Strapping Young Lad – The Chaos Years (2008)

Posted: February 15, 2011 in Music

I have (as previously stated on other posts) never been a huge fan of “Best Of” compilations. That said, I have come to realize the best way to share with you – my endearing public – the music that I love the most is to offer up these “greatest hits.” These serve as a great introduction to bands that I’m sure many of you have never heard of. On that note, I present to you one of the most important bands in my musical collection: Strapping Young Lad.

The Chaos Years is the ultimate collection of SYL songs. Gathering together tracks from all five albums from SYL, the listener is treated to a veritable tsunami of noise. There’s nothing here that fans of the band won’t have – the disc sticks resolutely to album tracks (apart from ‘Satan’s Ice Cream truck’ which was available on original pressings of ‘Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing’) but as an overview of their career it works nicely and the audio has been nicely re-mastered to give the whole thing a seamless feel that lazier compilations sometimes have. Tellingly, even the material from way back in 1994 sounds fresh and still heavy as hell, and there is never the dip in quality that you experience with some ‘best of’ compilations, with every track being a solid, metal gem. For my money, highlights include ‘Love’, ‘Shitstorm’ and ‘Velvet Kevorkian’, but really picking the best tracks out of a set so thrilling in its disposition is rather like trying to spot your favourite grain of sand.

Overall this is a package that has been put together with fans, rather than money in mind. Everything from the liner notes (written by the band themselves), to the art work, to the well compiled discs shows attention to detail, rather than a hurried cash in, and this would grace any fan’s shelf as well as providing a thrilling introduction to one of heavy metal’s best kept secrets. With Devin Townsend returning to the fray with new solo material, and other members moving on to other projects (most notably drummer Gene Hoglan’s current stint in Fear Factory) this is the ideal time to check out one chapter of awesome, metallic history – written in blood and signed with a gracious “fuck you.”

For more information on Strapping Young Lad and all their awesomeness, check out their MySpace and Wikipedia links below – or just download this CD and figure it out for yourself.

Tracklist:
01 – S.Y.L.
02 – In the Rainy Season
03 – Velvet Kevorkian
04 – All Hail the New Flesh
05 – Oh My Fucking God
06 – Detox
07 – Relentless
08 – Rape Song
09 – Aftermath
10 – Imperial
11 – Skeksis
12 – Shitstorm
13 – Love?
14 – You Suck
15 – Wrong Side
16 – Almost Again
17 – Satan’s Ice Cream Truck

MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link | Download (256kbps): Link

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