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Double Brutal

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Album Review

As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis' humorous obsession with the cinematic oeuvre of Arnold Schwarzenegger gets its most indulgent showcase to date on this two-CD set. The core idea is a good one — Lambesis writes a bunch of thrashy riffs that head much more in the direction of bands like Warbringer and Fueled by Fire than his own full-time outfit, then gives them lyrics and titles relating to the Schwarzography — "I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots and Your Motorcycle," "Come On, Do It, Do It, Come On, Come On, Kill Me, Do It Now," etc. — and has some of the vocals delivered by an Arnold impersonator. The key word, though, and where this project falls apart, is the word "some." The "Arnold" voice only appears intermittently, sometimes as a spoken intro or a between-song skit, other times shouting on the chorus. The majority of the vocals are delivered in a fairly standard metalcore/thrash shout. This makes the whole thing a lot less funny than it could have otherwise been. The second disc, which features covers of metal and punk songs that have appeared in Schwarzenegger films, including Metallica's "Trapped Under Ice," Megadeth's "Killing Is My Business...and Business Is Good" and Motörhead's "Iron Fist," would really have benefited from "Arnie" as frontman — otherwise, they're just ordinary covers. One additional note: the instrumental work on this album is uniformly terrific, and it features plenty of shredtastic guest appearances from Billy Sheehan, Unearth guitarist Buz McGrath, the Human Abstract's Andrew Tapley, Living Sacrifice's Rocky Gray, and more. But this project may have run its course, as far as reward on listener investment is concerned.

Biography

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Designed as an "outlet of pure testosterone and stupidity," Austrian Death Machine is an Arnold Schwarzenegger-obsessed side project from As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambesis. Seeing the man he likes to call "Ahhnold" as "the embodiment of everything brutal and stereotypically metal," Lambesis wrote a set of songs based on lines from Schwarzenegger's films. Tracks like "Come with Me If You Want to Live," "I Am a Cybernetic Organism, Living Tissue Over (Metal) Endoskeleton," and "It's Not a Tumor" were...
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Double Brutal, Austrian Death Machine
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