "Shitstorm" predicts a storm, but not of crap, but of exciting musical quality. One of the most intense and complex SYL tracks ever written. It takes more than 1 listen to catch the mightiness of this tune. The single "Love?" is quite good too, though a little bit too sluggish for my taste. This album contained better tracks that deserved the 'single' treatment. "Shine" and "Ride On" are good as well, but not as good as the first 3. "Possession" stands right there with the first 3 tracks and the girls choir is particularly brilliant, a very original moment. "Two Weeks" is a short, memorable acoustic track, its mood reminding me of "Spirituality" from City. It is more akin to what Devin composes for his solo albums. "Landscapes" (in some versions it is called "Thalamus") is ok too, but doesn't stand out much perhaps because it is a rehash of older SYL songs. "Zen" starts utterly boring but makes a 180 degree turn around the middle thanks to Devin's brilliant vocal harmonies, some of the best in any music. Essentially no filler tracks, just weak moments here and there. The reason why some people label it as a disappointment is because the guitar playing is not particularly heavy and crunchy as it was on the previous 3 SYL records. However, that is of little importance as there is brilliant song-writing to be found here.

Great tracks: Imperial, Skeksis, Shitstorm, Possession, Zen.

Good tracks: Love?, Shine, We Ride, Thalamus, Two Weeks.
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