“A Very Brutal Christmas” by Austrian Death Machine

Artist: Austrian Death Machine
Title: “A Very Brutal Christmas”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 11/25/2008
Genre: Holiday Heavy Metal
Rating: 3/5

If you thought that “Total Brutal” would be the last that you heard of Austrian Death Machine, well founder and sole band member Tim Lambesis is ready to prove you wrong with a Thrash-laden and funny follow up to the release with “A Very Brutal Christmas”. Many know Lambesis as the singer for As I Lay Dying, and considering the music industry is one that often finds performers utilizing their talents on additional outlets for their downtime, Austrian Death Machine seems to be just what the doctor ordered for Tim. Of course having heard both albums now, I am pretty sure that the doctors have realistically prescribed him serious levels of medications for adventure into lunacy. Don’t get me wrong, the premise is hilarious and finds Tim performing alongside an additional musician/singer called “Ahhnold”, who sounds a whole lot like California’s Terminator Governor Schwarzenegger. This is actually Tim doing a reasonable impersonation of Mr. S. as he would sound in his action movie persona and if he sang co-lead vocal in a Metalcore band. The CD “A Very Brutal Christmas” follows along the same path that they laid down with “Total Brutal” and finds them covering the time honored Christmas classic “Jingle Bells” but with a decidedly Thrash Metal twist. I actually liked the way that “they” did this but that’s only because I had been warmed up to such off kilter Christmas tunes by Twisted Sister and then all the players on “We Wish You A Metal X-Mas”. Sadly this was the only Christmas tune on the album which made me wonder more about the title they chose. The second track plays upon the Ahhnold identity quite a bit with “Get To The Choppa”, a phrase that we know Arnold has coined in more movies than one can count. Readers need to remember that Lambesis’ love for Arnold movies is what led to this project in the first place and that the debut is chock full of movie references. Sadly the album is over before you know it and like I said I found the idea of this hilarious so was amused to death at the idea of Arnold singing the Judas Priest staple “Hell Bent For Leather”. This track is for all those Priest fans who sat back and wondered just how the song would sound if the actor were to give it a go.

So to me the title was rather deceiving since I expected more than one Christmas tune but nonetheless this is probably something that those fans who find interest in anything that Lambesis does worthy of investigation. I really would have enjoyed hearing this enterprise do their best or worst at some other holiday selections because Sister showed us that the Metal fans for the most part are totally willing to eat this up and make an album of its kind a surprise hit. Tim has commented about possibly taking this act on the road and since playing music is supposed to be fun first and business later, I am sure that the audience that comes to such a show will find themselves entertained without question.

Track Listing:

1. Jingle Bells
2. Get To The Choppa
3. Hell Bent For Leather

Official Website:

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