October 2, 2008

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Austrian Death Machine, Total Brutal
Metal Blade Records, July 22
And you thought this generation of thrash-metal weenies didn’t have a good joke album in them. Flash back to the ’80s and you may recall over-the-top racist/misogynist thrash outfit Stormtroopers of Death, a joke project nearsightedly conceived by most of Anthrax supporting near-universally mocked oi-blabberer Billy Milano (while we’re here, the foursome released an LP in 2007, for reasons completely opaque). Deathklok, the one-off from Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse people, is this generation’s answer to that, walking a fine line between grubbing for death-metal fanboy dollars and kidding around, in turn leaving a void that’s nicely filled here through ADM’s slapstick lunge at the softest of targets, Arnold Shwarzennegger. ADM is a one-man op run by As I lay Dying’s Tim Lambesis, who works his comedy-club-worthy Arnie impression between every one of these guitar-pureed speed-metal half-thoughts, most of whose lyrics key off famous Arnie movie lines (“Get to the Choppa,” “Here is Subzero, Now Plain Zero”). Juvenile and dumb, you are correct, but if it helps just one person remember the days of straight-edgers singing 30-second tunes about their moms’ ham sandwiches, the hour Lambesis spent throwing the whole package together was worth it. AEWS