Most people who are aware of Stevie Terreberry know him as that skinny djent guy with the glasses on YouTube that occasionally trades licks with Jared Dines and did that happy Black Metal parody. On the heels of releasing two supporting videos earlier last month, Stevie T. dropped his first full length CD “Album of Epicness” on April 28th. Surprising the largely-unsuspecting metal community, it debuted at #25 on the iTunes Metal chart. With this he has taken a giant step forward in the musical /comedy consciousness. Several of the song titles are an obvious give-away of the artist or song style being parodied. However, this album has a multi-level appeal with allusions to 90’s bands as well as today’s artists. Stevie T. definitely has an ear for the various sub-genre musical and lyrical idioms and has the chops to pull it off with pen, voice and axe. He has a firm grasp on the real nuances (and perceived stereotypes) of each. I want to avoid giving away ANY punchlines, so here are my quick thoughts on each of the tracks.
Heaviest Song Ever delivers positive, uplifting lyrics in sharp contrast to its heavy instrumental delivery. This is an expansion on his happy Black Metal vid. This one is pretty hysterical and has to be heard to be believed. Think of this one as an over-the-top one-off of the tree-hugging side of ABR or ERRA.
Emotionless and White was revealed in the first video. This excellent video is comparable to those of established artists. The song itself evokes plenty of imagery as a stand-alone, but the video helped drive home the androgynous angle. The obvious references here are to Marilyn Manson and Motionless in White.
A Night to Forget was revealed in the second video that was released. It is an obvious poke at A Day to Remember, but there are elements of Blink 182 and Bowling for Soup mixed in there too. This is a radio-ready tune.
Gangsta Djent is a hilarious send-up of braggadocio whiny white rap over Djent. Think of this as a pimped-out reimagining of “Weird” Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy”. I love the drag-triplet fade out.
White Veil Grooms is of course referencing Black Veil Brides but it has more of a Bullet for My Valentine feel. With a nod to Motley Crue and jabs at emo and disaffected youth, this should be in heavy rotation on Sirius XM Octane.
Average Pop Star heavily acknowledges Biebs, but the story arc of the song represents the fleeting success of one-hit wonders in general.
Penetrate the Shear of course skewers Pierce the Veil. Since I am not familiar enough with this sub-genre to appreciate the nuances of this effort, I defer to Thallbaker who feels it is spot on.
Djenstrumental confuses me. I can’t tell if he is going for a parody or a legit showcase of his skills. This sounds like someone soloing over the keyboard chord progression from the mid-section of Rush’s “YYZ”. As one of the first examples of djent it would be an appropriate choice but ultimately this is repetitive and boring. After seven songs of clever vocals, this one comes up a little empty.
So, So, Sorry features Nikki Simmons (Stay the Night) with vocal stylings and song styling similar to Paramore and also evokes the theme of several Taylor Swift songs. This is another radio-ready tune that should be played to death on your local Top-40 station… not that any of us would ever know if it were.
All Alone…No One to Bone sounds like the male counterpoint view to So, So Sorry. You almost have to feel bad for a protagonist so despondent that he could not come up with any metaphors. Yet, with references to bills and food there is also an acknowledgment of the impermanence of relationships and heartache. I’m hearing Poison (Every Rose Has Its Thorn) and “Weird” Al (You Don’t Love Me Anymore).
My only real issue with this effort is that there was no digital booklet of lyrics accompanying the download format. Listening to a metal sub-genre to which one is unaccustomed is like trying to understand a person with a thick accent. Once you get into the flow and can tune out the distractions (music) then it becomes easier to understand. Although I must admit that not having access to the lyrics with the first listening does make each new revelation add a little freshness to subsequent listenings.
I do have a couple of minor quibbles. The lyrics are noticeably forced into an unnatural meter in a few spots. Also, the intros to Emotionless and White, A Night to Forget and White Veil Grooms all seem to be interchangeable. Are they all in the same key too?
Overall, each song is structured solidly, with a solid beginning and ending. The song line-up is a good alternation between heavy and light.
Current Stevie T. Facebook followers are already delighted. They have all the songs memorized and are feverishly creating their own fan-fiction videos. Open-minded, eclectic metal aficionados that don’t take themselves or their sub-genre of choice too seriously will be amused and entertained.
Album rating is 88 of 100
For the imperfect circle of 317*