Monday, August 26, 2013

Artist of the Day: Austrian Death Machine

Some parody bands can be awful. Some bands can be awful and seem like a parody, like Dr. Acula and Iwrestledabearonce. Austrian Death Machine is an insane musical endeavor started by As I lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis and ex-vocalist of Destroy the Runner, Chad Ackerman. If you're a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and/or metal, Austrian Death Machine is a must-listen. Combine metal and Arnold together and it's gut-wrenchingly laughable and disastrously heavy all at once.

Austrian Death Machine is a band built around action hero and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Each song focuses on a different Schwarzenegger movie, usually titled with a famous one-liner from that movie. If you've ever wanted to experience Predator, The Running Man and The Terminator in song form, you better brace for impact. Each song is written and performed solely by Lambesis, outside of the Schwarzenegger impersonator vocals laid out by Ackerman, and the guitar solos which are performed by select session musicians. Austrian Death Machine songs are predictable, influenced by modern metalcore and thrash. Dropped-D chugs, blast beats, breakdowns and solos are featured in every song, which can blur together at times. The lyrics can be hilarious or awful depending on your view, and the Arnold-esque impersonations can get annoying or serve as a memorable trait throughout each track. The songs may not have much lasting value, but it's quite astonishing how well executed the band's two albums, Total Brutal and Double Brutal, are in terms of musicianship and production.

The music is a straight forward assault, in line with As I Lay Dying's An Ocean Between Us. Though a joke a heart, Austrian Death Machine's discography is entertaining and solid. Both Total Brutal and Double Brutal are filled with small interludes, which include parodies of band practices, conversations and Schwarzenegger references that range from a couple seconds to a minute or so long. These interludes offer a break from the blur of thrashing riffage and blitzing bass pedal mayhem, but nothing can save you from the persistent pieces of "Ahhh-nold" pop culture, and it's amazing.

There is absolutely zero progression between Total Brutal and the sequel Double Brutal. In fact, it's better to listen to both albums back to back, though you may find yourself lost in a daze of 80's and 90's nostalgia. Double Brutal does feature some covers such as classic tracks from Metallica, Misfits and Agnostic Front, which are...interesting, to say the least. You should get a good kick out of them.

Though Lambesis is currently on house arrest and awaits trial for a conspiracy to murder his wife, apparently a third Austrian Death Machine album is on its way as a result of a successful Kickstarter. Regardless of the Lambesis's trial and verdict, Austrian Death Machine is a brutal display of hilarious Schwarzenegger worship rolled up between some chugs and screams. You need to listen to it. Seriously. What are you, a wimp? 

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