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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A one-off stroke of ultra-heavy genius., 26 Sep 2006
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
In my opinion this is one of the 3 best albums of all time, and it belongs in a shrine, not a CD rack.

Every now and then an album comes along which is so fresh that it makes you wonder whether you have just heard what you think you just heard. In this grouping I would include Fear Factory's Demanufacture, Pantera's Cowboys from Hell, Tiamat's Wildhoney, and Sepultura's Beneath the Remains. All of those mentioned, however, must bow down and grovel in the dirt in homage to this classic.

Some singers sound aggressive, some sound evil, some pained, but I have never heard a singer sound so genuinely ANGRY as Devin Townsend does on this milestone. His fury is matched by the whirlwind of the backing guitar riff-storm, and curiously, an epic, soaring, industrial synth. Dyed-in-the-wool guitar-purists need not now flee to the countryside in panic. The synth compliments the unrelenting heaviness of the axework, and creates the uniquely unsettled, threatening atmosphere of the record.

'Underneath the Waves', the greatest jewel in the albums crown, redefines the word 'Rage'. It is like being tied to the walls in a wind tunnel.

The album succeeds on several dimensions: heaviness, intensity, atmosphere, variation, and lastly, melody(!), which subtly invades your subconscious like a vapour whilst the riff-inferno pummels your conscious mind.

This is a work of rare and terrifying GENIUS, whose incredible passion will have you audibly sighing with disbelief when it is over. Simply staggering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All hail the Dev!, 20 Sep 2004
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
Devin Townsend is on a different level to everyone else out there trying to burst your ear drums.This was the album that introduced me to 'the dev' and I have been hooked ever since.
If God ever needed a soundtrack to the end of the world, this would be it.This is sonic beligerence at its most unforgiving.
I can't begin to describe the impact of songs like 'detox' and 'spiritaullity'.It's like being invited into a human psyche being held together by the most tenuous thread imaginable. Everything on this album works, Devins vocals soar and plunge, drift and dive while the drumming of 'hooligan' Gene is an absolute sensation. Metal, death metal, nu metal what ever the hell it is you listen to chances are if you haven't heard this you haven't heard anything yet.
Its not often you hear this much passion crammed into such a short space of time(40 minutes.) I'm beat, one day someone will invent an adjective to describe how good this album is or how important Devin Townsend is to music. Seriously, I'm not kidding.Few albums have affected me this profoundly.This is a sensational metal album and an extrodianary album, musically, emotionally and breathtakingly so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars None blacker, none heavier, none better, 6 Dec 2003
By 
Daniel Maharry "tech writer" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
Devin Townsend's second album as Strapping Young Lad remains his best. City is as vicious a whirlwind of seething, unrelenting metal as you will ever come across. It is quite simply genre-defining and though others have tried to match the intensity and sheer heaviness of City, they've never made it. Not even Devin himself.
Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel would wonder where Devin got how he got his music to go to eleven like him. In short, the musical onslaught on this CD is a work genius and anyone who likes heavy music should get this. What are you waiting for?
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5.0 out of 5 stars HEAVY!!!!!!, 3 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
Heavy, brutal, angry, aggressive,ugly, all the things that REAL heavy metal should be, utterly brilliant from start to finish, buy it now and annoy the neighbours.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Boom Boom, 21 July 2007
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
I love this album, this is the third SYL i've heard and it floors the rest. Every track has somethig new to offer & keep the listener engaged. Like the other review here states, Devin Townsend sounds like he's going to crack up at any minute & his screamed, roared, tortured lyrics contain sly, self-deprecating humour.

This is also some of the fastest metal you'll ever hear & the whole band carries it off seemingly with ease. This is very original, clever & aggressive stuff. Best tracks for me - 'All hail the new flesh', 'AAA' & 'Underneath the waves'. All metal heads should have this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars heavy,uplifting ,in your face metal, 22 Feb 2006
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
metal,god i love it,there is nothing matter than hearing an album that can knock you on the floor and instead of being cross about being sore,you praise the lord for such an album,this is strapping young lads second album and it is a masterpiece of twisted metal and fury,its got as much melody as 10 beatles albums and thats some going but in terms of sheer metal this is the beast that you have been searching for,strapping young lad dont fall nicely into one of the many given genres,that isnt their style,they are simply and truly metal
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steve in Nottingham: SYL kicks it!, 30 Jan 2000
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
The second Syl recording (outside of Japan) only improves on the first one! If you like extreme music, then Devin Townsend must be your God. Nobody at all could possibly do it better than Devy, Gene Et Al. This album is the bible for all budding guitar freaks!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-Blowing!, 20 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
Strapping Young Lad's 2nd album went to new depths of extremity, and stands as a brilliant work by a musical genius: Devin Townsend. This album manages to be both mind-bogglingly heavy and tuneful at the same time. Few do this sort of thing better!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oh my god it hurts, 1 Aug 2007
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
this album is the noise equivalent of putting your head inside a furnace and turning it up to 10.
this album is harsh to say the least...easily one of the heaviest album ever released...the drums thunder and the guitars surround you and then devin sreams at you and before you know it you are pinned against the wall unable to move.
so then what does it sound like? i would personally say this is the logical extreme of industrial metal pushed to its very most aggressive point.
it sets out it stall very early with the initial wall of guitars that great you in "velvetkevorkian"...but the the real beast hits you in "all hail the new flesh"...but the secret to this album is that although the songs are amazing and very heavy with riffs to die for...they all have a worrying knack of layering in some very catchy melody riffs into the breakdowns and into the chrus...witness the breakdown at the end of "all hail the new flesh" combined with what would become devins trademark of layering his choral style vocals.
there is also a odd level of bouncy factor for an album so heavy witness "A.A.A" and "detox"...though these songs are very heavy they still bounce and groove...that is the secret to this album, yes it is very,very,very heavy but it has a softer edge to let you in and suckerpunch you!
i love it and believe it to be one of the best albums ever released and easily the best thing SYL have put out and only second in devins career to his own work in ocean machine.
please if you want to see what all the fuss is about this is where it all started!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Devy Metal, 26 April 2005
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing was a good debut, but Strapping Young Lad's 2nd album City is something else. In short this is Devin Townsend's masterpiece, and easily one of the best extreme metal albums ever recorded. From the ominous intro of Velvet Kevorkian, into the searing All Hail The New Flesh, past the literally jaw-dropping speed burst of Oh My F#cking God, the groovy riffing of AAA and the sheer heaviness of the doom-filled Spirituality, City doesn't put a foot wrong. Townsend still dominates proceedings, but with an impressive band behind him this time (especially drummer Gene Hoglan, who lays down some insane beats) Strapping Young Lad put out a truly intense sound. With this album the band really do sound like no-one else, combining the extremity of Napalm Death with Devin's often melodic vocals giving the band an additional emotional resonance without sounding like cheesy sell-outs - this is music so extreme it often seems to overstep the line into sheer unstructured noise, yet with sing-along rock choruses so catchy they'll be stuck in your head forever. How Strapping Young Lad will ever match this in the future - let alone surpass it - is difficult to imagine, but City is an essential purchase for extreme metal fans - great songs, killer riffs, and insane grinding equals a work of genius. Buy it, punk.
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