Strapping Young Lad

From Academic Kids

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Strapping Young Lad circa 2003 (l to r, Jed Simon, Gene Hoglan, Devin Townsend and Byron Stroud)

Strapping Young Lad are a Canadian metal band, started by Devin Townsend in the mid-1990's. Their sound is generally described as melodic death metal with industrial influences, although this differs from album to album.


Current Lineup

In live performances, SYL also recruit a keyboardist which usually changes on every tour. Their latest keyboardist is once again Will Campagna who previously handled keyboard duties. Previous keyboardists have been Munesh Sami and John Paul Morgan.


In the same spirit as Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails, Strapping Young Lad (SYL) began as solo project by Canadian musician, Devin Townsend. Once he had completed his work as vocalist on Steve Vai's Sex and Religion and that albums subsequent tour, he recorded the majority of the instruments (except drums) on the debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing.

Rather than remain a solo project, additional members and the release of their album City saw SYL secure their line-up permanently. City was released to a huge response, prompting Kerrang! magazine to call it one of the heaviest albums ever.

After recording several very successful solo albums, the Devin Townsend band was formed who, when touring, played SYL songs as well as songs from Devin's solo projects.

This changed on the release of their 3rd album, the self titled Strapping Young Lad. SYL now play separately from The Devin Townsend Band (or DTB) as this band has been populated with new members to create 2 separate bands. This eponymous album also marked the first new Strapping Young Lad release on Devin's own label, Hevy Devy Records. Devin started this label just after City was released and manages it with his wife Tracey.

Strapping toured heavily throughout 2003 and 2004 making stops in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia. In early 2004, Devin advertised on the band's official forum for fans to join SYL for a free show at the Commodore in Vancouver. This show was filmed and released on the first DVD from SYL: For Those Aboot to Rock: Live at the Commodore (the title being a pun on the band's Canadian heritage. Blame Canada, the infamous anti-Canadian song from the South Park motion picture was played over the PA at most SYL shows in 2003 and 2004).

Strapping Young Lad's fourth album has been given the title Alien and was leaked onto the Internet in early January 2005. Adaw, from metalFUCK, gave this album a thrashing, saying it was very 'overly good'.

Alien was released March 22 2005, to a mixture of reviews, mostly favouring the progressive element Devin Townsend continues to bring to extreme metal.


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"Alien" Cover

Music Videos

  • S.Y.L. from Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing
  • Detox from City
  • Relentless from Strapping Young Lad
  • Love? from Alien

External links


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