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Austrian Death Machine: Double Brutal

The novelty album is a difficult beast to master, all too often those trying their hand end up with something that is both musically uninteresting and not all that entertaining either. Austrian Death Machine; Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying's band that celebrates the works of Arnold Schwarzenegger through the medium of heavy metal - naturally, don't quite manage to get to the chopper of comedy metal nirvana [for that, and all that follows, I am very sorry].

Their second album, Double Brutal, continues with the premise of the first, that is, a thrash metal band with a certain Austrian action hero/politician at the helm. Only this time there is a disc of original material and a disc of cover versions inspired by the big man. It would be unfair to say that there is nothing entertaining on the album, the voice of Arnold does provide some chuckles in between tracks with an impersonation that is uncanny at times. But without any real variation the joke does wear thin fairly rapidly.

The songs themselves are a fairly straight up collection of thrash, with the emphasis more on hooks than the red heat of aggression. The impersonation takes a back seat to the vocals of Tim Lambesis, as he growls his way through a series of originals and covers inspired by the big man. Here they labour under the assumption that dropping the title or a line from one of his films into the chorus of a song will automatically make it very funny. Alas, as this review proves - it doesn't (sorry). This of course, would be entirely forgivable if the music was good irrespective of comedy, but on the most part it isn't interesting enough to warrant recommendation for musical merit alone.

"I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, and Your Motorcycle" and "Conan, What is Best in Life?" do work well amongst others, as does the brief cover of the T2 Theme. But overall they don't prove highlights enough for the album to avoid being a raw deal. As much of the first disc feels quite generic and dull, and the covers on the second disc, whilst very completely played, feel increasingly desperate choices in context of the theme and don't really anything new against the originals.

I'd hate to begrudge an artist the chance to let of some steam with a light hearted side project like this, and all credit to Tim Lambesis for not taking himself too seriously. But novelty projects have to be good too. Sadly, come judgment day, this one just doesn't stick around the stereo.

Track Listing
Disc 1

  1. Double Ahhnold - 1:22
  2. I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, and Your Motorcycle - 3:54
  3. Let Off Some Steam Bennett - 3:15
  4. Who Writes the Songs? (The Real Bomb Track) - 1:06
  5. It's Simple, If it Jiggles it's Fat - 1:44
  6. See You at the Party Richter - 3:33
  7. Hey Cookie Monster, Nothing is as Brutal as Neaahhh 0:34
  8. Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies? - 3:12
  9. Come on Cohaagen, Give Deez People Ehyar - 3:18
  10. Who is Your Daddy, and What Does He? 2 - 0:24
  11. Come on, Do it, Do it, Come on, Come on, Kill me, Do It Now - 2:58
  12. Allow Me To Break The Ice - 2:09
  13. Conan, What is Best in Life? - 2:29

Disc 2
  1. Intro to the Intro - 0:51
  2. T2 Theme - 1:13
  3. Hell Bent for Leather (Judas Priest cover) - 2:33
  4. Time Travel: The Metallica Conspiracy" - 0:35
  5. Trapped Under Ice (Metallica cover) - 3:59
  6. Iron Fist (Motörhead cover) - 2:38
  7. Recalling Mars - 0:36
  8. I Turned into a Martian (The Misfits cover) - 1:28
  9. Killing is My Business… and Business is Good! (Megadeth cover) - 3:04
  10. Tactically Dangerous - Cannibal Commando (Goretorture cover) - 2:34
  11. Gotta Go (Agnostic Front cover) - 3:12

Added: December 26th 2009
Reviewer: Richard Wheelhouse
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1685
Language: english

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Austrian Death Machine: Double Brutal
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-12-26 07:56:02
My Score:

I have to admit that I shook my head when I saw the release "Total Brutal" by Austrian Death Machine because I was not too sure what it was all about, and when I realized that it was a parody project by As I Lay Dying's Tim Lambesis that offered homage to all things Arnold Schwarzenegger, I smiled and said "genius". Let's face it, if you have seen any number of Arnold's movies over the course of your life, you cannot argue their own unique level of "Metal-ness" when it comes right down to it. "Total Brutal" was the "groups" first effort and featured tunes like "Get To The Choppa" and employed some killer riffage and frequent commentary by someone known only as "Ahhnold". It's actually quite interesting and entertaining to listen to and should amuse you greatly if you are a Metal fan and a follower of the king of action movies and after a holiday EP was released Tim and Ahhnold would hit the bomb shelters and began formulating a second attack for the project. Such is the release we now hold in our hands called "Double Brutal" which obviously continues their premise and even opts to kick it up a notch. Before one can listen to this, they have to separate themselves from the super serious Death and Thrash Metal that is out there and realize that this project is done with a supreme tongue in cheek vibe and designed to make you laugh out loud and perhaps even offer up your own best Arnold impression as the release plays out. Like its predecessor, "Double Brutal" is using various catch phrases by Arnold from his most famous movies such as "Terminator 2", "Commando" and "Total Recall". They also use some of the weirder ones like "Kindergarten Cop" and "Batman & Robin" (where Arnold played Mr. Freeze) and it makes for some very diverse Metal exploring. As you might expect, almost every song is about destruction or maiming of some kind and in case you were wondering, Lambesis plays all instruments across the album and has the occasional guest star on lead guitar where necessary. Highlights of the first CD are "I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots and Your Motorcycle" and "Hey Cookie Monster", the latter being a song that says if you are going to sing like Cookie Monster you might as well have a song about cookies.

The second CD takes an interesting turn on the whole "band doing covers of other artists" releases which have been coming out in reckless abandon by offering up an ADM version of the apparent standard. The difference with their renditions against the originals is that the founding version never had the assistance and sometimes interference of Ahhnold to bring it up a little bit. Legends such as Judas Priest, Metallica, Megadeth and The Misfits get their smiting when Austrian Death Machine gets a hold of their melodies and trust me you will like these versions if you know what's good for you. One does not have a lot of time left on this plane if they cross Ahhnold that's for sure. This part of the release is great for those Metal fans who wondered just how Arnold would sound helping out on a famous Metal track. A booklet is enclosed to give you the means to sing along to the tracks and this also features a ton of photos of Lambesis in various Arnold Schwarzenegger movie character guises as well as a number of photos of Ahhnold himself. The album blasts out of your speakers rather quickly and if it spanned a full thirty minutes across the two CD's I would be amazed. Its good clean Metal fun and something that I think you will enjoy faster than you will not. I'm sure this would make an amusing live performance project and since we already find Dethklok touring for their albums, could a full fledged tour for Austrian Death Machine be far behind?

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