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Okay, so what the hell do we have here?! First there was Arnocorps with their metal/punk tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and now arrives Austrian Death Machine on the scene. On closer inspection, ADM is actually a solo project for As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis, with his statement on the press sheet - "Everything I put into my other band (As I Lay Dying) is heartfelt and full of passion. This, on the other hand, is an outlet of pure testosterone and stupidity." Opening track, 'Hello California' is the first of many spoken interludes scattered throughout the album, where Lambesis addresses the listener in character as 'Ahhnold', declaring himself as 'the governator' with an exaggerated impersonation that matches the caricatural depiction of Schwarzenegger on the front cover. So what of the actual music? Stylistically similar to Lambesis' primary musical outlet As I Lay Dying, each song is loaded with incisive thrash riffing, up-tempo, succinct song structures, and hardcore-edged vocals that are delivered with all the aggressive intent of a man out to prove that this release is as musically serious as it is artistic parody. And Lambesis' claim that each of the songs took less than an hour to write is rather astonishing considering the quality of the material on offer. Lambesis was also responsible for performing the first takes of all drums and guitars before JP Gericke and Mike Catalano on guitars and cymbals respectively were invited to "come in and help me redo parts of these instruments tighter". Metal traditionalists will also be pleased to note that each track includes, at times virtuosic, guitar solos courtesy of several guest musicians including the likes of Killswitch Engage's Adam Dutkiewicz. References to Schwarzenegger's movies abound from 'The Terminator', Total Recall' and 'The Running Man' to more forgettable efforts such as 'Kindergarten Cop' and 'Eraser', and such is the theme of the album, where it switches very comfortably between homage and parody with great ease. Austrian Death Machine is satirical and self-parodic not only of Schwarzenegger, but also of the metal genre, whilst maintaining evident respect for both. A refreshingly fun and unpretentious release in the often all too serious metal genre.
Metal Blade Records
Review by Mark Holmes
28th July 2008
1) Hello California; 2) Get To The Choppa; 3) Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers; 4) All Of The Songs Sound The Same; 5) I Am A Cybernetic Organism, Living Tissue Over (Metal) Endoskeleton; 6) Come With Me If You Want To Live; 7) What It's Like To Be A Singer At Band Practice; 8) Who Is Your Daddy, And What Does He Do?; 9) You Have Just Been Erased; 10) Broo-t-all Song Idea; 11) Here Is Subzero, Now Plain Zero; 12) So Far, So Good, So Let's Talk About It; 13) Screw You (Benny); 14) Why?; 15) If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It; 16) It's Not A Tumor; 17) Not So Hidden Track
"...satirical and self-parodic not only of Schwarzenegger, but also of the metal genre, whilst maintaining evident respect for both."