Hipsters Out Of Metal!



Like everybody, I have metalphobes in my family and the workplace, but still among those unfortunate dolts are some otherwise trustworthy fans of strong, melody-based non-metal. So there’s a persistent temptation to debase myself and metal by pressing on them with samples of pop-ish metal like Testament’s The Ritual and Bruce Dickinson’s fabulous Skunkworks. I mean, is heaviness an automatic deal-breaker for these dunces? Let’s say there be a perfectly crafted/really heavy song with all the touchstones of major pop satisfaction (and lyrical themes containing no allusions to face-raping a corpse), would it still resemble psychotic noise to lamewads? Or do good hooks transcend genre and pussyness? Are “Enter Sandman” and “Cum On Feel The Noize” both examples of flawless hit-making or of novelty successes like the “Where’s The Beef?” lady and “The Bartman?”

As usual, it eventually occurred to me that the answer to all things is Devin Townsend.

Armed with a brief, indifference-proof Devy super-smash, I could convert anybody to metal, even the girl at work who in every way represents a completely typical 21-year old except for her fanatical devotion to motherfucking smooth jazz. (Seriously what the fuck, lady?) But when setting out to select a Devy solo gem – we agree that Strapping Young Lad is not for beginners – I was reminded of the curveball nature of even Townsend’s most traditionally structured songs. “The Fluke” (Terria, 2001) and “Supercrush!” (Addicted, 2009) each lurch into uncooperative instrumental passages; there’s a bit too much screaming on “Cristeen” (Infinity, 1998) and “Night” (Ocean Machine: Biomech, 1996), while “Hyperdrive” (Ziltoid The Omniscient, 2007) is too slight.

At any rate, you can see above that I’ve officially landed on “Kingdom” from the little-loved Physicist record (2000). It’s a killer tune on its own and in the context of his catalogue, it stands as the quintessential Devy song. It opens with an explosion; then come sturdy, table-setting verses followed by a staggering three-act chorus. And that’s before human history’s greatest ever bridge (starts at 2:43) which itself flows into a final chorus with a flourish so genius that it kinda fucking pisses me off (3:30-3:38). It’s also really pretty, so let’s not worry that it’s heavy as shit – even that aspect fits our mission perfectly. After all, we’re not trying to trick people into a love of metal, just illuminate its potential for conventional appeal and melodic awesomeness.

So I ask you, Suckalo Nation: What song, by Devin Townsend or anybody, is best to convert lamewads to metal?


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