Under the Snow: A Canadian Music Expose #8

Zimmers Hole

Lovely Catholic lads

They have a van full of candy and puppies...!

Current members
Chris Valagao (Also known as “Heathen”, “Dr. Heathen Hooch”, “E.Val”, “Lorde of Ass-Fire”) – vocals
Jed Simon (Also known as “El Smooché”, “Lorde of Electric Wynde”) – guitar
Byron Stroud (Also known as “Sickie Moochmaster”, “Lorde of Greased Thunder”) – bass
Gene Hoglan – drums (2007–present)
Lil’ Sake – Samples/Keys (2008-present)
Former members
Steve Wheeler (Also known as “Bangsley Starnipples”, “Lorde of Strobe Lightning”) – drums (1991–2007)
Will Campagna – keyboard (2002)
Chris Stanley (Also known as “The High Commander of the Satanic Bubble”) – guitar

Formed in 1991, with various members of what would become the Strapping Young Lad circle, fronted by the vocal monster, Chris ‘the Heathen’ Valagao, Zimmershole are a huge example of the character of Vancouver’s music scene. Similar to Gwar the band often partakes of costumes and bizarre on-stage antics like urinating Mike’s Hard Lemonade out of a giant foam penis, and by the time their first studio album was released in ’97 they were known to the local scene as quite the fucked up group.

Comedy metal is the monicker dropped, but in many ways, at their finest, they are true metal. Metal made by men who have influenced half the bands you already love (if you are a metal-head) and feel strongly about what is, and is not worthy of being called metal. You will find nods of the head to all types of metal, and humorous references, gags, and sly satire all mashed up and released like a ton of rocks falling onto a pit of poseurs. There is a really awesome story about the bands name, known to a number of Vancouver-ites and fans of the band, but if you want to know it, you’ll have to make the effort to find it.

Parodies galore

The bands first album, is their most juvenile and least awesome. this in no way lessens its awesomeness. Opening with a long drawn out, barely audible intro, that rapidly upgrades from creepy throat singing sounding vocals, backed by a speech, that lulls then lurches into full strength with one of Valagao’s patented uber-screams and into a thrashy pounding feast. From this point on, the album jump and lurches with mischievous glee, pounding you in the face with meta-as-fuck riffs and blast-beats, shrieks and growls, gurgles ad grunts, before suddenly switching to creepy silence or demented genre mashes. From the strange as fuck, disturbing and oddly amusing Two-headed Anal Baby, to the delightful mutilation of Joni Mitchell’s This Flight Tonight, the band plays fast and loose with taste, metal and timing structures. This is music made for fun. Which incidentally includes the image of an anus on the inside below the cd (funny story, my better half’s mom did the graphic editing on that image; she will never be able to forget that hole…staring at her…judging her…).

Charmingly immature, and un-apologetically rash and crass, Bound by Fire couldn’t give a shit if you like it. It was made to amuse those who made it. If it doesn’t amuse you though, chances are you need a Humour Gland Transplant. Or you don’t like metal…in which case…lobotomy?

Balls to the Wall awesome abounds

By 2001, the band had evolved, adding more depth and effort to the project, and thus Legion of Flames was born. No less humorous or mocking than before, the album has a stronger compositional feel, with thicker, richer and heavier tracks brought out. The battle-cry of metal is sung, as they push their musical efforts to new degrees. Starting with the declarational The Hole is the Law, Zimmers Hole takes it to a new level of metal. Heavier and more intense than before, with equally as many sly (or just plain crude) references and feels, Legion of Flames is one rollicking fucking ride. The albums title track is a militaristic thrash blast, short, heavy and sweet, and is followed by one of my favourites, the lurking, creeping and uncomfortable feeling Well of Misfortune. There’s the sarcastic and nasty yet amusing, 1000 Miles of Cock, an ode to crack-heads; tasteful and catchy. By the albums finale, the startlingly long Death of the Resurrection of the Death of Metal, you have probably laughed a lot and been offended once or twice, and banged your fucking head off. Though most tracks come in around the 1 – 2.5 minute range, the album flow rather coherently and remains perversely addictive the whole time.

Seriously, they mean it.

When You Were Shouting at the Devil…We Were in League With Satan, is easily the groups finest work. Over the top vocals, of all ranges, drums taken to the next level (courtesy of Gene ‘the Atomic Clock’ Hoglan), and longer more complex song structures. Reflecting the bands increasing contempt for much of the music being deemed metal, When You Were Shouting is a pretty fucking intense rebuttal to said scene. Consisting of less tracks, but longer more in depth composed works, When You Were Shouting is at its strongest blasting unrelenting contempt. The albums title track, is also its opener, and in Zimmershole fashion, it has a build up to its unleashed intensity. You are left reeling at the power of Valagao’s lungs. The man just keeps on going. Then they unleash the fury. Put on headphones, listen to the song, and tell me that shit ain’t bad-ass. Immediately followed up by the riff driven thrumming ride, We Rule the Fucking Land. Power metal eat your fucking heart out. Get in there, feel that galloping rhythm, extend to the index and pinky finger, curl the center two under your thumbs and let the head bang! By the time you reach the machine gun fast Fista Cortps, you should be sweating with a sore neck. These guys deliver head banger after head banger, reigning in their sense of humour a touch, and laying on the darker caustic sarcasm and contempt, but giving you even crunchier songs than ever before. There’s the Morbid Angel-esque What’s My Name…Evil! Gurgly vocals (yet surprisingly understandable), and some subtle yet crushing guitars and bass. Hoglans drumming speaks for itself. the mans legs are cybernetic, I swear. The albums finale, Fuck My Aching Tits…is classic juvenile Zimmershole and a fuckload of fun for that.

This is Metal

Hair Doesn’t Grow on Steel

Legion of Flames

When You Were Shouting at the Devil…We Were in League With Satan

The Vowel Song, ft Nathan Explosion from Dethklok

Thusly I say unto you, new converts. Go out and be Metal. \m/ >.< \m/


About Messianic Rebel
Crazier than expected...

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