I love Physicist, no matter what. I love it like I love all the other records. Maybe because it is different than the other stuff. Some songs might sound a little like SYL but most songs of that Album don't sound like anything that SYL have done so far. And just because it's with Dev on the mic and heavy and faster doesn't mean that it has to sound like Strapping.
I suppose it depends on at what point you consider it. He did not set out to write an SYL record and change his mind because it wasn't going the right direction. Perhaps there were a few songs mulling about in his mind that could have been SYL songs but he knew early on that was not where he wanted to go with them. There was a lot of pressure at that time to do another SYL record but he was not in the frame of mind to do it.
I remember the very night the Physicist concept came about (after a strange conversation about lizards) and it was a very determined idea, not the defeated attempt at SYL that people make it out to be. The Diet Coke of Strapping came from Austin Powers ("not quite evil"), it was a joke.
Whatever, think what you like. That record is what it is because Devin had just been through absolute hell. That is why he doesn't like to talk about it. It is a brilliant result given what he had to work with, I can assure you. Saying it was a failed Strapping record just cheapens it.