Zimmer's Hole - When You Were Shouting At The Devil...We Were In League With Satan
Century Media
Thrashy/Deathy/Groovy Heavy Metal
11 songs (39.44)
Release year: 2008
Zimmer's Hole, Century Media
Reviewed by Aleksie
Although Canada’s Zimmer’s Hole has been active for nearly 15 years now, the press release for this album, their third studio release, claims that the band “will reach worldwide audiences for the first time…”. Among many probable things, this is because the best-known founders of the group, guitarist Jed Simon and bassist Byron Stroud, now really have the time to dedicate for the group as Strapping Young Lad has been anchored again for an unspecified time.

Since the beginning, ZH has been a band that has answered affirmatively to the classic question posed by Frank Zappa, among others: does humour belong in music? This new album is no exception, as song titles like Flight Of The Knight Bat and Anonymous Esophagus should tell you before hearing a note. However, this is not to be emphasized too much. Though the lyrical content here is quite amusing, the musical performances are fiercely powerful – metal to the core.

The opening title track fades in with a powerful team effort of double bass drums, crushing riffage and wailing vocals. The song is an all-out sweat-loving anthem for true metal, with great lines like In my youth/I learned the truth/Pure metal was the only way/Glam rock/Can suck a cock/Strictly for the closet gay. The driving rhythms and maniacally delivered chorus make this tune an awesome slab of mayhem. No one should doubt the magnificence of the drum work herein as it is taken care of by the largest musically adept mammal on planet Earth – Gene Hoglan, now apparently a permanent member of the group. If this makes you think that this whole album has a SYL-vibe to it, you would be largely correct. These feelings are not lessened one bit by the singing of The Heathen. The guy has a mighty impressive range from guttural rasps to very high wails and yes, sounds somewhat like Devin Townsend when going for the higher screams or cleanly bellowed parts (Devin also produced the vocal work on this record). But dismiss any notions of copying – the growls and murkier tones separate him clearly from the Canadian madman of metal mastery.

You could maybe make a case by saying that if you thought about a much more meat n’ potatoes-styled SYL, that has stripped off the industrial machine-sounds and almost all keyboards (they are sprinkled around a bit here and there, but never taking a big role) in favour of classic metal musings and overall coherency, you would have Zimmer’s Hole. This album is at the same time very simplistic and to-the-point, yet varied. We Rule The Fucking Land aims for epic fist-pumping with drunken shouts beefing the chorus, and pretty much succeeds. 1312 is a very moshable monster that brutalizes air guitars in many ungodly ways. Devil’s Mouth features some harmonica which brings a muddy, bluesy feeling to the mix. The Vowel Song is a rapid, tight vocabulary lesson featuring Nathan Explosion of Dethklok giving a public service announcement.

The album has a few fillers, namely the bland Alright and the otherwise nicely grooving Fista Corpse, which doesn’t end early enough, but gets boring with repeating the chorus too much. Hair Doesn’t Grow On Steel is a mighty sword-wielder, bordering power metal in spirit. The song feels very much like a great tribute to Manowar, complete with a vintage opening speech of an elderly man sending the brave warrior offspring into battle while strikes of lightning and Valhalla-worthy man choirs fill the background during the verses and choruses. What’s My Name…Evil! closes the album with some more great mid-tempo death-grooving, Six Feet Under-style. The tune goes on a bit too long, but still has a very good crowd-pleasing chorus.

Overall, Zimmer’s Hole’s new album is an excellent piece of work worthy of fans from many different genres. There is some real crossover potential here, methinks. To quote the press release again: Between bands that wear irony on their sleeves with pride, suburban pseudo-punks with swoopy haircuts and tough-guy chumps with barbed-wire tattoos, it’s hard to know where to look for honest evil anymore. I don’t know about the irony part here, but anyone looking for quality metal with little frills and a cooky attitude, go for this album.

Killing Songs :
When You Were Shouting At The Devil...We Were In League With Satan, We Rule The Fucking Land, Flight Of The Knight Bat, 1312, Anonymous Esophagus, Hair Doesn't Grow On Steel & What's My Name...Evil!
Aleksie quoted 88 / 100
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