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Devin Townsend - Devin Townsend Project: Deconstruction CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.93 | 390 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars You Want Crazy - I'll Give You Crazy!!!

So screamed Devin Townsend on Strapping Young Lad's ALIEN album, a project for which DT went off his meds and onto a steady stream of intoxication and excess to create. As intense and colossal as the album was, still one of Devy's most popular projects, he has stated from the beginning that the effort felt forced and at some level artificial. Soon after the dissolution of SYL, Devin became a father, ditched the drugs, and began a journey that has clearly aged him and often sees him happy but exhausted in interviews. The creative culmination of this maturing process was the four album Devin Townsend Project, with the final albums released simultaneously. From the beginning album 3, DECONSTRUCTION, has been held out to the metal community as the payoff, supposedly more intense than SYL, the outlet of heaviness, complexity, and the depths of his wild psyche. Many of us have been waiting for this music for years now. The buildup was going to be nearly impossible to meet, but Devin's done it. And he's done it not by pushing the rage and raw white hot emotion of SYL but instead exploring the multicolored lightning electricity of a barely regulated genius. If you want a glimpse into crazy, this is the real thing.

At some level, the premise of DECONSTRUCTION is unbelievably indulgent. The basis of the lyrics begin with the kind of barfing up of personal thoughts and spiritual reflection that have made some listeners want to rend musicians (prog especially) limb from limb. However, Devin eventually seems to have come face to face with the absurdity of trying to understand the entire universe (actually and old theme for him) and so the album becomes a combination of deep spiritual searching and massive absurdity. After a soaring section about wanting to save the world, Devin takes on a faux-hick voice and opines "I'm really good at that saving the world stuff. See I got my saving the world boots on." On ADDICTED of the project we had "Universe in a Ball." On Deconstruction, we get "Universe in a Cheeseburger." For fans of Devin, all of this fits. The juxtaposition of bathroom noises, odd meter guitar (and drum) virtuosity, and heavenly choruses singing "All Beef Patties" is so congruent with the artist many of us have come to adore that it just works. But I don't think he could push it any farther than this.

Musically, the album is much more varied than any SYL record. All the extreme metal elements are here (including some insane drumming by regular DT accomplice Ryan van Poederooyen and Soilwork's Dirk Verbeuren) including screams by many of metal's biggest names. Most are used sparingly, but in a very nice touch there are musical nods in Devin's compositions (The harmony solo during "Stand" with Mikael Akerfeldt, and the very Gojira-like riff of "Sumeria" which features Joe Duplantier) Devin's voice, as it has been throughout the project, is absolutely at its peak. Already one of the most versatile singers in metal, Devin pulls more tonalities out of his pipes than anyone this side of Mike Patton. The album uses odd meter more often than straight (while Dev sings "We all rip off Meshuggah"). There are even some great singable melodies. In fact, the gothic stomp of "Juular" is one of Dev's best standalone songs ever, and I suspect will be part of his live set for the rest of his career.

This is absolutely a necessity for all Dev fans, and probably for all extreme prog metal fans. For casual Dev fans, if the idea of mixing Zappa with Ziltoid appeals, here you go. And if you can handle metal, and love to hear a genuis stretching the limits of his muse (and yes sometimes overstretching) I offer DECONSTRUCTION.

Negoba | 5/5 |


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