Friday, June 6, 2014

Side Projects: Austrian Death Machine

Austrian Death Machine

Metal is full of silliness (see Spinal Tap, Steel Panther, or Gwar) and the type of faux-sincerity that leaves people wondering whether there really is a population of Satan-worshipping, tattooed and pierced pseudo-goths congregating around a single genre of music, or if it’s all just an antagonistic ruse. That ambiguous attitude toward idolatry is exactly what makes Austrian Death Machine a particularly funny joke—but one that outlasts its punchline via real music (as opposed to Richard Cheese’s albums, for instance (no comment regarding live performances)).  

Every bit of the band—the name, the lyrics, the song titles, the album titles, the artwork, the vocal style(s)—is a parody of the epic legacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The joke is largely the creation of the fellow bicep-obsessed As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis, who, incidentally, recently pled guilty to hiring a hitman to murder his wife (the assassin he hired was, in fact, an undercover police officer).

Is an over-the-top joke about an over-the-top action hero famous for his on-screen body count told by a death-worshipping would-be wife killer funny? Humor is subjective. Lots of people never laughed in the first place. But if you’ve ever laughed at an Arnold quote, there’s a good chance you’d get a few chuckles out of any of Austrian Death Machine's three albums.

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