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Austrian Death Machine - "Double Brutal" (2-CD Set)

Austrian Death Machine - "Double Brutal" 2-CD Set cover image

"Double Brutal" track listing:

Disc 1
1. Double Ahhnold (1:22)
2. I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, and Your Motorcycle (from Terminator 2) (3:53)
3. Let Off Some Steam Bennett (from Commando) (3:14)
4. Who Writes the Songs? (The Real Bomb Track) (1:05)
5. It's Simple, If it Jiggles it's Fat (from Pumping Iron) (1:44)
6. See You at the Party Richter (from Total Recall) (3:33)
7. Hey Cookie Monster, Nothing is as Brutal as Neaahhh (0:33)
8. Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies? (from Jingle All the Way) (3:12)
9. Come on Cohaagen, Give Deez People Ehyar (from Total Recall) (3:18)
10. Who is Your Daddy, and What Does He do? (0:23)
11. Come on, Do it, Do it, Come on, Come on, Kill me, Do it Now (from Predator) (2:58)
12. Allow Me To Break The Ice (from Batman & Robin) (2:09)
13. Conan, What is Best in Life? (from Conan the Barbarian) (2:29)

Disc 2
14. Intro to the Intro (0:51)
15. T2 Theme (1:13)
16. Hell Bent for Leather (from Terminator 2 / Judas Priest cover) (2:32)
17. Time Travel: The Metallica Conspiracy (0:34)
18. Trapped Under Ice (from Batman & Robin / Metallica cover) (3:59)
19. Iron Fist (from Terminator / Motörhead cover) (2:37)
20. Recalling Mars (0:35)
21. I Turned into a Martian (from Total Recall / Misfits cover) (1:27)
22. Killing is My Business…and Business is Good (from everything / Megadeth cover) (3:03)
23. Tactically Dangerous - Cannibal Commando (from Commando / Goretorture cover) (2:34)
24. Gotta Go (from Terminator / Agnostic Front cover) (3:11)

Reviewed by on September 30, 2009

"The story of the album is the Ahhnold bits. Every song is based on one of Schwarzenegger’s movies or pop culture stereotypes."

Austrian Death Machine is the brainchild of As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis, and it is Lambesis’ one man show, if you don’t count the plethora of guest musicians. The main man, however, is “Ahhnold" (this time Josh Robert Thompson instead of Chad Ackerman of Destroy The Runner). The follow up to Austrian Death Machine’s first full length, “Double Brutal” continues in exactly the same fashion – making some good thrash/hardcore/metalcore while enjoying a good time at Ahhnold’s expense.

The two discs cover 24 tracks, which is overwhelming. Many of the tracks are straight spoken word from Ahhnold, sometimes just a monologue, and sometimes a dialogue with Lambesis. In the end only 16 of the tracks are actual songs, and the rest are shtick.

The music itself certainly isn’t groundbreaking, but it is quite good. The first disc is all original material, and Lambesis shows his ‘core background from the first note. All of the original songs are melodic hardcore-to-metalcore breakdown fests, and the clean (but not overdone) production helps the chugging guitars and incessant drumming drive the action. Every song proudly features a breakdown and a solo, and the guest soloists provide fantastic work. Andrew Tapley (The Human Abstract), Buz McGrath (Unearth), James Gericke (Death by Stereo), Mark MacDonald (Mercury Switch), Rocky Gray (Living Sacrifice) and Jason Suecof (producer for Trivium, All That Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder, Chimaira, more) all contribute searing sections to various songs. Rusty Cooley, Billy Sheehan, Chris Storey, and Kris Norris also all have guest slots on the album in various guises. While all the guests acquit themselves well, Buz McGrath and Rusty Cooley are particularly fantastic.

The second disc is all covers, ranging from Judas Priest and Metallica to Goretorture and Agnostic Front. Most are well done, and the ‘core genre base works well with most types of metal. “Hell Bent for Leather” isn’t the best, as the shouted vocals don’t carry Halford’s melody well, and “Iron Fist” and “I Turned into a Martian” are kept pretty close to the vest. But the covers play pretty well as a whole, and it is somewhat impressive that the Ahhnold theme can be doubled up with cover songs. At one point Lambesis even manages to rip on Metallica and Ahhnold at the same time!

But in the end the story of the album is the Ahhnold bits. Every song is based on one of Schwarzenegger’s movies or pop culture stereotypes, and that joke carries through the entire album. While there are more clever moments than clunky ones, the idea gets thin once the second disc starts to spin. But embedded in the overt Schwarzenegger jokes are tongue-in-cheek shots at heavy metal, producing a record, and many metal bands and genres – “Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies” impressively rolls a few victims in all at once.

It is clear the Lambesis enjoys playing heavy metal, likes to have fun making the music, and understands his place in the metal pantheon and in general life. And while two discs may be too much raw material and the music may be fairly straight-forward, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying what you do. In fact, there is quite a bit to enjoy, for Lambesis and the rest of us too.

Highs: “Come on Cohaagen…” and “I Need Your Clothes…” are both fantastic ‘core ditties.

Lows: After a while the Schwarzenegger shtick gets old.

Bottom line: A joke-filled ‘core double disc that pokes fun at all the usual suspects.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)