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Devin Townsend - Ocean Machine - Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

2.87 | 15 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Another significantly huge live release from Devin Townsend, this time featuring mostly older songs--the highlight of which being a complete rendition of Ocean Machine (his first solo release). It's sort of a celebration of Devin's music, and based on his banter between songs, a labor of love to say "thanks" to people like me: fans that have been here for years loving a massive output from a genuine talent.

Which is why it pains me to say that this live release is (ahem) ... one for the fans.

Ocean Machine Live sounds amazing, is very earnest, and replete with great musical moments--it's just that, as a live release, it's blasť and even uninteresting. Devin's production is crystal clear, letting you appreciate the artist's ability to replicate the massive sound of his studio works in concert. And that's pretty much the problem ... this doesn't strike me as having that "live experience." The inclusion of the orchestra is gimmicky, and actually sort of off-putting. It's not incorporated well, and the juxtaposition of roaring guitar monoliths and gentle string instruments just doesn't work here. However, it's worth saying that the band plays phenomenally, and Devin's vocals are tremendous, but again, they're pretty much as you hear them on the studio releases.

Moreover, other than some older favorites in the setlist, there aren't any surprises here, and that's the disappointment. The crowd is lifeless (or annoying, throughout Ocean Machine), and Devin's playfulness as an entertainer is lost as he fawns over how meaningful the experience is for him emotionally. I love you too, man ... I show you that by purchasing everything with your name on it ... now please take a vacation and find some inspiration for what may come next.

Bottom line, Ocean Machine Live is a fun diversion for those who want to hear Devin's first release with some modern intensity. Retinal Circus is the better way to experience the live chaos of his music.

Setlist: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Stage/Energy: 3 - Live Experience: 2

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |


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