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


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.93 | 389 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Deconstruction sees Devin return to the dense wall-of-sound noise he had done before on Infinity, only in this case in a more overtly metal way. The music contained on this disc is primarily guitar and vocal driven, but it is thick with different layers of sounds that build up dense textures and hidden melodies. At first listen it is all a lot to take in, but after the music has time to sink in, it really does have a lot of subtle elements that come to the forefront, elevating the compositions beyond the in-your-face sound they seem to have at first listen.

As usual, Devin's guitar playing is superb, and his vocals bend and stretch to fit whatever the music demands. This range from growly metal vocals to clean, powerful wailing. In fact in many cases he layers the vocals so that both are going on at the same time. The music is full of dozens of little ideas, lots of variations to create musical variety while maintaining coherency. The subject matter ranges from addiction and recovery to religion to seeking the meaning of life, told with the combination of dramatics and irreverence Devin mastered on Ziltoid, although I think it is a lot more effective here because there is a bit more meat to what he has to say.

Truthfully this is not an album I was expecting to enjoy, but I ordered it anyways to complete my DTP set - and now I would describe it as the best of the project, possibly even his entire discography to this point, and it's currently topping my best of 2011 list. More straight-forward metal does not appeal to me so much and that is what I expected to find on this album, but the compositional and textural complexity really hooked me. Admittedly those coming here partially because of the many guests will likely be disappointed; I have not really noticed most of them thus far.

The first track that really grabbed my ears was the Juular, a very heavy track with lots of extreme-style vocals and a circusy vibe to it that seems to chronicle a battle between Devin and "Juular", the version of him that still suffers from addiction (the music video, which features a cameo appearance by one Ziltoid the Omniscient, supports this theory as well).

But in the end, although I ended up loving the entire album, it was The Mighty Masturbator that ended up defining this album for me. This track begins with some gorgeous vocals and clean guitar playing, but it eventually leads into a section that almost sounds like metal you could dance to in a club, with increasingly tortured vocals screaming "We praise god", "We praise ourselves", and "We praise satan" over a robotic chant of "Give it up, your world, give it up, your world world world world". This then eventually leads to more circus-like ending, where we are once again re-united with Ziltoid, who describes a parade of freaks before he discovers his purpose in life: To be the mighty masturbator. Still not sure how it all ties together but damn, this song is a ride from beginning to end and one of the best epic-length pieces I have heard in a long time.

Deconstruction follows along similar lines, being a dense, epic multi-part composition with it's fair share of irreverence, this time following a vegetarian as he tries to figure out the meaning of life, only to find out that it's a cheeseburger ("But I can't eat that, I'm a vegemetarian!" he cries in shock upon this discovery).

Superb album, Devin is truly a master of crafting complex, heavy, challenging irreverent music and this album finds massive success in this regard. It's not for everyone, but if you have the patience to put all the pieces together, Deconstruction is an album with plenty of rewards nestled within.

TheGazzardian | 5/5 |


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