Review Summary: It’s as brutal and funny as it can get, but the joke may have run its course with this 2 disc behemoth of a record from Tim Lambesis once again paying a metal homage to Mr. Universe.
One thing is for certain, Austrian Death Machine is a very odd band. It’s not every day a band emerges that writes its songs about Arnold Schwarzenegger and bases its entire theme around him. Tim Lambesis, creator and front man of the band, is also known as the front man of metalcore band As I Lay Dying. He formed Austrian Death Machine a few years back and released Total Brutal, which was a very heavy and hilarious metal record that was very easy to enjoy and scream along to. I mean it’s a metal band with Arnold Schwarzenegger, what’s not to like? Anyway, he’s back with the 2nd effort by ADM, entitled Double Brutal. This one follows in the same vein as the first record, but its 2 discs full of material including covers. There is a lot to enjoy, but there is a lot that gets boring as well.
First things first, what’s to like about this album? The vocals are top notch for starters. Tim can really pull off some good screams. He can go from his standard metalcore vocals and growls to deep death grunts that you would hear in a death metal band. An example of that vocal change is on the appropriately titled track “Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies?”. He makes the covers on the second sound good and heavy too, which doesn’t put the classic songs from bands like Metallica and Megadeth to shame. The most intense vocal performance on the entire record would have to be “Tactically Dangerous – Cannibal Commando”. Tim screams in a guttural vocal style the entire song, which becomes very heavy when all the instruments come in. The Ahhnold vocals are just about as accurate as they were on the last album as well, except Tim decided to be a little more accurate and have Arnold actually sounding like his current older age and not like his younger former self. After the hilarious phone call intro, “Double Ahhnold”, the album gets off to a heavy start with the track “I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, And Your Motorcycle”, which has a great and funny shout along chorus that introduces you to what you will be hearing on the album if you aren’t familiar with the bands sound.
Being a multi-instrumentalist, Tim also performed all of the guitars, bass, and drums on the album. The guitars are definitely a high point for this band. On every song, you hear crushing riffs and melodic guitar playing. The guest musicians that Tim had do the solos are also a plus, for you will hear at least one solo in every actual song on here that keep with the fast pace of the song and blaze on through. It’s all very impressive coming from a parody band. The bass is inaudible as it is on most metalcore albums and all of As I Lay Dying’s material and just adds to the heavy feel of the record, and the drumming is rather superb for being done by Lambesis. While he only does vocals for As I Lay Dying, he proves himself better as an all around musician with this project.
Even though there are plenty of positive aspects about Double Brutal, there is one main thing that brings this record down, and it’s the fact that this has all been done before on the previous one. Clearly this album was made to keep the joke alive and to keep all the fans that Tim gained on the last album pleased with some new, BRUTAL tunes from him and Ahhnold, but it only succeeds to a certain extent. Some songs on here are quite enjoyable and if you like any sort of metalcore and the previous album this band released, you will love this. But if this type of thing grows off of you, I don’t recommend it.
In all of it its glory, Double Brutal remains as brutal and funny as it can get, but the joke may have run its course with this 2 disc behemoth of a record from Tim Lambesis once again paying a metal homage to Mr. Universe. There is some great guitar and vocal work to be found here and many great rants between Tim and Ahhnold, but it is undecided (at least to me) if this album will retain it’s value over time.