Strapping Young Lad: David Townsend (vocals, guitar); Jed Simon (guitar); Byron Stroud (bass); Gene Hoglan (drums).
Producers: Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend.
Recorded at Armoury Studios, Hipposonic Studios, and Diamond Sharp Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Personnel: Devin Townsend (vocals, guitar, keyboards, sampler); Marnie Mains, Chris "The Heathen" Valagao, Carla Levis (vocals); Jed Simon (guitar, keyboards, sampler); Gene Hoglan (drums).
Audio Mixer: Shaun Thingvold.
Recording information: Armoury Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Diamond Sharp Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, Can; Hipposonic Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photographers: Daniel Michael Collins; Nico Wobben.
The press release for SYL points out that the inspiration behind the album was borne out of the horror surrounding the events of 9/11, and, later, says bluntly, "This is, without question, war music." And while the music certainly sounds like Armageddon, the lyrics are in fact angry, incredulous diatribes against not only the futility of war, but rape, hypocrisy, and hate. Devin Townsend's sense of humor surfaces here and there, particularly in "Dirt Pride" ("dripping...gigbutt; dirt pride...my pride; dripping...bunksock"), but without the lyric sheet you wouldn't hear it; Strapping Young Lad's apocalyptic death metal soundscapes are the aural equivalent of endlessly spraying shrapnel, or the nightmare hum of locusts, or the earth swallowing itself. Meanwhile, the ethereal keyboard washes and occasional bits of melodic singing only heighten the biblical intensity. Not for the faint of heart. ~ Andy Hinds