Zimmer's Hole

When You Were Shouting at the Devil...

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Zimmers Hole wasn't the first band to offer a parody of heavy metal -- the '80s gave us Spinal Tap and GWAR -- but there have been having some good-natured laughs at metal's expense since 1994. Those who have an encyclopedia-like knowledge of metal's history know that this Canadian quartet contains three-fourths of Strapping Young Lad (guitarist Jed Simon, bassist Byron Stroud, and drummer Gene Hoglan) and that Zimmers Hole (which also includes lead singer Chris Valagao, aka the Heathen) existed about a year before Devin Townsend started SYL, but SYL became much better known and ended up taking more of Simon, Stroud, and Hoglan's time in the late '90s and 2000s. Released in 2007, When You Were Shouting at the Devil...We Were in League with Satan is the third album by Zimmers Hole, and like their previous efforts, this 39-minute disc is pure satire. The material is best described as an intense but melodic combination of power metal and thrash metal with occasional hints of death metal; Valagao usually favors a high-pitched wail along the lines of Rob Halford (of Judas Priest fame) and King Diamond, but every once in a while, he slips into the type of deep, guttural "Cookie Monster" growl that death metal is known for. Satirical tracks like "What's My Name....Evil!," "Hair Doesn't Grow on Steel," "We Rule the Fucking Land," and "Devil's Mouth" have a good chuckle at the stereotypes of metal, although not in a condescending way; there is never any doubt that Zimmers Hole really enjoy the music they're lampooning. When You Were Shouting at the Devil...We Were in League with Satan is mildly uneven, but the memorable tracks outnumber the forgettable ones -- and the end result is an album that, although not perfect, is worth exploring if one appreciates the humor of Spinal Tap and GWAR.

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