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Devin Townsend - Ocean Machine: Biomech CD (album) cover

OCEAN MACHINE: BIOMECH

Devin Townsend

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.07 | 211 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

arcane-beautiful
5 stars Now for a slight history lesson. After the major success Devin had with Strapping Young Lad, releasing "City", which even to this day, is still considered one of the greatest metal albums ever made. Because Strapping Young Lad was pretty much a joke band and really wasn't what Devin wanted musically to be doing.

So...he set up his own record label and decided to release this album. Now, sometimes this is under the band name 'Ocean Machine' and the album is called 'Biomech', but really...this is his first solo effort.

Now musically, this is a very different affair to anything Strapping Young Lad were doing at the time, and fans reacted rather gingerly towards this album. But this album has aged very well, and has pretty much stood the test of time. If you haven't heard any of Devins music before, especially his solo stuff, this album pretty much is the genesis of his trademark sound. Mixing metal with a whole load of different genres, including ambient, electronic music and progressive rock, it is a rather beautiful affair.

The only real negatives I have with this album would be the production of the vocals. Devin is one of the best vocalists out there in the music world today and really needs his vocals to be a striking highlight. On this album, they move rather fluidly with the music, which I do respect to a degree, but I do usually prefer his vocals to be heard a lot more. And, due to it being rather self funded, the artwork on this album can look rather like clip art at times.

The opening track "Seventh Wave" is a brilliant intro. With a great build up at the start and some rather odd melodies in the chorus, the song is a pretty big mammoth of a track.

The album's most popular or well known song would probably be "Life." In fact, this is a song that is usually played live still to this day by Devin. Definitly one of the catchiest songs Devin has ever written. An absolute brilliant composition with some beautiful moments throughout.

"Night" is a rather rocky and punky sounding song, and is probably more of a tribute to Devin's friends in The Wildhearts, who he was a touring member of for a brief period of time. One of the more less serious moments on the album.

One of my odd favourites on the album would probably have to be "Sister." Even though it is only really an interlude, the simplicity and the beauty of it really stands out.

The album's real headbanging moment comes in the form of "Regulator." A heavy mammoth of a song, it definitely is one of the strongest tracks on the album. It is also a rather catchy affair too.

"Bastard" is a rather epic moment, that would have closed the album off perfectly. The first part of the song has a lot of build ups with the last bit being a massive ambient meets metal explosion.

The last track "The Death Of Music" is more of an experimental piece and I think would have been more suited on an album like "Devlab." Although, this is a rather interesting piece. I do feel it is rather long, but it still packs quite a punch.

In conclusion, I can't find any real faults on this album. For a debut solo album, this is pretty spectacular. Some small production problems may arise, but other than that it's pretty awesome. This is the start of a long line of Devin's musical wonders. I recommend this album to any beginner, because this one really is a starting point, for Devin and for the fans.

8.6/10

arcane-beautiful | 5/5 |

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