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Devin Townsend - Infinity CD (album) cover

INFINITY

Devin Townsend

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.65 | 155 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album strikes me because of the creative textures that it creates, and how it manages to be metal without feeling overly cheesy, as some metal has a tendency to (Man-o-War anyone?).

The vocals are varied, and perhaps one of my favorite aspects of this album; the way Devin twists his voices into different sounds, from typical singing, to deep growls, to higher vocals that are difficult to understand and often sound like just another very unique instrument added to the mix. The guitars are heavy, without being blatant, which is quite pleasant.

The album starts of auspiciously enough with Truth, an interesting mix of noises that leads into 'Christeen' and 'Bad Devil', two more straight forward tracks that nonetheless are quite apt at getting the juices going, and contain enough of Devin's uniqueness to make them stand out. In Christeen, during the verses, Devin proves that he can use his voice to evoke a wide range of emotions, from fury to hopefulness (the way he sings the word 'running' sounds great to these ears).

War is another Devin track that uses a Wall of Sound over some fascinating vocals to really grab the listener by the ears, building up and layering additional vocal themes until the near the end, when Devin demands "Quiet, just a little bit of quiet please - just stop the noise for once, please!" (at which point the audio seems to implode upon itself), followed by some excellent, if difficult-to-understand vocals by Devin (although this album is not about the lyrics so much as the vocals, to me).

War leads into Soul Driven, which builds up from just vocals and guitar to another heavy track that is highly recommended for the same reason as previous tracks on the album. In fact, at this point, it's becoming obvious that this album is, more than anything else, about massive layering into walls of sound, which Devin is quite good at. At the end of this song is a moment that is too weird to happen in almost any other type of music, strange low range vocals with high vocals layered overtop, sounding almost monstrous and very frightening. It is excellent in the way that songs like Gentle Giant's Alucard, VDGG's Lemmings, Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man, and Yes' Close to the Edge are - new textures of sound that you had not imagined beforehand, but that leave you breathless with their ingenuity and how they just WORK. It is only a one minute section, and not quite as good as the aforementioned tracks, but it definitely evokes the same feeling (to a lesser degree).

Ants is the next track, and this is a track that MUST be listened to sitting or lying down, as the crazy vocals will make you dizzy and knock you down if you try to keep up with them any other way. The frenetic pace of this song alone makes the album worth the purchase, for there is not a lot of other music out there like this. Next is Colonial Boy, much more straightforward (relying more on guitars and the chorus) than the rest of the album, yet surprisingly catchy. I've put this album on simply because I had this song stuck in my head many times.

The next three tracks return to the heavy layering, and while each is great on its own, none of them quite rank with the middle of this album. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of this album, and the great experimental parts (especially Soul Driven and Ants) make this a highly recommended album, although the heavy layering may be troublesome too some, so I will rate it at 4 stars: an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. I will definitely be looking for more Devin to add to my library after hearing this album.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |

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