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Devin Townsend - Terria CD (album) cover

TERRIA

Devin Townsend

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 514 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album is a very diverse album, involving a lot of instruments, moods, tempos, harmonies and showcasing a lot of Devin Townsend's talents: singing, guitar playing and songwriting, and let me just say this: he is a master of all of those things. The one thing I love most about this album is the vocals. Devvy is a phenomenal vocalist at the worst of times; this album is one of his best moments, so just put it into perspective. He is truly mindblowing. His guitarwork and songwriting also match up, songwriting more so. A very creative artist in that field and if there is one thing that proves it, it's the fact that everything seems to flow so naturally, like the songs were already written before he'd even thought of them, and he simply delivered them into the world. So few people have given that impression, and in this case I will even compare Devvy to greats like Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder. All of his albums flow this way, but Terria in particular flows so nicely and fluently that it stands out amongst the rest (except maybe Ocean Machine). Yes, this really is a flawless release, as it just feels like everything is in perfect place and feels so... right.

Devin is the only thing that shines on this record. His choice of musicians is only sensational, a real class act. Jamie Meyer and Craig McFarland were previously unknown to me before, but they really do contribute a lot. Both are very profficient at what they do, and ultimately provide the perfect backing for Devvy. I'm utterly shocked that they are not very well known. Onto the drummer choice: what better player to have on Devvy's crowning achievement than his old friend, ex-Death member, ex-Dark Angel, ex-Strapping Young Lad and all time MASTER of the instrument Gene Hoglan? I personally don't think he could have chosen better, and I think his drumming is paramount in this record for one reason alone: Hoglan gives more beef to the music than any other could. Maybe because he's a big guy? Probably. But the fact is he hits those tin cans hard, and provides a good few megatonnes of energy to the music, which is another fantastic trait to Terria.

Now onto the actual tracks themselves. I will not rant too long because I can go on all day about the intricacy and beauty of each of them, but I will give a brief narrative of a few of my favourites.

Earth Day is one of Devvy's strongest songs, so you can expect a lot. To sum up what is packed into this marvellous epic, I will list the things he includes: soring harmonies, energetic melody, melodic guitarwork, clever and ultimately meaningful lyrics (you will get the message pretty quickly), tight, heavy drumming, great atmospheric synth lines, memorable riffs, uncommon modes, concise songwriting and a really strong sense of tightness thought put in. It's all in here people, and I will say it again: it is the epic to end all epics and everything feels so NATURAL, making it easy listening as well. And as with all great music, the more you listen, the more you get out. Just listen out for the minor details and you will be rewarded beyond measure. A very deep, emotional song that is only really challenged by B*stard of his debut as far as the best Devin Townsend song goes for me. Truly stunning.

Now what could follow such a glorious song played so early on in the album? Well Deep Peace is no pushover. It starts out really quite mellow, which is a lovely contrast, with just a solo acoustic guitar taking the lead. But don't worry, it's not just 7 minutes of this kind of atmosphere, because that would be boring right? Right. The heavy instrumentation kicks in for a kind of poppish number at a glance. But we are treated to a guitar solo (very classically influenced I have to say) and a fantastic bit of prog. Once again, the beauty of Devin Townsend's writing cannot be compared with anything else. The man is a genius, and I will let you uncover the rewards yourself, as I can't put this song into words.

The Fluke is glorious, if not almost as amazing as Earth Day. It is more upbeat than the previous songs mentioned, starting out with some accapella distorted guitar thrashing out some chords and then BAM: the song kicks in and we are treated to a poppish metal tune with some really phenomenal melodic hooks. That is, in essence, what this album is all about for me: melodic hooks. No real technicality here (except for the clever tuplet usage in the first triple time section, and even then it is never overdone), just otherworldly melodies. One of the strongest Townsend songs ever to come out of his skull.

Overall, this album is really a masterpiece, and I plan to coin it that once again, along with many other reviewers, in my rating. It deserves to be up the top with the greats in prog metal like Blackwater Park, Lateralus and Crimson, and so I will help to put it up there by giving it 5 stars, pure and simple.

The Pessimist | 5/5 |

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