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


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.99 | 331 ratings

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The Progmatist
4 stars Devin's first album hasn't received nearly the kind of play on this forum that it probably deserves. In my opinion, OCEAN MACHINE - BIOMECH is a sneaky and overlooked gem. Sure, it doesn't boast the type of full-on grandeur of SYNCHESTRA or the beautiful coherence of TERRIA, but this album is certainly great in its own right. While the overall flow may seem a bit patchier than some of his later releases, it seems as if this may have been intentional and for this reason doesn't take that much away from the final product. I agree with other reviewers who have argued that this album takes the listener on a journey through the many different stages of life with all of their triumphs, failures, and beauty. Through his meticulously created soundscapes, Devin expresses anger, depression, love, nihilism, and forward-looking optimism. And as we would come to expect from Townsend, the music here hardly ever falls short of amazing. "Seventh Wave" opens up the album with a kicking riff that pops with energy when the bass and drums come in to drive the song home, "Sister" takes the listener on a short but dreamy reprieve backed by distorted acoustic guitar and weather sounds, "Voices in the Fan" sets up a nostalgic moonlit soundscape, and "Funeral" layers one flawless sound over another, creating a soft background not unlike rain to provide a gorgeous irony behind the screaming yet still beautiful words of our mourner as he cries to the sky, "A world away, you turn away. I'm wide awake, and I don't need your home."

In the end, OCEAN MACHINE - BIOMECH is an incredible accomplishment as a debut album. There are times when we can hear Devin's musical immaturity here, but it is hard to come by and years ahead of its time anyway. I would have liked for Devin to have used more undistorted vocals here as he's proven himself to have one of the best voices in rock, but perhaps he wasn't comfortable enough at this point to put his voice up front. Regardless, this is an excellent album for almost any mood, and I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates great heartfelt rock music.

The Progmatist | 4/5 |


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