Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Strapping Young Lad 

With Meshuggah. Friday, May 16, at Peabody's.

Devin Townsend understands extreme. The irrepressible frontman for Strapping Young Lad knows that true sonic extremity means being willing to push music into territory so bombastic that listeners teeter between moshing wildly and staring in open-mouthed wonder at the sheer outrageousness of it all. The guy, after all, got his start playing with Steve Vai.

The Lad's new disc, SYL, is a perfect example of Townsend's "double dose of everything" approach to hard and heavy music. Though just under 40 minutes long, it's jammed with so many thundering riffs, blasting rhythms, and throat-ripping screams, it's like the sound of six lesser metal bands being tortured to death for Townsend's amusement.

Live, the band is always worth seeing -- and frequently astonishing. Mountainous drummer Gene Hoglan releases one blast beat after another, while seeming not even to realize he's onstage. He's the perfect counterpart to Townsend's flailing arms, screams of rage/joy/lunacy, and generally way-too-energetic presentation. Strapping Young Lad recognizes the value of entertainment, even in the self-absorbed world of extreme metal.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Phil Freeman

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • We Banjo 3 @ The Kent Stage

    • Sun., Dec. 5
  • Greg Morton @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Sun., Dec. 5
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation