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


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.99 | 326 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Devin Townsend has gained quite a lot of notoriety, both for his acclaimed solo career and for his work with his extreme metal band, Strapping Young Lad. This, his debut solo effort, was originally released under the name "Ocean Machine", with Biomech being the album name. It has since been integrated into his solo material proper, and now goes by the name "Ocean Machine: Biomech".

I am not very familiar with SYL, although what I heard sounded a bit too extreme for me at the time (which was about six years ago, so that might have changed by now). But the first time I ever heard a song by Devin Townsend, it blew me away so quickly I almost got whiplash. That song was Ants, off of Infinity, which for a long time was the only record by Devin Townsend I had heard.

In fact, I was somewhat afraid to explore his music too much further, afraid that the set of ingredients that made Infinity such a great album would never be duplicated. Eventually I did start collecting more of his music, and Ocean Machine is so far the best thing I have heard by the man since. That being said, it is also a very different beast than Infinity, and it is just as enjoyable as that album.

The music here is a lot more song oriented than Infinity, and the wall of sound that Devin uses in a lot of his work is for the most part missing. And what this reveals is an artist who can be expressive in many different ways, who has incredible song writing skills on top of the fact that he is quite a talented guitarist. In fact, Devin has quite an ear for perfection and recorded this album twice because he was not satisfied with it the first time. As a fan, I must say that it seems to have paid off - the music here sounds great!

It is a somewhat accessible album, with catchy riffs, sing-along choruses, something that must have confused quite a few fans of Strapping Young Lad at the time it was released. Although the metal exists here, it is not particularly extreme.

Devin also puts in an abundance of emotional, particularly towards the last section of the album, from Funeral forward. The Death of the Music is the absolute killer in this aspect (barring the random driving-range-in-the- sky bit at the end). I acquired this album shortly after finding out that Katie, my pet cat's surgery did not take, and that her cancer was likely going to kill her in the very near future. This was at a time in my life where a lot of other things had gone wrong and Katie was one of the few good things in my life that was left. I had lived with her since I was seven and she had been with me for a lot, so you can imagine how much that news effected me. The Death of the Music just seemed to express the way I felt perfectly ... there was a serenity to it but also a fragility and a fear, even a bit of selfishness (because it was evident at that point Katie was suffering, so I knew death would be release for her, it was more for myself that I was sorry she was dying).

"Don't die on me, Don't go away When I need you here In my need"

So simple, so effective, on top of it all this track shows that Devin also has a really good way with words.

Anyways, back to the album, this is definitely one of the better Devin albums I have heard thus far and a recommended addition to any collector of metal music, progressive music, or really rock music in general.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |


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