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Devin Townsend - Ziltoid The Omniscient CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

4.16 | 540 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Curse you Devin Townsend! I do my best to limit a band's five star ratings and to avoid fanboyism, but this is the fourth classic by this modern genius. Ziltoid serves as the perfect close to the first chapter of his career, as it combines elements of the biting humor of Punky Bruster, the heaviness of Strapping Young Lad, and the ambiance of his solo work. His recent break from touring only enforces that stage one is complete. Ziltoid the Omniscient is a relief from the self-serious mentality that pervades prog metal and prog in general. Over a span of four months Devin wrote, recorded, and mixed the album by himself. Every instrument is either played or programmed by the Dev. The drum programming is near perfect, using Thomas Haake's Drumkit From Hell. The result is insanely technical drumming that alternates nicely between inhuman (duh) blastbeats, and mid-tempo crashes.

Ziltoid is a loose concept album that follows the story of the fourth-dimensional Ziltoid as he threatens the Earth for the perfect cup of coffee. He does so by pummeling the planet with his mighty guitar. The concept shifts several times to include the plight of Earth's hero Captain Spectacular, as well as to poke fun at his own career. Highlights are hard to pick out, as they're all magnificent. By Your Command sets the stage of the album by alternating tempos, moods, and vocals and Devin switches from shrieks to clean, airy vocals on a dime.Ziltoidia Attaxx! is one of the heaviest songs ever written by Devin, which is saying something. Despite the zany humor, songs like Solar Winds offer some soul-searching lyrics amongst the barrage of metal and wit. Every character is sung by Devin using different voices. Colour Your World is the climax of the concept, and it features Devin unleashing his incredible and unique scream as Ziltoid breaks down. The Greys is the perfect closer. It has wonderful vocals, monumental yet beautiful guitars, thunderous drums, and the trademark Devin ambiance.

This stands as Devin's most complex work yet, but it's also one of his most accessible. The varying moods, vocals, and melodies are dizzying. It isn't flawless, but it's topped my list of favorite 07 releases. With this release, Devin Townsend has crafted prog metal's Thick as a Brick. It is an irreverent concept album that mocks all other concept albums and the self-serious attitude that pollutes nearly all of progressive rock. Just remember, don't take it seriously, because Devin doesn't.

Grade: A-

1800iareyay | 5/5 |


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