Riff Police! Pull Over! #11: Strapping Young Lad Vs. Machine Head!

Seeing as Machine Head are upon our shores at the moment, it’s time we pulled them up, as pretty much everyone else has, on “Beyond The Pale” from their new album “Catharsis”. In 2005, Canadian Industrial Metal band Strapping Young Lad, fronted by Devin Townsend were enjoying a wave of success. Their fourth album “Alien” delivered a real punch and with the success of the likes of Wayne Static’s Static-X and Burton C. Bell’s Fear Factory during SYL’s 3 year hiatus, it came as no surprise. Lead single from the album “Love?”, complete with video that is a tribute to Joe Lynch’s The Evil Dead and has the band playing in a haunted cabin in the woods, has one of the most recognisable riffs around.

Fast forward 11 long years and while it might seem like a long time to some, the much loved and departed SYL have not been forgotten. So when Machine Head released single “Beyond The Pale” from their then upcoming album “Catharsis”…. “We’re just trading riffs man” is what Machine Head main man Robb Flynn said. Call it what you want. You took someone else’s riff and you put it on your song – and hoped they wouldn’t get pissed. Fortunately for Flynn, Townsend is a cool dude who doesn’t mind. This is the Riff Police! Pull Over!


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