Review Summary: Quite a good effort of trying to present a variety of heavy metal styles combined with humor.
It seems we have a race going on - who’s going to put out more albums this year - King Gizzard and The Lizzard Wizzard or Henry Metal" At the moment, they’re both at four each, but just by the numbers, it seems Henry is winning. After all, he’s just one guy, and the Aussies are eight men strong! Kidding, of course, this guy is certainly not doing it all by himself but seemingly, while The Gizzards are dabbling in everything from modal jazz to metal, Henry Metal, as his name, all the covers and some of the lyrics indicate is all metal. And for the metal he has done, he is currently caught between two very separate opinion packs - those who love what he has done in such a brief period and those who have thrown a lot of flak at him as being a simple re-hash and too derivative. But is he really just metal and which camp is right"
Well, judging by his recent court outing Metal O’Clock, Henry belongs - everywhere, particularly if there’s a good riff around and if the hot sheets of metal are flying all around! Oh, and he’s obviously trying to be a cheeky bastard and sneak in a tricky lyric here and there. Personally, I’m not really familiar with his previous albums, but on Metal O’Clock, Henry is trying to cover every possible heavy metal sub-genre in one form or the other, and yes, he manages to do so! From the Green Day-like punk/metal/powerpop of the opener “I Don’t Care”, to speed metal of “Thrash Your Head”, to the heavy boogie variations of “Thank God For The Government”, each of the eight-track has yet another twist in the (musical) story, just as long as it has a metal of some kind of other involved.
Is it derivative" First of all, what do you consider derivative" Henry Metal is trying to present a certain variation of styles by presenting them in their typical setting. So yes, the riffs are familiar, but he attempts (and proves) that not all metal is the same and he is simultaneously trying to present a message while holding his tongue in cheek. But since he proves his point as the stylistic variation is concerned, you can’t really call it derivative. On the second point, he makes it most of the time (“Thank God…”, “Plastic Surgery”), but not always, unless you are truly familiar with the metal lyrical imagery (“Odin”).
Still, the guy should be at least given a credit for trying to combine all things heavy and humor. After all, humor (however you feel it) and heavy metal have been getting along fine for a while, some like Kiss have made millions on the combination, so why shouldn’t somebody like Henry Metal try his hand at it. He just might make it!