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Strapping Young Lad


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Vancouver, Canada (1994 – 2007)

Strapping Young Lad was a Canadian band formed by Devin Townsend in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1994. The band started as a one-man studio project; Townsend played most of the instruments on the 1995 debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing. By 1997, he had recruited permanent members; this line-up, which consisted of Townsend on vocals and guitar, Jed Simon on guitar, Byron Stroud on bass, and Gene Hoglan on drums, lasted until the band’s dissolution.

Containing elements of , , , and , Strapping Young Lad’s music was characterized by the use of complex time signatures, polyrhythmic guitar riffing and drumming, blast beats and Wall of Sound production. The band’s musical direction was mainly determined by Townsend, whose battle with bipolar disorder and dark sense of humour were major influences on his songwriting. Townsend was also noted for his eccentric appearance and on-stage behaviour, which greatly contributed to the band’s intense live performances.

The band gained critical success and a growing underground fan base from their 1997 album City. After a hiatus between 1999 and 2002, the band released three more albums, reaching their commercial peak with the 2006 effort, The New Black. Townsend disbanded Strapping Young Lad in May 2007, announcing his decision to retreat from public view while continuing to record solo albums.


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  • PistolPeteMatty

    @Manic-Insanity I feel bad for you if you somehow took that comment seriously

    24 Aug 11:38pm Reply
  • salvadorsas

    cool band

    2 Aug 5:42pm Reply
  • InvisibleDeath

    Самые крутые \\m/

    1 Aug 6:51pm Reply
  • Manic-Insanity

    @PistolPeteMatty Fuck off with you sub genres... Just Heavy Metal here!

    29 Jul 6:07pm Reply
  • TylerSymes


    3 Jul 7:32pm Reply
  • 40belowsummer

    New group opened up called: metal singers with a wide range of vocal styles, which you can find here: please feel free to join and enhance my / our list with awesome metal singers in our forum.

    27 Jun 9:12pm Reply
  • PistolPeteMatty

    Best Melodic Extreme Death Progressive Chaotic Metal there is!

    27 Jun 7:40am Reply
  • knight_88

    Goddammit, They need to get back together!

    15 Jun 4:36pm Reply
  • xxEUROBOYxx

    Too bad the Century Media 25th anniversary edition of City has got the songs cut wrong on the bonus CD (live album). For example the awesome outro of Oh My Fucking God or In the Rainy Season is included in the next song, probably because Devin made long pauses during the songs to pump the crowd up.

    15 Jun 8:02am Reply
  • Music-Ninja

    can't stop listening to City

    9 Jun 8:44am Reply
  • Emannikcufesin

    Devin Townsend contributed vocals to two songs on James Murphy's (ex Obituary & Testament) solo album Convergence from 1996.. Check out the tracks - 'The Last One' and 'Since Forgotten' for some Devin songs that you may have not heard.

    1 Jun 2:50am Reply
  • metallukenyc

    I love SYL. Been listening for over a decade. Every album is golden madness wrapped up in a catchy, chaotic, thrashy, groovy, industrial, metallic package that emanates huge production and huge awesomeness. Room 429 is a gem of a cover song. Favorite albums ov mine include City, SYL self titled, Alien, and sometimes parts of the New Black. A few tracks off ov Heavy as a blah blah speak to me, but it's their least developed album, despite being a bold-as-hell start for a band. Long live the memory of Strapping Young Lad. \\m/

    22 May 11:58pm Reply
  • UnrealAtrocity

    Check out The Conjuration's new album "Surreal"! Experimental/Artistic Death Metal at its best. Free album download at

    31 Mar 1:29am Reply
  • ontheupside

    @TheTailedBeast. Check out Xerath.

    25 Mar 11:13am Reply
  • ssafikmetal

    Holy crap, this band is so good.

    18 Mar 8:44pm Reply
  • ixaxmx

    devin, he, who hath saved metal over the 90s [2]

    12 Mar 3:26pm Reply
  • MetalHeadCrab

    I can forgive Canada for creating Justin Beaver. Canada gave us Devin Townsend!

    21 Feb 4:55pm Reply
  • versionfiv

    uh yeah, crap music is similar to a crap band.

    14 Feb 11:14pm Reply
  • TheTailedBeast

    Similar Artists The Last Poets, Flash and the Pan, Echoboy, Drowning Pool , Pierre Henry, Dead Can Dance - WHAT THE FUCK!?

    8 Feb 9:07am Reply
  • Kyzumi

    City is amazing. Looking forward to trying the other albums.

    30 Jan 6:04am Reply
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