Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing
|Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing|
|Studio album by Strapping Young Lad|
|Released||April 4, 1995|
|Genre||Extreme metal, industrial metal|
|Strapping Young Lad chronology|
|Devin Townsend chronology|
Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing is the debut album by Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad. It was released on April 4, 1995. Century Media Europe released a remastered version of Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing on June 12, 2006, which includes the video for "S.Y.L.", several bonus tracks, and a 12-page booklet containing extended liner notes.
Strapping Young Lad began in 1995 as a solo project of Canadian musician Devin Townsend. Following his work as vocalist on Steve Vai's 1993 album Sex & Religion and its 1994 tour, Townsend believed he had been a "musical whore", spending "the first five years of [his] career working at the behest of other people". During a brief stint as touring guitarist for The Wildhearts, Townsend received a phone call from an A&R representative for Roadrunner Records, expressing an interest in his demos and an intention to sign him. The offer was ultimately rescinded by the head of Roadrunner, who regarded Townsend's recordings as "just noise". He faced further rejection by Relativity Records, the label behind Vai's Sex & Religion, who saw no commercial appeal in his music. Century Media Records subsequently contacted the musician, offering him a contract to "make us some extreme albums". Townsend agreed to a five-album deal with the record label.
Following his tour with The Wildhearts, Townsend began recording and producing his debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing, under the moniker Strapping Young Lad. According to Townsend, the recording process took "about a week". Embracing The Wildhearts' anarchist approach, "while focusing on dissonance and just being as over-the-top as [he] could", Townsend sang on the record and performed the majority of its instrumental tracks (with the assistance of a drum machine). A few songs, however, featured local session musicians, including guitarist Jed Simon, Townsend's future bandmate.
"S.Y.L.", the opening track on Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing, demonstrates Townsend's musical approach at the time: "Songs didn't really matter; it was just the intensity and the vibe plus lots of humor".
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Release and reception
Released on April 4, 1995, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing was not widely recognized in the metal community. The album sold 143 copies in its first six months, but received favourable reviews from the heavy metal press. Its unusual musical ideas—a synthesis of death, thrash, and industrial metal influences—prompted Andy Stout from Metal Hammer to call it "one of the most disturbing albums you'll hear for a very long time". Nevertheless, Townsend has repeatedly expressed his distaste for the recording. He dismissed the album in the liner notes of the record's 2006 reissue, contending that it contained only two great songs. He also deemed its production poor in interviews, referring to the album as "basically a collection of demos that were remixed". When Century Media advertised the reissue of Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing as the "rebirth of a genre-defying classic", Townsend called it "record company bullshit".
The album was remastered and re-released on June 12, 2006, by Century Media Europe. The re-release contains several bonus tracks taken from international versions of the album, an unreleased track, and the video for "S.Y.L.".
All tracks written by Devin Townsend except where noted.
|1.||"S.Y.L." (Townsend, Adrian White)||4:47|
|2.||"In the Rainy Season" (Townsend, White)||4:37|
|4.||"Cod Metal King"||5:08|
|5.||"Happy Camper (Carpe B.U.M.)" (Townsend, White)||3:00|
|7.||"The Filler: Sweet City Jesus"||5:24|
|10.||"Satan's Ice Cream Truck"||2:33|
|11.||"Japan" (Japanese and 2006 reissue bonus track)||5:18|
|12.||"Monday" (2006 reissue bonus track)||5:14|
|13.||"Exciter" (Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton) (Judas Priest cover) (European and 2006 reissue bonus track)||13:40|
- Devin Townsend – guitar, vocals, keyboards, programming, mixing, editing, production, arrangements, art direction (as Nived)
- Adrian White – drums
- Jed Simon – additional guitar ("Critic", "Skin Me")
- Chris Byes – drums ("Critic", "The Filler: Sweet City Jesus")
- Chris Meyers – additional keyboards ("Goat", "Skin Me")
- Greg Price – assistant on drum programming ("Skin Me", "Drizzlehell")
- Smokin' Lord Toot – drums ("Cod Metal King")
- Stooly and E: Val Yum – Bon Jovi gang vocals
- Ashley Scribner – bass
- Mike Sudar – guitar
- Blair Calibaba – engineering
- Rod Michaels – additional engineering ("Critic")
- Greg Reely – editing, mixing
- Jason Mausa – mixing ("The Filler: Sweet City Jesus")
- Jamie Myers – additional editing
- Doctor Skinny – additional mixing
- Brian Gardner – mastering
- Tania Rudy – photography
- Byron Stroud – photography
- Robert Lowden – cover art
- Borivoj Krgin – A&R
- Rocca, Jane (1997). "Devin Townsend interview". Loudmouth (2).
- "Devin Townsend interviewed by Tony on 3RRR FM, Melbourne". The Church of Devin Townsend. April 1997. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Devin Townsend: 'I Don't Have Anything To Say With Strapping Young Lad Anymore'". Blabbermouth.net. July 4, 2006. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Townsend, Devin (2006). Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (Reissue) (CD liner). Strapping Young Lad. Century Media. 8259.
- Lee, Cosmo (July 31, 2006). "Strapping Young Lad - The New Black - Review". Stylus magazine. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Stout, Andy (April 1997). "Strapping Young Lad - Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing". Metal Hammer.
- Vasilakos, Konstantinos (2006). "Strapping Young Lad - Interview with Devin Townsend". MetalEagle Online magazine. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2008.