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


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.88 | 260 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Some view Devin Townsend as a musical genius who constantly churns out one original album after another. His work is always inspiring musically and he always manages to impress many in the metal community with his originality, while others think that he is nothing more than a raging lunatic as observed in his introspective tortured lyrics. Irregardless of where you stand, there is no denying that he is one of the most prolific and creative musical genius in the music business today. You disagree? Regardless of his apparent confused scattered mind, inn my view, Devin Townsend only looks that way but he's actually one very intelligent and talented dude!

Frustrated by the limitations of being signed to a label and following his heart and desire to experiment musically, in 1997 Townsend decided it was time to start his own label which he named: HevyDevy Records.

Devin Townsend is now known around the world as a first class Producer/Engineer. In addition to producing his own albums (5 so far) and other side projects such as his extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad (4 CD's), Townsend also produced albums by Soilwork (Natural Born Chaos), December (The Lament Configuration), Lamb Of God (As The Palaces Burn), Stuck Mojo (Pigwalk) as well as many other up and coming acts. He manages his own record label, writes his own music, books and video games and, he used to play most of the instruments on his earlier albums, what else do you want from a 30 year old? Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that Townsend is Canadian and that he started out as a 19 year old performing vocals and guitar alongside Steve Vai! Yes, you'll also find Devin's work on Vai's Sex and Religion...

Anyway, lets get to the subject at hand, what makes Accelerated Evolution sound even more surprising is the fact that it was recorded at the same time as Strapping Young Lad's SYL which was released only a few short months before it. These are two very different sounding albums, not the same kind of music at all, recorded practically simultaneously! I don't know how he did it? Progressive Hard Rocker by day and extreme metal headbanger by night? The ability to switch hats in an instant between producing/singing/songwriting, not to mention the fact that he is an extraordinary guitarist only demonstrates the man's huge talent. Producer/singer/guitarist Devin Townsend's Accelerated Evolution is an alternative- progressive-hard rock disc that successfully blends influences found in different decades, the sort of things you find on albums from the 70's, 80's, 90's and in the new Millenium. This album is one of Townsend's more lightweight and moody releases especially when comparing it to his other side project Strapping Young Lad. With a solid rhythm section and keyboards that only enhances the musical experience, The Devin Townsend Band can do no wrong on their debut album Accelerated Evolution. Throughout the album Townsend sings with a clean voice and occasionally screams like the kind of things we find on the more angry p*ssed-off albums of late...Ill Nino/Spineshank/Avenged Sevenfold all come to mind. Anyway, I think you got the idea.

Both "Depth Charge" and "Random Analysis" are dark, melodic heavy rock numbers. "Depth Charge" continues to grow on me with each new listen.

You want to know why Devin is so respected in the metal community? Well, check out his impeccable guitar work on both "Suicide" and the instrumental "Away"! Awesome musical moments, period.

Devin also has an extraordinary voice as demonstrated on tracks "Storm", "Deadhead" and "Sunday Afternoon" where he comes off sounding like U2's Bono, although Townsend adds a little more attitude to his own performances.

"Traveller" reminded me of Rush of all bands, while the closing track "Slow Me Down" should have been the first single released from the album. But, Devin is not one to follow trends or who needs a hit single. This does not seem to be his goal at all. He is content just doing his thing, whatever that musical thing is at the moment.

This album requires time to absorb all the intricate complex details found therein. Give it a few spins and the rewards will be huge. On my first spin I was thinking this is similar in a weird way to a more progressive beefed up U2 or Bob Catley sound. Then the album started to open up to me and I found myself enjoying it more and more, better than anything by U2 or Bob Catley anyway! But, I don't think that this is essential material to any prog music collection.

Vanwarp | 3/5 |


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