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Devin Townsend - The Devin Townsend Band: Accelerated Evolution CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.92 | 224 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Prototypical Hevy Devy - Bang Thy Head!!!

Devin Townsend has always been a man of many personalities on the surface. His first solo project, Strapping Young Lad, recorded some of the heaviest music ever made. After SYL developed into a band proper, he began recording new solo projects under various monikers with the common factor being that all were at least somewhat "softer" than SYL. About midway through the Devy discography you will find the disc ACCELERATED EVOLUTION under the moniker Devin Townsend Band. This is the first disc after the astronomical TERRIA, and many criticize AE for being a little too safe. All agree, however, that AE is one of Devy's heaviest discs outside of SYL, and in this I think it best represents Devin as an artist. It's not trying to be the heaviest, nastiest piece of sonic work ever (the modus operandi of SYL) or trying to be mature (which is fuelling much of the new DT Project). It's just a balanced slice of Devy music. That is, it contains plenty of Devy's overwhelming intensity, but also the shear beauty that I love him for. This is the magic of OCEAN MACHINE made several notches heavier. This is some of the best of Devin Townsend.

Some of Devy's best songs ever are on ACCELERATED EVOLUTION. "Depth Charge," "Storm," "Deadhead," and "Suicide" are simply magical, and very different looks at the Devy sound. "Depth Charge" is an energetic rocker that announces from the beginning that this is a record of heavy guitars and plenty of angst. "Storm" is simply the best Devy "ballad" in the catalog. "Suicide" is a multi-part mood piece that plumbs the depths of Devy's mental illness as directly as any song he's written, an honest and look at the price that the muse has taken on the man. In fact, the entire first of the album (5 songs) are all almost perfect. Though the second "side" is much slower and spacy, there are still great sounds to take in. "Away" is an ethereal piece of metal where we hear DT's singular guitar work simply sing. No where else does tapping sound like the music of heaven except in Devy's hands. "Slow Me Down" is a nice piece of metal-pop that brings the album to a nice close.

I concede that Devy doesn't create any new sounds on ACCELERATED EVOLUTION. We've heard the building blocks of his music before, there aren't any huge surprises. He's not pulling Anneke out of his back pocket or some insane line like "Eat Your Beets." (He does get in the great "I'm not insane, I'm just smarter than you.") The heaviness inspires head- banging groove, not grinding your forehead into broken glass. (Yes I'm afraid that's what some SYL fans want). Some of the later songs are a little long and can drift into the background rather than grabbing hold of your attention. But despite all that, these songs overwhelm me with their beauty time after time, they fill me with energy, they inspire me to want to go play my own guitar and do my own music.

The short version: Typical Devin Townsend wall of sound, a bit heavier than most of his solo albums, sublime songwriting.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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