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Devin Townsend - Terria CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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4 stars The Canadian artist Devin Townsend keeps on surprising with his experimental and uncompromising music. His career started as a vocalist and guitarist on Steve Vai's "Sex & Religion" album. Devin's fourth solo album "Terria" is as diverse as his previous releases. The music varies between guitar pop, industrial-, progressive- and speed metal. It can change between quiet ballads to complex musical passages on to distorted guitar outbursts. Sometimes it can be described as total lunacy. Imagine a mix between Adrian Belew, Dream Theater, Frontline Assembly, King Crimson and Skinny Puppy.

Devin's music can easily be "too much" if one listening to it extensively. In small portions it can be really funny to listen to though. A talented musician, complex songwriting and overall a very good album indeed!

Report this review (#18031)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sarcastic. Witty. Soothing. Raging. From the beginning of "Olives" to the end of "Universal", the listener is subjected to KILLER songwriting, hooks, melodies, atmosphere, and musicianship. The only track I don't absolutely love off this album is "The Fluke"; everything else from Earth Day till the end is phenomonal. The sarcasm of Earth Day. The relaxation of Deep Peace. The isolation of Nobody's Here and Tiny Tears. The feeling of freedom and the AWESOME chorus of Stagnant. Great, great album. IMO Devy's best. If music is "just entertainment folks", then I am certainly entertained. Buy this album.
Report this review (#18032)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genius...pure genius! Devin gets better and more creative with each new release. Makes you wonder, can he really top himself after a release such as Terria? a challenge indeed. Great guitar work, chilling synth work and vocals containing harmonies rarely heard in metal. Lets not forget the the superb drumming by Gene Hoglan...for those of you who don't know who he is, he's good - really good. A perfect blend or metal with progressive and pop elements each brought to their extremes without holding anything back. A+
Report this review (#18033)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps TERRIA is Devin Townsend's the best progressive metal album so far. You won't find a high energy of heavy metal or any power metal thing here. Actually this album explains how genius this man creating a beautiful, powerful concept album. This album opens with a psychedelic spacey ambience "Olives". Once again you will find the Devin's style in "Earth Day". The tracks "Nobody's here" and "Tiny Tears" are ballads, so melodic and touchy. Overall, this album shows the other side of Devin Townsend. A "down to earth" ambience. Still, even though this album is less heavy than Ocean Machine or Accelerated Evolution, Terria is top notch in every single thing: great song writing, great melodies, great arrangement. One word to this album: PERFECT!
Report this review (#18034)
Posted Monday, December 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my first review of any kind and after digesting the obligatory relative star rating warning i have decided to stand by my score of 5 out of 5 southern cross stars.

Devin Townsends "Terria" was my introduction to the world of prog. i wont bore u with the story but basically i stumbled upon it and my narrow rotation of Tool, Cradle of filth, Radiohead and Pink Floyd etc was expanded evermore.

Never before had you felt such understanding of a single person after listening to the album throughout. I would liken it to a walk through a national park on acid... with a glass city and tiny flying cars dominating the adjoining skyline... and no thats not for the lack of better words.

"olives" that is the powerful avalanche coming in a decendant on top of a lazy canadian bar..... the gradual building of layers is a unique experience for anyone prog savvy or not.

It can be said alot of the songs are literal in their naming, and "mountain" is no exception. It has the climbing, it has the base camp.... it has the metaphor of a lifes journey in a drueling stepping riff. If you are patient this has an emotional scale from soprano to baratone. The perfect prequel for the following.

"Earth day" is voted most likely to be a top 40 hit..... but this is simply the nature* of devins work..... so enjoy its hook..... and eat your beets.. recycle..... its the track that led me down the path to prog heaven. I know that sounds disgusting to those older proggers who went to kindy with jimmy page, peter gabriel and roger waters... but we all find a way... and either way - "it's a way, it's a way........ its awaaaaaaaayy!" it really is just entertainment folks.

Ill finish with a few of the many many highlights in the journey that is Terria.

"deep peace" an accoustic heart felt ballad... with crazy schitz effects track running background. Tinny ethereal mid song solo... that really develops into a full hearty rock composition.

I feel like im in "Canada" when i tune into the track of the same name... which is it's intention. It swings like a mountain man's axe on the prarie freeway. The slow Hoglan double kickers in the layered vocal mid section will please most if not all. reference to john denver..... bloddy bonza mate.

"The Fluke" is an upbeat drum driven track... with an unusual structure... which i think makes it classic prog in the style of Pendragon and IQ. You truly do have to "wade through the bull[&*!#]" .....but when you do it seems all worthwhile.... it rolls in with a truely memorable section of layed and mixed vocals... and then brings in those rusty screams and climatic synthesisor drains.... just hypnotic.

For me "Nobodys here" and "tiny tears" are warm ups for the finale of "Stagnant". They are both beautiful songs which have interesting mid section and delicious building climaxes but who will read all this anyway. Stagnant will melt the hearts of dixie cigar smokers and bring a goth chick to tears.

Honestly i have good basic prog knoweldge....... but it must seem like i have never gotten over my virgintiy breaker. Hopefully this will be posted for all to see how music can change one life. If you relate see also Spocks Beard - Snow. Cheers mate!.

Report this review (#18035)
Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album blew me away with its enormous range of emotions, all done perfectly. Of all the prog released in the past 5 years or so, this album stands above all else, in my opinion. Devin is not only technically brilliant on the guitar, he's also a damn creative song/album writer and immaculate producer.
Report this review (#18036)
Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Devin Townsend, Canadas weirdest music freak , has made his absolute masterpiece. And its name is: Terria. A gigantic wall of bombastic keyboards, hammering drums and wonderful vocal lines comes over the listener. It's an album which sets all kind of emotions free so that you can dive into this cosmos of sounds. I can't say that there are any filler. If you listen to the songs you get the impression of a soundtrack of Canada: the forests, the seas, the nature as beautiful and elevated as the music.
Report this review (#18037)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars There is only a word in my mind for Devin Townsend: GENIUS! Part of his work in Strapping young lad can be criticized, but his solo works are really great, from the first to the last, but this one is surely his masterpiece. I recommend this album to anybody out there who's a little bit open minded.
Report this review (#18038)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
Holland @ Cas
5 stars Try it in the car, try it at home, try it on headphones. This music is gonna #$&$ you up. After 50 listens (how many albums can you dare say you've done it for) it still finds its way to mutate you chromosomes. Devin, SYL is cool and Alien is totally #$%^'d up and I can't wait to see SYL in Holland - but whatever the hell happened you make Terria - does it only happen at 29?
Report this review (#18039)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perfect. Nothing more to say. The complete maturity of a complete artist. This album is something never heard before. The production is probably the one that a thousand artist sought for thirty years and the songs are a collection of masterpieces. Dev's guitars sound like nothing before they completely blow everything on the metal parts or make you float in a forest in the clean parts. His voice reaches here its peak, the perfect equilibrium between the classic screamings and the clean parts and the interpretation is somethin' epic.The music is something I don't know how to describe. Imagine to be in the middle opf a prairie, you turn left and hear some metal, you turn right and hear rock; in front of you there's some pop and over your shoulders you hear some ambient acoustic music.... all kept together by a deep feedback which comes out various times during the listening of the album. Every song is an architecture, is a cathedral of sound. Since the false intro "Olive" to the closing track, the nearly-pop "Stagnant" every little piece is in its right place. I just want to name the 9-minute epic "Earth day", a savage run in the forest, and "Deep peace", whose name says all.... with a guitar solo on which I won't spend any word, just listen..... Everyone in the world should listen at least once in his life to this. If perfection exists, with this album Dev goes very very close to it.
Report this review (#18040)
Posted Saturday, May 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perfection in its purest form! I really think that whoever listens to this album shall find something at least wonderful. Nowadays its really hard to find something TRULY UNIQUE, and with this album you get your dose of surprise! The production is HUGE, the composition FLAWLESS, the musicianship ASTOUNDING...Well this is an album of all the superlatives and words will never be enough to describe this album! It's not really Metal and I think it should appeal to all the people who think they can LISTEN TO the music! A real masterpiece.
Report this review (#18041)
Posted Saturday, May 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not a fan of Metal Prog...But seeing all these reviews everywhere on the internet about this Devin Townshend guy, I thought I'd just try curiosity!! So I started by downloading this Terria album, and then: REVELATION!! I've been into prog for more than 25 years now, and I can say that I've never felt such emotions into an album since...Well, in fact I've NEVER felt something like this! This Devin Townshend is truly a genius and even all the good reviews and all the words in all the world can't be enough to describe the perfection of his music! Just try it and it will give you feelings such as it is rare to experience into rock music! I know it's hard to believe but this is probably one of the best records even made by a human, and I can't believe that I AM saying this! This cd is the perfect combination of music and sound: The production is original yet unique and huge! The composition is wonderful and the emotions.... That's what this album is all about: EMOTIONS!! The metal side of this record goes almost absolutely unnoticed and only one try is enough to remember some tunes forever! This album changed something in my life, and I never thought it would be possible again when you consider the lack of originality into nowadays music.

Report this review (#18042)
Posted Monday, May 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Bought this cd a view months ago, after I listened to Ayreon's "The Human Equation". I like the part of Devin on this record. But I have to say that I never heard of Devin Townsend before (Same story with Heather Findlay from Mostley Autumn). So I have to thank Arjan Lucassen, he invited Devin for his last Ayreon record wich I mentioned here before.

When first listening to "Terria" you will immidiately recognise a musical genius behind it. After a view listens more you will totally blown away by the power and musicality of Devin Townsend! This record will almost immidiately starts with a great metal sound. Later on the cd will be more acceseble but still keeps the metal spreading it over the record without giving the metal to much influance. Although "InsideOut" records notices to store this record under "metal" I do not agree with this and it better should be filed under "Progressive Metal", but thats my opinion.

On the website you find more information about Devin Townsend if you're interested.

Report this review (#35288)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is Devin's masterpiece. The following album has more hooks and catchy tunes, but this one is truly majestic, epic and utterly wonderful. I give it 5 stars without any hesitation. This is a complex work of art.

This albums is also so unique - it defies categorisation. Although this is metal, there is no other Prog Metal band that comes close to what he does. Earth Metal, Epic Progressive Metal ... that begins to describe it.

The most unique thing about the Devin Townsend albums is that he uses a very large number of tracks during recording, which are layered on top of one another to create a wall of sound. He does this for individual instruments as well as the whole tracks. This results in a incredible level of detail - with a good hifi system, you can hear lots of different instruments "below the surface".

This album doesn't have a story as such, but a topic: Nature - Canada in particular - and spirituality. The song titles and lyrics excerpts give you a good idea of what you can expect.

Olives: This is the weirdest intro to a prog metal album that I ever heard. I don't want to spoil anything, you'll have to listen for yourself.

Mountain: The track starts kind of usual, but after 2 minutes a cool laid back section starts, which slowly climbs and works it's way towards the peak. Listening to it, you literaly feel like a mountaineer. At about 5:30, the song suddenly stops and you hear something like a radio, playing some tune, with faint sounds in the background.

Earth Day: This song starts quite abruptly, after the silence of the preceding track. This is a typical Devin Townsend song, with haunting rhythm, thriving guitars, and crazy lyrics:

Man Overboard (I'm so far away)

Man Overboard (I'm so far...)

But [%*!#] it! ...I really don't care

Fuck! Listen to me! Just shut the [%*!#] up!

Peace, Love, Joy

Man overboard (I'm so far...)

Hate, hell, war

Hate, love, love, hate, love, hate...destruction!

Deep Peace: Beautiful song, you might even call it a ballad, although it's almost entirely based on heavy instrumentation. About halfway through the song, a beautiful guitar solo kick's off a heavy waltz (3/4), which is sort of a trademark for Devin.

Canada: One of my favorite songs on the album. It starts with a absolutely divine guitar riff. The song is as majestic as "Soul Driven" of his previous album, and it's about driving down a Canadian freeway. Again, there's crazy lyrics:

It's oil, It's wheat, It's soil, It's meat

It's beef!

The road, it's home, the mountain high, river low...

Wake me, please wake me,

When it's my turn to drive

Only the lonely (and maybe John Denver) know the Canadian freeway.

Down And Under: A french radio/TV excerpt kicks off this song, and while it's not as majestic as the previous song, it's flowing nicely and acting as a segue, to prepare and set things up for The Fluke.

The Fluke: Nice up-tempo track, with two completely different parts. The first is very similar to the kind of music Devin wrote for Biomech. The second part is introduced by some nice breaks and signature changes ... and then it's 3/4 time again, this time in a shuffle feel. Then, after a short repetition of the first part, some crazy keyboards/effects loop starts, fading into a heartbeat sample which morphs into the sound of rain.

Nobody's Here: Wonderful melancholic track, really slow and laid back, with absolutely fitting lyrics:

Hello, it's good to see you here

Come in, can I offer you a beer?

This song has some similarities to Roger Waters lyrics and songwriting - just a little bit.

Tiny Tears: I guess this is the closest thing to a ballad on this album - it's a

romantic song that deals with relationships. It flows nicely, and again I'd like to quote the


I see you

I need you

I leave you behind

I've learned my lesson

O.K I'm bored now.

About half way through the song, a guitar solo kicks of a song within the song - a 2 minute build up of a different motive, with the lyrics that I quoted.

Stagnant: Crazy Devin ... who would think of using pizzicato strings in this heavy setting? This is one of the really joyful tracks on the album, and please forgive me - I have to quote the lyrics one last time ...

It's beautiful, the way it's meant to be...beautiful, but it 'don't do [&*!#]' for me...

So peel away a little skin and choke upon the bone

And ain't it funny how, after trying to find my way home,

I'm in the middle now, and I won't get lost again.

Report this review (#40166)
Posted Sunday, July 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
The Crow
5 stars Only one word is necessary to describe this album: MASTERPIECE!!!!

This album has the incredible capacity to give you so many feelings... You'll feel great peaceful and good feelings in Deep Peace, Down and Under, Nobody Here... And you'll contemplate great rage and contamination on Earth Day, Canada, The Fluke... Chaos, mountains to climb, human silliness, hate, love... This record it's all feeling!

Devin Townsend is one of the best singers on earth, his voice is unique! And he is an outstanding composer too. Nobody whould miss it!!!!! Every song here is a wonderful travel...

Finally: Gene Hoglan, he's a beast on drums. His playing is simply incredible!

Report this review (#42692)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My favorite piece of music- EVER. This CD is absolutley amazing!!!!! It grows on you and gorws on you- like no other labum can- well, it was that way for me anyways. Masterpiece? YOU BET! The album is so amazing- the range is amazing- with heavy songs- softer songs- and lyrics that will impress anyone. If you are new to DT- then this is the album to get- it is over 70 minutes of musical bliss! YOU CANT GO WRONG! DEVIN ROCKS!!!
Report this review (#43225)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of those albums. One of those albums that doesn't hit you right away with the sheer beauty of itself until you've opened yourself enough to handle it. Or at least that's what happened to me. I was originally one of those The Fluke/Life/Christeen/ Traveller kids that liked Devin Townsend for his easier to get into songs. Earth Day also did quite a lot for me, as did Stagnant. I thought I was ready for the whole album ...but honestly, I wasn't. Deep Peace, Tiny Tears, Canada, Mountain, Mobody's Here, I didn't quite get them. Sure, Tiny Tears was real emotional, Mountain had a cool beginning, but I didn't get it.

Then, like any prog record, after enough listens, I got it. In a big way. I got what this record was all about. I wasn't forcing myself to like it, like I did with Close to the Edge (fortunately, that hit me with its genius not too long after). I already liked it, but when I understood it, I loved it. Loved it. This album could inspire a man to start his life anew, make an emotionless prostitute cry, calm a raging man down, and basically help you in life. It is that powerful.

After Physicist, which was more or less SYL lite, Devin sat down and decided not to rush the next album, and let the songs come naturally. That's what it feels like these songs came from, right from Devin's soul, and his guitar playing and especially singing complements the songs perfectly. The other musicians do their part perfectly as well, although nothing to write home about. This album isn't about amazing musicality, it's about inspiring songs and layers and layers of....well, song. These songs are deeper than you could ever imagine. Devy himself said he'd stay up late many nights in a row just adding little effects to songs you could hardly hear, but were quite cool. And if you pay attention, you can hear them. And they work.

The songs themselves are all excellent. Deep Peace and Nobody's Here are similiar in structure, Nobody's Here having some amazing emotional singing halfway through and Deep Peace having the most amazing breakdown in the world halfway through the song. These are the songs that took the longest to get for me, because they don't jump out at you to proclaim themselves as good, they work quietly, waiting for you to appreciate them. And when you begin to appreciate the songs, then they start showing you what their made of. Stupid comparison? Yea, but it's true.

There are four uplifting songs on this album. Stagnant is the first (and the last track), and this track has some amazing singing. The melody is simply amazing, and Devy's vocal work is perfect. Summer's here...the sunlight greets the day...very memorable stuff. The next uplifting song is Canada which is all about cruising down the Canadian freeway with no worries and no real anxiety or troubles. There's not a sad or angry moment to be found on this track, and some of the lyrics are quite funny. You really do feel peaceful listening to this. Canada flows nicely into Down and Under, which is a short instrumental. This piece builds wonderfully into something amazing with Devy softly humming in the background. Lovely. I listen to this whenever I start feeling down. The last uplifting song on this album is The Fluke, which is really similiar in structure to the type of music Devy did for Ocean Machine. It's just a really fun, uplifitng piece with solid songwriting and some really nice sections around 3:00 minutes in.

The next two tracks I wanna talk about are the tracks that are kinda just... introductory. The first two, of course. Olives is extremely strange and not a listenable piece. Mountain starts with a bang, then kinda fades out and doesn't demand your attention until the end, where Devy starts screaming again. It's a nice piece, but really, its only purpose to me when I listen to the album is as an introduction to where the album really begins...which is Earth Day.

Earth Day is one of the two big knockout tracks on this album. I'm not saying that they all aren't killer, but if you were to turn on the emotional tracks of this album, this would be one of them. This song is loud, obnoxious, angry, and in-your-face the whole way. I feel like it's just about proclaiming, "HEY! LISTEN TO ME! YOU ****!". It succeeds in delivering that message, oh my it does. Great great track. Difficult to describe, you'd just have ot hear it.

The other knockout emotional song is Tiny Tears, which is the polar opposite of Earth Day. This song is one of the most emotional, beautiful pieces you'll ever hear. I don't wanan try to put words to it, but it's so amazingly beautiful. Listen to it.

This album is perfect. Even the first two tracks I wouldn't change. This is one of the best albums I've ever heard, and one of the most inspiring. Devy's work is almost divine sometimes.

Report this review (#58016)
Posted Saturday, November 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars OH MY GOD! This is music for your mind, your heart and your soul. Being human is [%*!#]ed as Devin says. This will help you to live in this clouded world. Metal is not just for frustrated headbanging kids. Devin's music is LIFE MUSIC. Essential i admit. Beautiful. Strong. Full. Exciting. Raw. Defined. Epic. Emotional. This and much more you will discover by listenig to this wonderful record. Oh my god....i don't have the words to explain. It's unbelievable. THE PEEK. It's a trip through earth and emotions............heart and feelings......Drums are pumping....Guitars are shredding.....Bass is flowing deeply, a base for all the structure. Just buy it and you'll thank this great site!

Long Live Space Race! Long Live Molvania!

Report this review (#59919)
Posted Friday, December 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This music describes the best what is a monolithic electric guitar! I have never heard a more monolithic electric rhythmic guitar than on this record: that's completely ridiculous! This brutal guitar is so distorted and polluted with tons of useless effects that it takes all the available room! As if it was not enough, the musician seems to take a huge pleasure to exaggeratedly sustain each note, a painful torment for the ears! The rhythmic guitar is COMPLETELY unmelodious. The lead vocals are just simply too angry and aggressive for me. When the lead vocals are more mellow, they amazingly remind me David Gilmour and James LaBrie. There are some good acoustic guitar parts. There are some unconvincing TV or radio sounds, a much worse copy of Roger Waters' effects: they seem too coarsely produced. You can hear some whales-like sounds. There are some rare good passages, so that, globally, this record is not worth a complete listen. The only track that retained more my attention is "Deep peace", starting with an imitation of David Gilmour's voice; an Oldfield-esque guitar solo then begins, followed by an Hillage-esque one, featuring his spacy ambience from the "Green" album; then, it changes to a VERY modest & much slower attempt to emulate the symphonic Yngwie Malmsteen himself. This VERY rebel music is probably perfect for the young people who like disturbing moods.

Rating: 1.5 star

Report this review (#61487)
Posted Saturday, December 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This site is costing me a lot of money, which isn't a bad thing. $600 and 35 albums later I have renewed my waning interest in music (but not the industry). I'm finding artists I never would have heard of before and rediscovering artists I had long forgotten about. Devin Townsend falls into the latter category. As soon as I saw the name, I remembered Steve Vai's Sex and Religeon album as Devin was the singer. I didn't care for the album, but that has more to do with me being bored with Steve Vai's work.

Terria took me by surprise, quite litterally. I didn't know what to expect. What I got was a real treat. I like odd music, strange compositions, and generally anything that bucks conventional styles of music. This is an area that Devin truly accels. The first time I heard Earth Day, I knew it would be an instant classic in my collection. I know some people take exception with his screaming vocals, but to be honest, when he screams it fits. He's conveying power and madness when he sings that way and I think it works perfectly. This isn't Death Metal screaming like Mikael Ĺkerfeldt in Opeth (a band I'd love except for the grunting). For songs like Earth Day, the screaming just adds to the insanity of the song. If viewed from that standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Listening to Ayreon's The Human Equation also helps. In addition, Devin writes some truly bizaar lyrics that just add to the insanity of the compositions.

Terria is a pleasant departure from my years of thinking prog-metal was strictly the domain of Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Tool. I recommend this album to anyone that can appreciate the essoteric side of prog-metal.

Report this review (#62615)
Posted Saturday, December 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Amazing album. This i own and Infinity. I must say this is an axtraordinary view over music by this gentleman named Devin Townsend. Very interesting and catchy tunes. I think is one of the most important musician in the last 20 years. Every track is damn good, to the Olives, 'till the last one. This man plays for some time with one of the biggest drummer in the world, Gene Hoglan. All in all, you must have this one, because worth all the money. I like it very much.
Report this review (#64803)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Actually 4.5 stars. I bought this album because of its high ratings on this site. After my first listen I had a hard time getting past the "wall of noise" where the music seems to ebb and flow against a constant growling background. A few more spins revealed the extraordinary depth and quality within each of the songs. It keeps getting better the more I listen to it. The layered vocals, solid grooves, superb melodies, and consistent production quality make this a truly great album.

Olives - 4/5 - Interesting opening for the album. I like it. Mountain - 3/5 - One of the heavier songs on the album. Good vocals. Earth Day - 4/5 - Great chorus mixed in with NineInchNails/MarilynManson-like music. Deap Peace - 4/5 - 1st half isn't particularly noteworthy but really picks up halfway through with waltz-like guitar work. Canada - 5/5 - My favorite song on the album. An incredible groove with majestic vocals. Down and Under - 5/5 - An instrumental with a nice gradual buildup. The Fluke - 3/5 - One of the more aggressive songs. Definitely has its moments. Nobody's Here - 4/5 - Slower song with a consistent, driving melody. Tiny Tears - 5/5 - Excellent progressive ballad. I especially like the buildup at the end. Stagnant - 3/5 - Not bad, but a bit too "poppy" for my taste.

Highly recommended!

Report this review (#65048)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well well well Mr. Devin Townsend has really done it this time and as most of the reviewers can attest, it works wonders. His sound has matured a lot since the Ocean Machine days. This is the one album that stands out from the rest as sounding different. Where the albums Ocean Machine through Infinity are very good, they all carried the same musical vibe. Terria however breaks this mold and does so quite magnificently. It winds its way melodically through heavy and textured movements to soft accustic moments which creates a gloriously liberating effect. Beyond the simple songs and lyrics that sometimes get in the way of the music, Devin Townsend creates what some have called a wall of sound, though i see it more as a wave; sometimes temultuous and sometimes majestic and sweeping. Whenever I'm listening to this album, i cant help but picture this wave crashing over me, are washing over me, arrying me away somewhere and isnt that what music is supposed to do?. This is one of the reasons i like this album much more than his previous work which dont do this nearly as much. The emotion in his songs carry the listener on a journy down the dusty windswept highway of canada and you feel every moment. Highlights: Deep Peace- This songs got groove! starting of as a simple acustic ballad type song it picks up pace and moves towards a wonderful climax. When Devy's solo hits untill the end of the song is probably the perfect example of this "wave" or Wall or whatever you want to call it, to be found on Terria. "Its all going away now, all going away... Going, going gone...." Earth Day - more in the vain of what Townsend has done before its the heaviest song on the disc and the most accessible. Great melody and flow throughout the piece. The crazy lyrics are humorous at times (eat your beats, recycle, don't eat your beats, recycle!) but the music itself is spectacular. Last highlight... Tiny Tears- beautiful. simply beautiful. Its my favorite song on this album easlily. the gorgeous melody just hits the right spot. You'll have to listen to it yourself to hear what my words cannot express. (too corny?) oh well. Again, congradulations to Devin Townsend. He's crafted some of the best (new) music ive heard in a while. Its Grandoise structure and intricate melodies are strikingly beautiful while the musicianship is supurb. HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMENDED to fans of any genre.
Report this review (#73491)
Posted Wednesday, March 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Terria" is a fantastic album. It has a certain feeling of sadness and confusion that makes itself known within the first song and never ends. In this way, it does feel like one long song, filled with criticism of the world and of Devin himself. It is a very personal and passionate album. Devin clearly wrote this album with a lot to say from his heart and mind. The melodies are great and you never really know what to expect. The "wall of sound" aspect that he is known for is present on "Terria". The vocals alone are overdubbed several times, and it is brilliant. Devin makes music that requires many listens to fully grasp. It is just that complex and unique. "Earth Day" is especially intense and beautiful. This is a work of art from a true artist. It comes highly recommended.
Report this review (#77427)
Posted Sunday, May 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's been several years since I acquired Terria. I stumbled onto these reviews, and just felt compelled to offer my sprinkling of water. All tracks - great - without a doubt! Earth Day - what can anyone say really? From the reviews I've read thus far - I agree with them all wholeheartedly - five stars. All that I can add? At first listen, I was speechless. I think I laughed at the genius of it - the bizarreness. I had never heard such a composition. I couldn't share it (shared listen) with just anyone. It's not the song to start with if you're going to introduce someone to Devin's music - "Ocean Machine" maybe, "Christeen" definitely. But Earth Day? It would be like confining a poor young Amish boy and subjecting him to SAW I as his first motion picture. Maybe that's too extreme.

I've been fascinated with Devin endeavors since I was introduced to him in Steve Vai's "Sex and Religion" - still an under rated effort by them both. Steve had good instincts in employing him on that record. Just the screams alone gave the record spice. When I rediscovered him on and Napster at the turn of the millennium, I was smitten for life. Now having possession of Synchestra, his greatest work to date, I anticipate more brilliance from this prog metal wizard when his diversion into fatherhood, resurfaces out of retirement with new things to say and sing and scream about. Those of the screaming and shrieking styles have been around awhile now - but it's as if Devin was the mold from which all others sprang forth. I know of no other singer, who can scream at the top of his monstrous lungs - and do it on key. I will say that SYL is too much for me, but I understand and respect the target audience he's feeding.

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Posted Thursday, October 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Devin Townsend is one of the most prolific artists in modern music. Fans can expect at least an album a year from one of his projects, quite often two. With every release, critics hail his brilliant lyrics, superb musicianship, and flawless production. However, Devin took some time off from his projects at the start of the century and simply waited for songs to come. The result is one of the greatest albums in prog metal, alongside DT's Scenes and Ayreon's The Human Equation. It's difficult to define Terria, which almost automatically makes it progressive. It isn't a concept album, but it's unfair to say the album has individual songs. Essentially, you are listening a recording of a man's stream of consciousness; it displays as much emotion as The Human Equation but with the crushing force of a man filled with rage (incidentally Devin's role on The Human Equation). Devin uses themes for his albums; the theme here is normal life. Unlike THE, Terria doesn't grab you at first. Like every Townsend release, it takes several listens to figure out just what you've listened to. When it clicks, you'll never experience greater euphoria.

As usual, Devin augments his musicianship with some of the finest instrumentalists around. Behind the kit is Strapping Young Lad drummer Gene Hoglan. His drumming is more restrained from the death metal he's used to, but he still unleashes some thunderous force on songs like Earth Day. Craig McFarland lays down some inventive fretless bass. Jamie Meyer's keyboards give this album almost as much atmosphere as Devin's voice.

It's impossible to select highlights for this album. You simply must listen from start to finish. Every time I listen something new grabs my attention. Devin layers his songs with so many hidden elements that you'll never grow tired of his work. Even the more straight-forward SYL material is filled with nuances. The music stops on a dime and heads off into completely new territory. It will pound with metallic force on "Mountain" and "Earth Day" then suddenly give way to a Gilmour like solo over lush keys on "Deep Peace." The freeway soul-searching of "Canada" empties into "Down and Under," which segues into the fierce and complex "The Fluke." "Nobody's Here" and "Tiny Tears" are rather melancholic and deal with the emptiness we all feel at some point. The melancholia is cured by "Stagnant" and its upbeat sound. "Universal" closes the album as weirdly as "Olives" opens it.

This album is without a doubt one the top five releases in progressive metal. It's hard to say if this is a good place to start with Devin since everything he makes is complex. It's like Pink Floyd turned up to 11, with terrific and unique vocals and genius yet nonsequitor lyrics. Fans of metal might want to start with SYL's City or Alien to introduce yourself before braving this masterpiece. It isn't quite a flawless A+, but it comes close; on a numeric scale, I give it about a 97 or 98.

Grade: A

Report this review (#104788)
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Townsend's best album. The first album which made me feel like I had travelled far away after listening the final song. And that is a very good feeling.

The album begins with "Olives" which is a little bizarre and a good opener song. Next you're listening to "Mountain", a very descriptively named song. It really sounds like a musical journey of climbing on the top of a mountain and watching the beautiful scenery below. A comforting guitar work ends the song and suddenly the huge guitar riff of "Earth Day" wakes you up mentally and the longest track of the album blows your mind with its great choruses and bridges. "Deep Peace" is maybe my favorite track of the album. The beginning is peaceful and it sounds like entering a small, harmonious village. After the acoustic guitar part begins maybe my all-time favorite guitar solo. It gives me goose pimples every time I hear it, and especially the "It's all going away now" part after it. One of the greatest moments in the history of music. "Canada" was one of the first songs by Devin I heard. And it's a great song. The part in which Devin sings "All the time I needed your approval to be me" and so on is very regretting. Next one is "Down and Under" a nice (nearly) acoustic song. "The Fluke" is a good track. It has a great "na-na-na" part and fine progressive riffs. "The Fluke" ends with a sample of rain and suddenly begins "Nobody's Here" which sounds very Pink Floyd influenced to me. This one is also one of my favorite songs on this album. A very calming song with a great guitar solo. "Tiny Tears" is a beautiful and massive song. Great guitar work here, too. "Stagnant" is maybe the most linear song of the album. A brilliant song, particularly if you listen to it in springtime. "Summer's here, the sunlight greets the day The winters gone, there's no more rain today...". Then begins a 30-second silence and "Universal" begins, but I don't usually listen to it, because "Stagnant" ends the album perfectly.

After "Stagnant" I always feel kind of happy and relaxed. A real masterpiece which definitely deserves 5 stars.

Report this review (#104915)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The metal version of Adrian Belew.

In his most acclaimed release, Devin Townsend produces an album with immense detail - Terria. The amount of layering of tracks involved here is so much so that it's highly doubtful one will have found every detail even after numerous listens. Much of this borders at the fringes of Prog Metal, delving into industrial concepts, RIO, electronic sampling, and many other influences.

My biggest complaint with the album is how forward the drums are in the mix, almost to the point of completely overpowering certain tracks because of the loudness in the mix. In contrast to negative reviews mentioned, I wouldn't call this aggressive or angst-filled at all, moreso it's an artist having fun doing crazy off the wall stuff that the listener wouldn't expect, because after all, "It's just entertainment folks" as Devin says on track 3. Devin's music is certainly not for everyone, but I believe it has little to do with him being angry at the world and more him being comfortable in his own skin and just putting something out there to have fun with. And with this record, if you have an open mind, you certainly can have fun. No, he doesn't always make normal transitions as a song might seem like it should progress, but ultimately I don't think he cares, which I feel is an admirable trait for an artist to possess.

Those who are looking for a PC album that they can play to appease their friends and show their keen musical taste should avoid this record by all means. However, if you're looking for a wild ride that will keep you on your toes and some excitement, you should get this.

Report this review (#118068)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
5 stars An immense, sweeping experience, this Devin Townsend album will take the listener on a masterful journey through styles, emotions, intensity, and tenderness.

Be warned that it takes a long time to enjoy what's going on after the amazing "Earth Day", but the pay-off is incredible. Devin's savage/delicate guitar work and compositions are exceptionally enjoyable. His voice balances the two extremes nicely, but I enjoy his screams more than his tender stuff. The songs themselves have tremendous variety, which never makes for a boring moment.

"Terria's" scope and pacing is expertly handled, and the listener will find themselves flying through ambient and powerful extremes throughout. The experience is staggering, and I honestly cannot think of another band within the genre which reaches this level of sophistication and thoughtfulness. It's cerebral, playful, sarcastic, intense, delicate, and energizing all at once.

"Terria" is a must for all metal fans; a multi-faceted gem that will only shine brighter with more listens.

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Report this review (#122143)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars It's Hard to Understand and Digest . (for me)

I knew nothing about Devin Townsend but the rave reviews at this site kept me wondering about the music of Devin Townsend. When I saw this CD, I referred to people's reviews at this site and I decided to purchase it at local music store here. When I spun the CD for the first time I really did not understand the music at all. I pushed myself very hard in order to understand it. I failed to do it well as every time I spun it I did not understand the music. I did try it many times but still I could not digest the music very well. Based on my perception, the music is totally blended where each instrument does not seem obvious musically. Yes, I can hear there are riffs and some guitar fills at the very back of the music but the overall sounds are clutrtered together which make me hard to understand and digest.

I always try to review an album based on composition, musicianship and production. On composition, I put emphasize on melody and I don't think this album has good melody - in fact most of the music I hear do not sound like having a melody - they all sound like riffs and rhythm section. Another thing on composition is on arrangement, that is how each instrument used in the music delivers its contribution and how obvious its sounds. Again, I can hardly differentiate each instrument contribution so that I don't grab the whole music, overall. The other elements on composition are harmonies and structural integrity of each song which I think are lacking also with this album. So, on composition, I do not rate quite high.

On musicianship, it's also hard for me to justify as the composition has made me very hard to understand. I then come to a conclusion, why bother listening music that I do not understand? So I stop listening to it. My friends from metal scene down here mention that Devin Townsend Band and Devin Townsend himself are totally different music. Oh then my memory brings me to Manfred Mann and Manfred Mann's Earth Band while I mostly do not understand the first but I love the latter. Is it the same case with Devin Townsend?

Overall, I know that I do not favor this music but I do not say this is poor because if so, why so many people like the album? That's why I categorize this album under "For Collectors / Fans Only" because for sure I am NOT the fan of Mr. Devin. If the music is categorized under progressive metal, I do not understand also why I cannot digest it even after one year I have owned the CD with many times I try to push myself very hard to digest it. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#132342)
Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars it seems as if this is an album you love or hate, not much middle ground. you either understand the music/ the music understands you, or if flies right over your head, a completely incomprehensible wall of sound and noise. these claims have some merit and I can understand some of the complaints about this album but certainly not all of them, which is problably due to the fact that i sit in the first category. the music speaks volumes to me, convays a sense of grandure and beauty that i have heard or felt in very very few albums. I asolutley love his use of layering, and feel that it helps unify the sounds of the different instruments into a solid slab of music. I like to think of it as a wave, huge and massive rising to huge massive heights, then cresting, coming crashing down to beautiful lows and subtleties. its always majestic, sometimes scary, and all encompasing. its hard to ignore this music. Highlights, Deep Peace, Tiny Tears, and Down and Under, at least for me. The guitar solo and breakdown in Deep Peace is one of the most moving i have heard. please please give this disc a try and at least see where you fall. If you cannot understand it, there is no loss. its a shame but you cant force music on anybody, particularly music as dense as this. But if you find that it speaks to you, that you understand townsend, then you are in for one of the most rewarding musical experiences you could ask for. 5 stars, without a doubt a masterpiece.
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Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink

This is perhaps the most unique album ever created...

It is a work of genuis...

Nothing you will ever listen can ever compare to this album....

It is totally mind-blowing...

These are just afew little thoughts that spring to mind when listening to this album. Indeed, i am listening to the song Earth Day at present - and i am trying to comprehend exactly how a human being can create music like this. It is totally flawless. Devin Townsend has this incredible talent, something totally individual. It is amazing. Townsend is the Salvador Dali of music.

The thick textures here are sometimes hard to digest - but when you do stomach them, you will feel the benefits.

Words simply cannot describe this. If you are considering buying this album - just buy it. You may not immediatly enjoy it - infact its highly probable that you will not understand, even dislike this album upon first listen...but pacience is a virtue, and if you dont like it all you need to do is occasionally listen to it and it will start to grow. Each listen is easier - and dare i say, more enjoyable??? Yes, it gets MUCH better everytime you listen to it. And one day, when the mood stikes - when your down, or when your happy...or if you are in a strange frame of mind...whenever, you will get the urge to listen to this...and it will be like nothing else on the planet. You will LOVE it.

This isnt just metal. It isnt even music. I would call it sounds for your soul. It is a work of creative genius. So origional. So lovely.

Earth Day is so majestic...the solo in Deep Peace is my favourite solo of all time...Stagnant is beautiful, happy (poppy?)...Canada is deliriously unique and very melodic...Down and Under is magical, transporting you into different landscapes...The Fluke has some of the most wonderful musical passages in history (Listen to the passage that starts at 2.50 and goes to about 3.50)...Nobody's Here is quite slow moving, ballady, with a very big feel to it, almost a trans-universal feel...Tiny Tears is one of my favourites, i cant really describe it - but its lovely...Mountain is probably the hardest one to get round, and it isnt quite as good as its hard to determine its melodies - but it did get through to me eventually and it is great, just like the rest of them...

There it is...if your in doubt just read the other reviews, many of them are evidently struggling with words to describe it...its that unique. Its not that i listen to this all the time, i dont listen to it loads. But when i do, i love every second of my present existence. It makes the world look better.

Terria is sending us a message. There is beauty out there. There is love. There is can escape from society and all its modern opressions...all you need to do is listen to Terria.

Report this review (#148144)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Devin Townsend hits the peak of his creative output (a considerable statement) here in Terria.

Terria sits somewhere in the middle of Townsend's solo creations in terms of sound. It's not nearly as heavy as Physicist or Ziltoid the Omniscient, nor is it quite as flowing and atmospheric as Ocean Machine: Biomech. The music also rests at some indefinite point between very heavy metal music and very slow music, though it does not quite lean much either way towards death or drone. What we have instead is the paradigmatic post-metal album. Using powerful, massive walls of guitars and heavy, intense drumming, Devin lays a solid foundation of concurrent noise. However, it is the unusual amount of keyboard bits, sound bites, and guitar effects that provide the earthy ambiance to the album. Add on top of this odd combination (indeed, one that must be heard at least once at some point in your life), throw in Devin's vocals: always unpredictable, sometimes a gentle full voice, sometimes a throaty scream, sometimes a melodic roar in the way that only Townsend can. But believe me this, Terria is Devin's masterpiece, and in terms of production, performance, sound quality, and songwriting, it stands a head and shoulders above any other album in its genre.

The opening track, Olives, is an odd quasi-song, filled with a variety of ambient noises from nature and building nicely. It would make no sense as a standalone song, but in light of the album, it introduces the maniacal wit of Townsend perfectly. Next comes the impressively loud Mountain. It starts out with about the heaviest moment of the album, riding the last traces of Olives. It does settle down, and most of the song is fairly mellow. The impressive vocal harmonies that characterize this entire work make their first appearance here. Earth Day wanders in next, pushing forward more smoothly than Mountain (and much more aggressively). Almost all of the anger of the album centers here. Gene Hoglan finally breaks out some intense drumming, especially in the pre-chorus. Of note to some is the use of obscenity in this song, which is markedly similar to that seen in Devin's other major band, Strapping Young Lad. Do not get me wrong, though. The harmonies again are well oriented to the song.

The album takes a dive in mood after the conclusion of Earth Day, dissolving into Deep Peace. Stunning melodies, soaring harmonies, and an infinity of layers of life sounds all permeate this track--as well as the center portion, which puts the guitar at the forefront, though even during the "solo" of sorts it is very melodic and very much just a small part of the complete sound. The fading beauty of Deep Peace suddenly finds itself backing a monolithic guitar riff: Canada. The high point of this song are the clear high point here, producing a synergy of human voices that is quite difficult to achieve. This is a very solid track, from the gentle screams about beef to the thickly sung lyrics about John Denver. Down and Under is a short, simplistic instrumental that comes right off Canada's heels. The introduction of a theme in acoustic form before turning it heavy and electric near the end is a trademark of Townsend instrumentals. The Fluke is, after Earth Day and Mountain, the final fully and continuously heavy track on Terria. In some parts, it feels almost like the straightforward rocker type of song; however, the middle section features more of clever harmony and wry vocal work. Again Townsend pairs beautiful melodies with an aggressive chorus.

In Nobody Here, Devin's mellow and clean vocals get a spectacular workout as he gently sings away. This time, the middle section of the song is fiercer than the rest of it, but still very melodic. Throughout its length, there is some gentle piano, something which is never very prominent in any of Townsend's work, at least not in his earlier albums. This song also features a full-blown guitar solo, which is also quite rare to hear from Devin. The solo is likewise mellow and striking, not rapid shredding or anything of the sort that is commonly associated with a metal album. Tiny Tears kicks off with a slow start, which seems to be similar in terms of overall feel to Deep Peace. The song continues softly for most of its length, though some heavy riffing closes the track out. Stagnant is the proper end to the album, more or less. There is not quite as much harmony in this track as in most of the others, but the vocals that are there showcase Townsend's range and flair. Despite some angst in the verses, the song ends up feeling like a refreshing and cheerful end to the album. The bonus track, Humble (not Universal as it says above), is an exercise in production and sound layering, but still with the feel of not really being a part of the integral album. On the second disc (yes, I know this is technically not the two disc version I'm reviewing, but I might as well discuss it here), Universal is a funny little metal ditty. Actually, goofy might be a good word to describe it, though it still holds itself as an actual song and not just one where the guys are messing around.

In the end, though, simply reading a review of the album or listening to a song sample streamed through a pair of speakers does not well explain the sonic quality of this release. In a set of good headphones, however, the intricate work Townsend poured into layering and soundscaping really shines. If you are interested in Devin's solo work and are a fan of deep, complex music that carries a lot of atmosphere with it, this is a great place to start. If, on the other hand, you are more used to a standard progressive metal sort of vibe, perhaps check out his release Synchestra.

Report this review (#154674)
Posted Friday, December 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Terria is simply the biggest artistic statement prog rock has made. Townsend has here mastered his style, and broken massive new ground. Whether or not this is the greatest album of all time is a different matter, but it is safe to say that nothing in the history of music has ever sounded like this. Here's how I see it:

The mix on every single song is HUGE. Sometimes an entire song will play under the main song, in a different, but related, key, producing some very strange and beautiful harmony. Sometimes effects will be played that can barely be heard under the primary harmony, but distort it slightly in a strange way, like you are listening to a big waterfall, and a flock of birds fly through it. I'm not shocked that some people do not get this, as this is progressive in the truest, strictest sense. And it is serene, it is graceful, it is mind-shatteringly beautiful. This is no longer the music of a young man, as Ocean machine and Infinity are. This is the production of a developed musical mind. This is Mozart's 9th piano concerto. Breakthrough.

Olives opens the whole thing up, inviting the listener: 'Come in / Right this way / Sit down / Martini? / Stir your drink? / OLIVE?' Yes, this is strange, but as an introdution, it is sensational. The main riff from Mountain, or a version of it, plays in the background, and the whole thing gradually builds until a massive dynamic shift leads into Mountain. The main riff is a four note tutti cataclysm, and the whole thing experiences a sort of relief with the 'So far' section, which is major the first time it happens, minor the second time. 2 minutes in, the B section is an introdution to the harmonic complexities in the album. A 6/8 section is played behind, in different time and key, by two synths, one running scales over the whole thing, the other playing a wierd, wandering melody. As both of these are quiet, there is no sense of dissonance. About 5 minutes in, the whole thing stops, revealing the song playing in the background, which is soloed over in a different key. Both song and solo are unrelated to the main song, but the whole effect is wonderful, and mainly in place to divide Mountain from the Main Statement piece, the tone setter, Earth day.

Earth day crashes into the quiet peace with which Mountain ended, holding off chord I for the intro, a series of simple question/answers brilliantly performed. Then, into chord one for 'Eat your beets. / Recycle. / Don't eat your beets. / Recycle.', and the first lyrical major statement of the album: 'The message is; 'there is no message.'' Then, a modulation into the main verse, which is the strangest, heaviest swing you will ever hear, and brings up the drugs theme that runs through the album. 'I saw God... / But I didn't even know / If it was true / Or just a result of chemicals.' The section that follows, which might be described as a bridge, is about as angry and loud as Townsend has ever got, and it leads into the massive, sledgehammer like power of Chorus one, a simple two chord riff with the lyrics hammering over the top 'it's a way, it's a way, it's a way, it's a way' at the top of Devin's voice. This produces a beautiful effect when we go into what might be a break, or maybe verse 2. This is much more mellow than the previous section, but is nowhere near as interesting as the next section, a repeat of the first section: 'Eat your beets. / Recycle.' into chorus 2, the breathtaking peak of the whole song. The 'peace love joy' section is essentially a repeat of verse 1 in a tweaked key with different melody, and this leads into a repeat of the last few sections. This is a mighty fine way to open an album.

That's just one section of the overall coolness of this album. It stands with the best prog albums of all time.

Report this review (#155717)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a very hard album to listen. I think that I have never listened Terria from the beginning to end within one listening period. There is huge layer of sounds and moods on this album and I have never got to the core of this album. There's something weird on this piece. I never get in to it, but some magical force keeps me interested of this album... Perhaps this piece will open to me some day.
Report this review (#156462)
Posted Monday, December 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Devin Townsend proves that prog metal isn't all about technical virtuosity and insane solo's (for those misguided few that are inclined to think that way) by producing an album that utilises the layering of sounds and electronic samples/soundscapes to create complex textures and an overall soundscape. That's not to say that the musicians are unskilled, they are very much competent players, and the solo's do find their way in to the music, they just tend to express themselves in different ways. The result is very powerful music, typified by the wall of sound and complex textures built around themes of nature, specifically Devine Townsend's home country of Canada. Though the album flows together as a whole, there are a few individual tracks that deserve special mention, namely Mountain, Earth Day and Tiny Tears which embody the best aspects of the album. Be warned though, there is a reason why Mr Townsend is known as Heavy Devy.
Report this review (#164928)
Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars There were a lot of people on this site spreading the word about this album a while I picked it up. It's not bad. I don't mind listening to it, but it really doesn't do much for me. The sound is very 'full' , meaning there are almost no quiet spaces at all. It almost sounds like a wall of guitars playing at the same time in the background. At least it is pretty original. I haven't heard anything quite like this before.
Report this review (#170100)
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is, without a doubt, a unique and beautiful collection of music. A being that clearly is pulling from such depths and then has the ability to say it's just entertainment folks, clearly is a very old soul. The range of emotion here is astounding, gentleness and maniacal anger, all expressed in their most bare and unfiltered forms. As a musician, this music is deceptively straightforward. It's complexity is vertical / harmonic rather than horizontal / melodic. It's about texture and color and the flavors you experience here are found nowhere else save perhaps another Devy album. To my taste, however, this is the album that does it best.

It didn't blow me away on the first listen. I had a bit of Ok that's cool enough But as with many good prog albums, this one grows with more listens. More of the separate layers of Devy's wall of sound come through, some of the lyrics make a little bit of sense, it just comes together a bit more.

My least favorite song is Fluke as it's a little too pop, a little too major. Aside from the transitional moments (I love getting Olives as a track on random play on I consider all of the remaining songs great. Deep Peace, Earth Day, Tiny Tears stand out to me but really they're all moving pieces.

IMO the best work of one of the few truly unique voices in music.

Report this review (#186308)
Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow....

All I can say is wow. Well, I can obviously say more, and need to say more to hit that 100 word mark so you people can read what I have to say. This is one brilliant album, and fills me with so many emotions. Devin is truly one of metal's most experimental and unique artists. If not the most of all of them. Here on this fantastic record, you will find the ever so brilliant wall of sound. This is most definitely a headphones album. It will stimulate your mind and take you through a magical journey. Each song has its own soul. There is very little metal here. It is inserted at certain points along with very ambient electronic sound scopes. It all seems to fit and blend into one whole cohesive emotional ride. This has become one of my favorite albums. I highly recommend this to any person!

Report this review (#200532)
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Terria' - Devin Townsend (9.5/10)

Devin Townsend is an artist known for his strange, yet undeniably original and unique music. 'Terria' is no exception. However, it's full beauty did not reveal itself to me until after a good many listens.

At first listen, one may be puzzled by the overtracked recording, surreal lyrics, and incredibly anti- commercial approach to myself. Townsend defies many conventions, and alot of the songwriting may seem 'odd' or anti-climactic to one that isn't used to it. However, as the sounds become more familiar, it starts to wash over you, and the true magic of 'Terria' unfolds.

'Terria' has such a magic power about it, bestowing upon the artist the power to transport you wherever he wants you to go. A very earth-based album (much alike Synchestra) there are many recurring themes of nature wound around the music. Possibly the most defining quality of Terria, and Devin Townsend's music (in my opinion) is his unparelleled recording technique. With the incredibly dense overdubs, there is a 'noisy' quality to it that contributes greatly to the 'organic' quality of the album.

'Terria' is one of the most powerful musical journies I've ever been on, and anyone willing to take a leap of faith and listen to something a bit 'out there' is more than recommended to try out this masterpiece. A top five record for me.

Report this review (#202434)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not going to bother going into the details of every song on this brilliant album since I believe at least a few others have gone through the effort to do so. I'm just going to say that I truly believe this is a masterpiece everyone should have in their collection. Layered, beautiful, songs ranging through a whole spectrum of emotion take you on a divine musical journey. Most of the complaints I hear about this album, or anything else by Devin Townsend, is that there is just too much going on for them to enjoy it. Which is fine I could understand that I guess... just give it a chance though. This album is great for repeated listens, which one of the major reasons I'm giving it 5 stars.
Report this review (#204289)
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars A fan on Devin's message board says it best. Robvondoom writes, [F]or me, Dev is the only artist I've found to mix the subtleties of every emotion. I can't be satisfied with happy, sad, angry, dark or whatever. With Dev you can feel happiness with a hint of regret. Fear with a mocking tone? Confusion, melancholy, triumph, dissatisfaction and on and on. It's all there in different degrees. And it's all beautiful man.

For me, TERRIA is the epitome of Townsend's characteristic emotional ambivalence. Like the album title would suggest, TERRIA offers the entire spectrum of natural experience: rage, despair, hope, nihilism. I can honestly say that I've never heard a piece of musical work that so subtly plays with these emotions. As the reviewer above probably recognized, Townsend in this album more than any other mixes sophisticated but ruggedly distorted guitar riffs with beautiful vocal harmonies, downtrodden melodies with hopeful keys, idealism with a splash of sarcasm. This is Townsend's most mature work, and I doubt it can ever be topped. TERRIA resides in a time and space all its own, and for this reason it will doubtless affect listeners for years to come.

When considering whether to label an album a masterpiece, many ask themselves whether the piece is one of their desert island picks -- one of those treasures that, if stranded on a desert island with only so much room for personal belongings, would most certainly have to find a place somewhere underneath the makeshift tent. For me, TERRIA is not only a desert island album. It is the desert island experience, itself. The hellish riff of Earth Day, its rage spilling out of my veins as I beat the sand and scream to the sky in betrayed disbelief at my ill-deserved abandonment. The brutal honesty of Nobody's Here inside that rickety tent, its imperative of It's alright to cry finding someone with no other choice, the tears not even allowed any sort of temporary testament by the thirsty matted sand at my feet. The chiming solo in Deep Peace as I find myself back outside, laying underneath the same sky, now turned black but pierced by millions of sparkling diamonds shooting off the waves.

To hear TERRIA is to experience something. Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint, but that's precisely the point.

Report this review (#208750)
Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is absolutely jaw-dropping. I would say this is easily upper-tier Devin Townsend, along with Ziltoid the Omniscient and Ki. This is the cream of the crop for his solo work.

Terria has quite a pastoral feel to it. It is apparent almost immediately in the opener Olives, which starts with some almost electronic and lush acoustic noises before keyboards, guitars, and heaviness show up in the last minute or so. That heaviness continues into Mountain and Earth Day (which has some really humorous lyrics and is one of my favorite Devin Townsend songs) before the pastoral feeling returns in really heavy doses throughout the album. Even amongst the heavy moments, there's plenty of lush atmosphere and acoustic guitar work that makes the album cover seem to describe the music perfectly. Devin mixes his usual heaviness with almost pop-like structures. Well, at least Devy's take on pop sensibilities. Songs like Stagnant really add a bit of diversity to this album as well, being mostly gentle acoustic pieces. Stagnant is also one of the more accessible songs on the album, but it works well here. I happen to have the bonus track for the album, Universal, and while it doesn't fit in that well with the rest of the music (I understand why it's not a part of the regular album), it is pretty quirky in a funny way. I can see how some refer to this as a masterpiece of experimental metal, and I would have to agree. There's just a certain touch here at times that feels lacking at times on other Devy albums. Perhaps Terria has the diversity and more acoustic instrumentation that I wish Devin would employ more often in his other work. I'm not really sure what it is.

Out of all the albums I've heard so far in this site's experimental/post metal category, this is easily one of my favorites and one that will continue to be spun for years to come. Even though this album is from almost 10 years ago, the production is simply gorgeous. Giving this album anything other than 5 stars just feels wrong somehow. If you want to hear a master of experimental metal at work, I suggest you purchase a copy of this album.

As a side note, I initially thought Terria was one of the weakest Devin Townsend albums, but it's so multi-layered even by his standards that it takes repeated listens to truly capture the meaning of this record.

Report this review (#235099)
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Pessimist
5 stars This album is a very diverse album, involving a lot of instruments, moods, tempos, harmonies and showcasing a lot of Devin Townsend's talents: singing, guitar playing and songwriting, and let me just say this: he is a master of all of those things. The one thing I love most about this album is the vocals. Devvy is a phenomenal vocalist at the worst of times; this album is one of his best moments, so just put it into perspective. He is truly mindblowing. His guitarwork and songwriting also match up, songwriting more so. A very creative artist in that field and if there is one thing that proves it, it's the fact that everything seems to flow so naturally, like the songs were already written before he'd even thought of them, and he simply delivered them into the world. So few people have given that impression, and in this case I will even compare Devvy to greats like Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder. All of his albums flow this way, but Terria in particular flows so nicely and fluently that it stands out amongst the rest (except maybe Ocean Machine). Yes, this really is a flawless release, as it just feels like everything is in perfect place and feels so... right.

Devin is the only thing that shines on this record. His choice of musicians is only sensational, a real class act. Jamie Meyer and Craig McFarland were previously unknown to me before, but they really do contribute a lot. Both are very profficient at what they do, and ultimately provide the perfect backing for Devvy. I'm utterly shocked that they are not very well known. Onto the drummer choice: what better player to have on Devvy's crowning achievement than his old friend, ex-Death member, ex-Dark Angel, ex-Strapping Young Lad and all time MASTER of the instrument Gene Hoglan? I personally don't think he could have chosen better, and I think his drumming is paramount in this record for one reason alone: Hoglan gives more beef to the music than any other could. Maybe because he's a big guy? Probably. But the fact is he hits those tin cans hard, and provides a good few megatonnes of energy to the music, which is another fantastic trait to Terria.

Now onto the actual tracks themselves. I will not rant too long because I can go on all day about the intricacy and beauty of each of them, but I will give a brief narrative of a few of my favourites.

Earth Day is one of Devvy's strongest songs, so you can expect a lot. To sum up what is packed into this marvellous epic, I will list the things he includes: soring harmonies, energetic melody, melodic guitarwork, clever and ultimately meaningful lyrics (you will get the message pretty quickly), tight, heavy drumming, great atmospheric synth lines, memorable riffs, uncommon modes, concise songwriting and a really strong sense of tightness thought put in. It's all in here people, and I will say it again: it is the epic to end all epics and everything feels so NATURAL, making it easy listening as well. And as with all great music, the more you listen, the more you get out. Just listen out for the minor details and you will be rewarded beyond measure. A very deep, emotional song that is only really challenged by B*stard of his debut as far as the best Devin Townsend song goes for me. Truly stunning.

Now what could follow such a glorious song played so early on in the album? Well Deep Peace is no pushover. It starts out really quite mellow, which is a lovely contrast, with just a solo acoustic guitar taking the lead. But don't worry, it's not just 7 minutes of this kind of atmosphere, because that would be boring right? Right. The heavy instrumentation kicks in for a kind of poppish number at a glance. But we are treated to a guitar solo (very classically influenced I have to say) and a fantastic bit of prog. Once again, the beauty of Devin Townsend's writing cannot be compared with anything else. The man is a genius, and I will let you uncover the rewards yourself, as I can't put this song into words.

The Fluke is glorious, if not almost as amazing as Earth Day. It is more upbeat than the previous songs mentioned, starting out with some accapella distorted guitar thrashing out some chords and then BAM: the song kicks in and we are treated to a poppish metal tune with some really phenomenal melodic hooks. That is, in essence, what this album is all about for me: melodic hooks. No real technicality here (except for the clever tuplet usage in the first triple time section, and even then it is never overdone), just otherworldly melodies. One of the strongest Townsend songs ever to come out of his skull.

Overall, this album is really a masterpiece, and I plan to coin it that once again, along with many other reviewers, in my rating. It deserves to be up the top with the greats in prog metal like Blackwater Park, Lateralus and Crimson, and so I will help to put it up there by giving it 5 stars, pure and simple.

Report this review (#245386)
Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

"Terria" is an immense album,thanks to its earthy, atmospheric moods that share the stage with gigantic heavy walls of sound that make Devin's music so unique.

It took me a while to appreciate this album in it's entirety. I always loved the first couple of songs, but I was never really into the last couple of tracks. I have to say this one was a grower, and boy, did it grow on me.

Devin Townsend with this album reaches to his highest peak, and also arrives to maturity, after a few albums. The only album that was able, after the release of this album, to equalize "Terria" was "Ziltoid The Omniscient", the other Devin Townsend masterpiece.

"Terria" is, in a way, the most experimental album by Townsend; strange atmospheric soundscapes, which remind of a remote, deserted, and foggy plain ( see the artwork cover), are alternated with heavy but melodic moments, strong, powerful vocals as well as soft, delicate ones. The album that mostly defines Towsend's crazy world.

The opening track, "Olives", is quite eerie, being a sort of sample of a man speaking with a very low voice, as well as an avant garde song with different, strange, and a bit creepy parts. Towards the end, the song explodes into a heavy, simple riff, which ends almost immediately, with the end of the song.

"Mountain" can easily be considered one of Townsend's best and finest songs. Mysterious, but epic, with haunting vocals by Devin, at times strong, at times delicate and suspended. Brilliant time changes, this is one of the artist's most progressive songs in my opinion.

"Earth Day" is much longer than the first and second episode, since the time clocks around nine-ten minutes. Another Devin masterpiece: alarmed atmosphere, many times changes, many excellent themes and riffs. Great chorus, great verse, and very well done experimentation. Another key track.

"Deep Peace" is very different; like the title implies, the mood is very calm and delightful, thanks to the surrounding atmospheres and the relaxing, simple guitar notes. It get's heavier and heavier, but it never becomes too hard. The experimentation is sublime in this piece.

"Canada" has a great melody, great passages and moments. Devin is in shape for this song, since he gives a brilliant vocal performance, and really makes the song. Even this song isn't as heavy as "Mountain" and "Earth Day", it's lot dreamier, relaxing, and cheerful. Brilliant song.

"Down and Under" is a great interlude, a pause, a parenthesis. Or, it can be considered a bridge, that connects the first and second part of the album. The riff is great, even though it's always perpetual, for the entire song. Still, awesome climax and great bridge.

"The Fluke" is a very catchy song, and possibly one of Townsend's best. Great vocals, great verse, too bad the chorus isn't as good. It is a lot faster than "Deep peace" and "Canada", as well as much heavier and technical, musically speaking. Still, it has it's delicate vocals, like during the verse. I love this song. "Nobody's Here" is another great experimental song, for it's deserted soundscapes. Great melody, in both the verse, which is between prog and psych, and the chorus, much more enlivened. I never liked this song much, now I love it.

"Tiny Tears" is the other very long song (9 minutes), although it doesn't reach the same levels as "Earth Day". It has an interesting melody in the beginning, it get's more plain after, when the electric guitars come in. Generally speaking, this is the dreamiest and spaciest song. In fact, it took me a while to fully understand it.

"Stagnant" is much more down earth. The melody is great, very cheerful and optimistic, like usually Townsend likes to end an album. I hated this song for a while there, now, of course I love it. Very catchy and memorable, I really don't understand how I didn't appreciate it earlier. Great way to end an album.

"Terria" is an immense album,thanks to its earthy, atmospheric moods that share the stage with gigantic heavy walls of sound that make Devin's music so unique. Certainly its the artist's masterpiece, a brilliant progressive album, that should be in every prog and metal fan's collection.

Report this review (#279150)
Posted Friday, April 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Incredible album!This is an album about Earth and nature(Terria).It's angry,peaceful,quiet,ethereal,ambient,positive.There is a wall of sound and there are amazing guitar effects(usual fact in Devin Townsend's productions).Also there is good fretless bass playing by Craig McFarland,piano and keyboard playing by Jamie Meyer and great drum playing(as always)by Gene Hoglan.We have 3 elements in this album.The influence of Canada on Devin Townsend,the nature-friendly spirit and the peace of mind.

The artwork is spectacular.Devin Townsend wants to show and believes that the human can achieve the peace of mind if he gets in touch with nature and if he respects the nature.

My favorite tracks are:Mountain(serenity and african-style vocal melodies in the middle),Earth day(crazy and angry song),Nobody's here(isolation,my favorite track),Tiny tears(love,the lyric"Kyrie eleison" is great and reminds me the same piece by Vivaldi),Stagnant(peace of mind and purification)

I recommend it to all fans of music.It's good to have this album in your collection.Great meanings,wonderful tunes.

My grade:8/10

Report this review (#309783)
Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars One incredible composition after another on one incredible album

Terria is perhaps the greatest thing Devin Townsend has done up to Ziltoid, which is masterful in it's own quirky way. Terria is a serious emotional album reflecting on life and it's source and the emotions of the earth. To capture such beauty Devin delves headlong into darkness and then shines with rays of hope to present some truly uplifting music that will resonate with some listeners in an unforgettable way. At first listen the album washes over and seems to just flow like waves over the listener and after the first two tracks I found myself forgetting I was listening to a particular song as it all seemed to blend seamlessly. Then Earth Day started and I sat up and simply was astonished at the structure, the time sigs, the musicianship and Devin's incredible vocal treatment and the anger that is invoked is unbelievable. A masterpiece track for Devin that will mark his music forever.

Then the album seems to pick up pace with one incredible composition after another. After the brutal confronting Mountain and Earth Day, Devin takes us on an emotional journey through the Canadian countryside and beyond into the very soul of a torn and broken man; there is melancholy solitude in Deep Peace, the freedom and exhilaration of exploring nature on a freeway in Canada, the reflective nuances of Down and Under, the ferocity of The Fluke, the sense of loss and alienation in Nobody's Here, the exploration of sadness in Tiny Tears, and the joyful exuberance of Stagnant. Then Universal takes us to another level again, just as Olives sent us into the realm of the imagination at the beginning of the album. At the end of the journey we are released into the bright sunshine; the ray of hope that lifts up the human spirit.

Terria is a masterpiece for all these reasons and the fact that Devin did everything right with this album. The songs are multilayered with various instruments and vocals, and it is a veritable wall of sound that lifts the roof off anything he has done previously. There are a lot of subtle hidden treasures to unearth to ensure repeated listens will not get laborious. I can assure you that this album is one you will return to and hopefully by the end of each journey you will feel lifted up and refreshed by a master of his craft; the great Devin Townsend.

Report this review (#357982)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is another one of the albums I really tried hard to get into it. Due to its high rating on this site it seemed promising to invest some time and dig thouroughly into it. Well, for me it seems that it was completely lost time. Even after repeated listens there was not much to enjoy. The arrangements seem very random to me and usually end up in a indefinable sound noise. This album seems to try just too hard to be over the top, thereby completely forgetting what it is supposed to be - a piece of music. One and a half stars from me, I still give it a one due to the wasted time.
Report this review (#431935)
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars Devin felt like he let down his fans with the previous release called "Physicist" and so set out to make up for that on this album. His inspiration came while driving across Canada with his band and witnessing the beauty and majesty of the land along the way.Yeah that will do it. And speaking of beauty and majesty those two words describe this album well.Travis Smith took care of the cover art and illusrations in the liners.

"Olives" opens with sampled spoken words and birds as a guitar is strummed once, then again before the music comes in. It backs off as spoken words and birds continue. It then kicks in at 2 1/2 minutes. Oh yeah it does. "Mountain" kicks in and we get a growl too before the vocals come in in a reserved manner. It settles right down at 2 minutes but the tempo picks up.This is so cool.Vocal melodies and heavy drums follow. A scream after 4 minutes then Devin starts to sing again. "Earth Day" kicks in right away and vocals join in quickly.They stop as the tempo picks up.This sounds great ! Vocals are back. "Deep Peace" opens with nature sounds and strummed guitar. Reserved vocals a minute in. A fuller sound a minute later.Vocals stop around 3 minutes and the guitar leads. A heavy beat after 4 minutes then vocals return 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Canada" opens with a good heavy sound as the vocals join in. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes but it kicks back in again quickly. "Down And Under" is eventually led by strummed guitar and a heavy beat and then it gets fuller. "The Fluke" kicks in quickly and vocals follow. It settles before 3 minutes then builds with vocal melodies. Rain comes in late.Great tune ! "Nobody's Here" is laid back yet so rich in sound as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes then settles back as contrasts continue. A very cool tune. "Tiny Tears" has so much atmosphere as the vocals arrive. Nice guitar 5 minutes in as the thick atmosphere continues with heavy drums.Vocals are back.This is gorgeous. It turns heavy late to end it. "Stagnation" is an uplifting way to end the album.

No doubt this is one of Devin's best, right up there with "Ocean Machine" and well deserving of a 5 star rating.

Report this review (#448541)
Posted Monday, May 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars For as much great music as Devin Townsend has written over the years, he will be hard-pressed to ever top Terria, which is just a perfect metal album. Devin's goal was to write an introspective album, following the difficulties he had gone through in his personal life, and, boy, did he ever. Inspired on a drive across Canada, his homeland, he penned an album that actually sounds like it was written for a road trip. From the opening sound effects of Olives to the chaotic nature of Earth Day to the driving beat of Canada to the joy of Stagnant, this album hits on just about every emotion possible, and yet never manages to lose focus. it is heavy and often-chaotic, yet atmospheric and beautiful at the same time. I know it is a cliche to say, "this album must be listened to from start to finish," but it really does apply to this record. Crank this up on your next road trip, and prepare to enjoy one of the finest rides you'll ever experience. This album is a masterpiece in every way possible. 5 stars, easily.
Report this review (#450466)
Posted Friday, May 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is one of a kind. Such diversity, such controll and yet such channeled rage. What a masterpiece. Devin Townsend really shows that beauty has a lot of different sides with this one.

Tiny tears and Deep peace can be considered the mellow tracks of this album. The fluke a fairly humoristic piece. Earth day the absolute master piece with maybe a fairly over the top chorus line, but it fits in the song perfectly. Nobody's here can be considered the most accesible piece on this album, yet it's still very unique. The solo in this one together with introducing scream is breathtaking.

A must have!

Report this review (#455608)
Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Unfortunately, three GREAT songs ("Tiny Tears" [10/10], "Nobody's Here" [10/10] and "Earth Day" [9/10]) does not a masterpiece make. The rest is music that I don't care if I ever hear again. Yet Devin sure does have a following on this site. Other than the hilariously entertaining Ziltoid, I don't get it. His over-the-top HEAVY guitar sound never changes (is he using the same chord throughout?) and it's hard to figure out if he ever takes his music or lyrics seriously or is it all just meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Does he really want us to recycle or is he just melodramatizing the environmental cry? Does he really like being alone or is he just being facetious? Is this album really "essential"? I'm not even sure it's "an excellent addition." It may be a good album--or perhaps its just "for collectors only"? 2.5 stars for me. Recommended only for the above three songs.
Report this review (#460908)
Posted Monday, June 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's funny how after 4 years, Devin Townsend managed to improve the formula on "Ocean Machine" to release an album that will go down in history, at least in my book, as one of the greatest prog metal albums out there.

Now, I'll admit, "Olives" didn't exactly get me pumped up for a great ride. I thought there would at least be some strings or something to build tension, but instead these awkward guitar chords that sounded like someone was curious, but by the end of the track, I'm anticipating a masterpiece, and "Mountains" does not disappoint. Instantly, the ears are barraged with some of the best growling I've ever heard on a DT or SYL disc. 3 minutes later, my head ends up swinging from side to side to Devin's descending croons. Add to that key and key signature changes, and the whole album suddenly opens up with a minute of excess noise filling up the rest of the track.

"Earth Day" begins in a triumphal, marching fashion but delving into a heavy two-step. Already the seeds have been planted and DT has discovered the secret to creating masterpieces, a formula he would repeat 3 more times ("Synchestra", "Ziltoid" and "Deconstruction") in different but similar fashions. However, those reviews will be saved for another time.

When one looks at Devin's solo discography, after "Terria", he released "Accelerated Evolution" in 2003, which may not be as progressive as "Terria", but what I call "epic rock", with guitars and feedback screaming and echoing throughout the disc. After that it's "Synchestra in '06 and "Ziltoid" in '07, excluding his sonic experiments "Devlab" and "Hummer". To me, it's odd that after Terria, DT release 3 more albums, 2 of which I hold in regard as prog metal masterpieces. Now, "Ziltoid" is more of a concept album than a "Metropolis, Pt. 2", and I find "Synchestra" as a "sedated Terria", little bit more bits and pieces to it, but it's subdued, quelled, calm, not as heavy, harsh and vicious as "Terria", but it seems to be structured very similarly to it.

"Olives" is the slow intro, the build up (Same as "Let Ir Roll" and "Hypergeek"). Then "Mountain" bursts forward into life with "Earth Day" backing it up, just as loud ("Triumph", "Babysong"). Finally, the action quells in "Deep Peace" (Even if only for a little bit on "Vampolka"). Yes, the structures branch out in different directions after that, but what's interesting to note is that "Terria" seemed to cement Devin's interest in grandiose entrances, loud, echoing guitars, and almost the slow, chugging pace, evidenced in "Mountain" and "Earth Day".

Once you understand the logistics behind the (in)sanity of Devin's genius, you pretty much know what to expect from his next album, while at the same time stuck guessing at what he's going to come up with next. Knowing the basis of the first few tracks, it's almost irrelevant to go through the rest of them.

Besides, surprises never hurt anyone. We all love surprises.

Report this review (#472387)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars What an album! I first heard Terria about a year ago and didn't think much of it, but (thankfully) I decided to really listen to it. The album pulses with such high levels of beauty, anger, and peace that it's incredible it all works. But it does! The guitars switch between massively powerful and intimate effortlessly, creating an atmosphere that seems to say "there's a place for anger, but ultimately, the world is a place of wonder." Terria successfully transports the listener to this world of vastness that manages to still feel grounded. It's a dense, yet surprisingly accessible masterpiece.

Rating: 10/10

Report this review (#501199)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Devin Townsend is shaping up to be another one of those prog metal acts which I just don't get. I can appreciate the technicality of Terria, for instance, and I admit the task he poses himself of combining the prog rock approach and musical motifs of Yes with his own musical style represents an interesting challenge. But still, the album seems somehow fake and insincere to me, and I can't connect to it on an emotional level; nor can I get much of a handle on the atmosphere Townsend is trying to attain with the album. It just seems rather boring and irritatingly New Agey to me.
Report this review (#651669)
Posted Friday, March 9, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9.5/10

And another masterpiece is revealed to me ...

Well, before you start this review I must say, this album did not surprise me as much as Ocean Machine, like so right away. But four more taps and I really started to love him (though he is my rating to 0.5 point lower than I gave her debut).

Oh God, what a masterpiece. That's all Devin could do, and more. If I remember correctly Terria he composed in honor of Canada, his hometown, and I say: it was a great honor. The album seems to move between the beautiful and monstrous, spiritual and carnal. And everywhere is Devy. This guy is a genius of more high quality, and if one day I can accept insane growls and screams in music, is because of him.

Not only is he a great composer, but also not afraid to defy convention. Ironically many have a certain discord by Olives opening track, but I do not see how bizarre that others see. This is the only song on the album where recordings of voices and other strange effects add something to it, and not to take down (as the final minutes of Mountain and The Fluke, for example). In my opinion Devy deserves applause for getting the album that way.

But do not stop there. Although the next track, Mountain, is my least favorite of this work, things get better especially with the fantastic Earth Day - that's music! If she was acceptable to me at first listen, the following showed it a masterpiece! Deep Peace maintains the standard of quality, if not the amounts, being the first song I listened to this guy. And Canada is a veritable ode to the country, keeping the usual style of the album. She is pursued by the brief but powerful Down and Under.

The Fluke is an energetic rocker, but his last two minutes (a mere unnecessary sound effects) sounds like a problem. Nobody's Here (Pink Floyd?) Is a beautiful ballad, while Tiny Tears is another great epic, though not up to the other. Finally Universal, which resembles Things Beyond Things debut album.

A masterpiece? Without a doubt. Devy is a genius, and if the rest of his work remains in this quality standard will not have to complain about.

Report this review (#796910)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Terria is for sure Devin Townsend's true masterpiece! This album covers a wide range of feeling and emotion, as well as staying to his Strapping Young Lad metal roots.

"Olives" is a weird intro to the album. It starts with voices and birds, and then begins to repeat a riff, which then blends into "Mountain". This song is just beautiful, it actually makes you feel like a mountaineer, with its powerful riffs. "Deep Peace" starts soft and slowly builds into a "metal waltz", with a sweet guitar solo. "Canada" is a song inspired deeply from driving on the Canadian freeway, as sighted by the lyrics, which then blends directly into "Down and Under" This song is very melodic, and has an impressive part with alot of vocal harmony. "The Fluke" is just awesome. Its complex and its fun at the same time. "Nobody's Here" is a melancholic song. Kind of sounds like something Roger Waters would write. "Tiny Tears" is a deep atmospheric song. "Stagnant" is the final track, with a bright and joyful atmosphere. I think the lyrics might have come from Devin's bipolar disorder.

Overall, if you've sampled a track and enjoyed it, i suggest this album. Devin Townsend is still not for everyone, however. Either way, enjoy!

Report this review (#846391)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Devin is definitely building a reputation for being one of the most uncompromising of artists, releasing music that is raw yet over-produced, simple but complex, easy to listen to but also bloody hard work! There is a bit more light on this album than on 'Physicist', but not much. Devin is still trying to change production as we know it, pushing Phil Spector into new avenues.

The times when he allows the music to shine through and his vocals to be unfettered is so unusual as to cause an interesting effect, obviously why he chooses to do so. This is much more than just music; it is how the songs can be treated so that they sound very different to anything else around. Remember, this is a man who first found fame with Steve Vai, then moved onto Front Line Assembly and The Wildhearts before forming his own band Strapping Young Lad. He is well used to volume, and how to use aggression but here it is behind a gossamer wall that only lets slip when he wills it.

This is never an easy to listen to and certainly will not appeal to the majority of either rockers or prog heads, but they are the ones missing out. Masterful.

Originally appeared in Feedback #64, Oct 01

Report this review (#970766)
Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Terria is without a doubt Devin Tonwsend's best album. It seems Ocean Machine and Inifinity were excellent compositions and Devin saw the necessity to continue working on this vein rather than a heavier sound. He manages to get that combination of sounds: relaxing, ethereal, heavy, ambient, rock ... the concept of the album as well as the art is high quality. Devin's voice is defying in all senses, he has an extraordinary register that ranges from heavy growls to soft melodies. My favorite songs in this albums are: Earth Day, Deep Peace, Canada, Nobody's Here and Stagnant, but the rest of the songs are pretty cool. Just insert the CD, play it loud and you'll see what I'm talking about!
Report this review (#1015503)
Posted Friday, August 9, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Having released what was a disappointment to most of his fans, Devin felt a bit lost. Then an idea hit him...why don't I make an album about myself and my native land of Canada.

To most people, this idea would seem barking mad, but because it's Devin behind the wheel, he has made what I think to be one of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard in my life.

Musically this album is a sonic step in the right direction. The loud parts of Devin's music are even more like a giant wall of sound, with the production being spot on. But, with the loud comes the quiet, with some moments of this album being some of Devin's most prettiest and beautiful musical work to date.

On this album Devin has gone into more personal territory, especially lyrically. But, the lyrics throughout are very vague at times, making the album seem a lot more personal in nature. The album themes also cross into native territory, with Devin showing signs of homesickness to his native Canada. The artwork in this album is also astounding, with artist Travis Smith, creating some of his best artwork to date.

The opening track "Olives" is a rather comical opening to the album. Some nice instrumental work throughout too. In many ways, the song reminds me of something Pink Floyd would have done during the late 70s.

The weakest song on the album for me would have to be "Mountain." I kind of feel this song is almost the intro of the album, but to be honest, "Olives" is already the perfect intro to this album, so it seems that it's not really needed.

"Earth Day" has to be one of my all time favourite Devin Townsend tracks. If you haven't heard this track you need to here this one. This is definitely one of the more diverse songs in Devin's catalogue, fusing metal with more groovy orientated rock. Lyrically the song is also rather humorous, which makes the song even more enjoyable.

"Deep Peace" is a song that has it's roots grounded in its instrumental work. With some stellar guitar work from Devin showing off a wide spectacle of Devin's guitar work, moving from Pink Floydian moments to neo classical showmanship. A pinnacle of the album.

"Down & Under", the album's instrumental shows off a lot of compositional skills. Building upon a simple acoustic guitar riff, the song explodes with a lot of power and energy.

"Nobody's Here" is very much the ballad of the album. A very simple song for Devin, but behind the simplicity, the beauty shines forth even more.

One of the album's epics "Tiny Tears", it has a very beautiful feel throughout. In fact, how it builds up without the need for a giant explosion is very smart, and works very well in the songs favour.

The album closer "Stagnant" is a brilliant ender to the album. A song that pretty much ties a lot of strings together musically, it has a more relaxed feel with some stellar vocal work from Devin.

In conclusion, this is an absolute beautiful and odd masterpiece. This is a must have for fans of Devin;s music, because pretty much everything great about his musical talent and skill is all here on this album. A progression is also seen to what would soon become his more standard sound. While "Ocean Machine" birthed his musical sound, this was a step in the right direction and a further progression into Devin's musical world.


Report this review (#1029891)
Posted Friday, September 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars Terria is the fifth solo album by Canadian musician Devin Townsend. As a progressive rock fan, I have taken chances on albums I have never heard of prior to investigating ProgArchives. In most cases they paid off in a big way, but some (not many) records leave me scratching my head wondering if I am listening to the same album that my fellow reviewers are. This particular album unfortunately masssively falls in the second category. Actually, I regret that I have not taken the reviews of Greenback and Gatot more seriously, it could save some good money for me... Devin Townsend's music is deeply rooted in grunge and industrial metal and that can be confirmed by listening, both styles are very much dominating his music. The secretary in the office, who asked me whether I was listening to some Foo Fighters was not that terribly wrong. What he is trying to do is to mix all this rather noisy music with some symphonic-alike sounds, but actually this sounds rather new agey or ambient, than really symphonic. The music is not very melodic, in fact most of the music I hear do not sound like having a melody. And the riffs are hardly the best I have ever heard. Devin Townsend' voice for most of the time is angry and agressive, often he really sounds like Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. In the better and more quiet moments he sounds halfway between Dave Gilmour and James LaBrie. There are some relatively enjoyable tracks here, especially Deep Peace and The Fluke, but altogether I can clearly say that It is not I who cannot penetrate these relatively easily accessible tracks, it is the relatively accessible tracks that have a hard time penetrating the shell of my indifference. The only feeling what this album really brings to me is some mild annoyance, that I am wasting my time while I could listen to something that I truly enjoy. I have listened this alabum at least 10 times, so probaly my opinion is not going to change radically anymore. One more thing, on my copy released by InsideOut I can read: "File under Metal". So not "File under Progressive Metal" like in the case by other bands of this label. Well, as I understand the term "progreesive metal" I agree with the label, that this is not really progressive metal, but probably not a terrible example of ambient influenced, grunge and industrial based modern metal, and it has some enjoyable passages even if not too many, so a 2 stars is my rating.
Report this review (#1066714)
Posted Saturday, October 26, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars If the ratings on PA are any indication, then 'Terria' is the apex of Devin Townsend's solo career efforts before he went and formed a proper band, Devin Townsend Band, for his song-writing efforts outside of Strapping Young Lad. Disregarding the Punky Brewster band project of the mid-nineties, 'Terria' is his fourth solo album and it follows one of his most critically spurned albums, 'Physicist'. However, while 'Physicist' was for the most part a very thrash-based, aggressive album that suffered from a production that even the supporting band (the Strapping Young Lad dudes) disliked, 'Terria' delivers a greater diversity of sound in a warm, well-produced sonic atmosphere. It is as though the fruit went a bit sour with 'Physicist' but has reached perfect maturity here.

Typical of many of Devin Townsend's pre-Devin Townsend Project solo albums, 'Terria' integrates a variety of styles and influences. The opening track 'Olives' is very much post-metal / experimental with a spoken dialogue slowed down, sound effects, and a musical theme that takes time to build to a powerhouse of simple heavy chords. 'Mountain' begins with an intense pounding of heavy music with Devin singing in his softer, higher register. But the music then goes of exploring in a non-aggressive vein with a melody of 'whoa-whoa' before returning to the thunder of the beginning with a trademark scream. It's interesting to point out at this time that the guitar sound is not Devin's usual rich distortion tones but a simpler sound more like seventies proto- metal. If you are familiar with Captain Beyond's debut album then that is more like the guitar sound you will find here just with more bass backing it. It strikes me as having a very earthy feel to it, and in the song 'Canada', which almost has a slow and heavy country vibe to it, the guitar sound really suits the music.

Other styles to be found on 'Terria' include the unusual (for Devin) simple but classically influenced guitar solo in 'Deep Peace'; an 80's power ballad-styled number with 'Nobody's Here' which comes complete with an emotive guitar solo; an 80's hair-band song with 'Stagnant' that sounds like it could have been the closing track on an album by Cinderella or London Quireboys; and the pretty instrumental number 'Down and Under', which begins with some acoustic strumming and gradually moves to a heavier theme but not without returning to its upbeat sound at the conclusion.

For a Devin Townsend album (or Strapping Young Lad for that matter), 'Terria' includes an unusual amount of guitar soloing. According to the article on Wikipedia, Devin doesn't like shredding and only includes a guitar solo is he feels it can work within the musical framework of a song. Thus it is possible to find few if any proper guitar solos on many of his albums. Yet 'Terria' includes solos on five tracks, and Devin proves that he is capable of soloing in different styles that do indeed suit the music. In fact, listening to 'Accelerated Evolution', 'Deconstruction', and Strapping Young Lad's 'The New Black', Devin proves that he has worked very hard to be able to pull off some excellent guitar solos. But again, typical of him, he only employs any of his particular skills when he feels it belongs in a song or instrumental piece.

No early Devin Townsend album would be complete without nature sounds, radio broadcasts, background music, and other sonic decor. We can hear a Chinese radio broadcast at the conclusion of 'Mountain', a French-Canadian radio broadcast at the end of 'Canada' and also in 'Canada', a curious slowed-down recording of the beginning of a story about a bird in a nest. This recording was included at normal speed and in a longer version at the end of the 'Detox' '96 demo, which appeared as a bonus track on the reissue of Strapping Young Lad's 'City'. I have read that this is actually a recording of a story written and read out by a very young Devin Townsend.

There are two additional points to mention about the music here. The first is the curious and for me disappointing conclusion to 'The Fluke'. The song begins almost in a pop punk / 90's radio rock style which veers more into a progressive metal direction. Then the guitar and band abruptly get cancelled and some ambient / experimental keyboard sounds take over for a moment. This gets supplanted by some quick notes that play like a seventies electronic album, and this in turn drops out to be replaced by a low pulsing tone. Static fades in over the low tone and a clean guitar sound over the static brings us to the end and leads us into the next track, 'Nobody's Here'. The other bizarre track is the hidden one at the end, 'Humble' which begins very promisingly with some strummed guitar backed by bass guitar and string synthesizer. It sounds like the makings of a demo, the early framework of a song. The music attempts to move in a new direction, there's a mistake, someone laughs, the recording breaks to silence for a second, and returns. The song is abandoned for another take but then a backwards recording runs on repeat until the end of the track. This lasts for about three minutes, and at one point some water drop sounds come in. Weird.

I gave the Devin Townsend Band's 'Synchestra' five stars and at first I was sure that I would give this album only four, in spite of it being Devin's most highly rated album on PA. However, with each subsequent listen, the album has really grown on me more. I now feel it makes for a very good companion album to 'Synchestra', namely because the albums both sound very earthy to me though different in guitar sound and overall musical approach. Still, they share a commonality in that they both feature some simple heavy music in a progressive vein and some more complex music at times. The vocals cover nearly all of Devin's diverse range of ability and the music styles also spread out. In fact, if these two albums share any direct bond it can be found in a riff in 'Earth Day' which sounds very similar to a riff that surfaces in 'Baby Song' on 'Synchestra'. In style alone, 'Synchestra' makes for a good logical successor to 'Terria' even though there is a five-year gap between the two that is filled with Devin's first ambient / experimental album 'Devlab', the Devin Townsend Band's first album 'Accelerated Evolution', and two Strapping Young Lad albums!

If you are interested in progressive metal that includes traditional metal, hair metal, experimental and post metal, with a bit of aggro-metal thrown in, topped off with a twinge of heavy country on 'Terria' and world music on 'Synchestra' then I recommend buying both of these albums together.

Report this review (#1340881)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars There usually comes a time when an artist needs to freshen up or diversify his/her sound to make an appealing change to the public. Some attempts have worked better than others; a good change in pace was Floridian band Death's change from brutal classic death metal to progressive/technical death metal, and a less favorable change was Queen's use of disco and R&B in the poorly received Hot Space. Devin Townsend was long known for making extreme metal with the band Strapping Young Lad, a band which put some of the heaviest metal bands to shame. Here with Terria, however, Devy looked to be making an honest diversion from his main project's insanity.

Terria ditches the insanely fast extreme metal in favor of a more laid-back, atmospheric metal sound, while still retaining Townsend's "wall of sound"-style production. The result is a densely layered labyrinth of shifting tempos and pure honesty, clearly marking a strikingly different style than most of Devin's works. Guess what? It is easily one of Townsend's greatest achievements if not the greatest.

The album opens on an odd note with the track "Olives." A very deep voice is speaking throughout most of the song, ceasing for the metallic build-up that leads into the next track, "Mountain." "Olives" sets no clear tone for what the album is going to be like, deciding upon unpredictability to hit the listener. "Mountain," however, sets a better pace and rolls things along. The song starts with a mammoth riff with a growl from Devin, before one of the biggest surprises hits you: Instead of using insane screams like in Strapping Young Lad, Devy opts for a very soothing clean voice to layer over the pummeling sheets of guitar. After a minute or two of the heavy riff rolling along, a more atmospheric section starts up to give more room for Devin's musical diversity to shine with his bandmates. Overall, these two tracks present a very unique start to the record, but are fantastic either way.

"Earth Day" would have to be a highlight here, basically presenting a shortened form of all that Terria has to over; it shifts tempos and dynamics, it has Devin employing all of his vocal styles, and the backing musicians all do a phenomenal job of setting the brisk-but-varied mood the song invokes. The highlight of the song is the climactic chorus when Townsend yells out, "It's an EARTH-FU*KING-DAY" over the heavy-as-f*ck metal supporting his vocals. Another huge highlight of the album is "Stagnant," the closing track (not counting the hidden track, "Universal"). The song is an absolutely gorgeous ballad that can perfectly meld force and beauty into a seamless whole. The lyrics aren't the deepest on the album, but when coupled with the elegant melodies, they are elevated to a much higher plane.

As I said before, the musicians backing Devin Townsend do an excellent job of doing so. The all-encompassing metal drumming legend Gene Hoglan joins Townsend for a toned-down but effective and expansive performance. Craig McFarland (bassist) and Jamie Meyer (Piano/Keyboards) aren't featured as much on the record, but are equally as effective in exuding the album's intense-but-calming atmosphere.

Even the descriptions I've given to this album are just the tip of the iceberg. Terria is one of the best metal albums I've ever listened to, and while it may be a tough album to get into (which, for many people, it is), listen to it multiple times and it will probably grow on you, if not immensely. Just go hear the album for yourself; you won't regret it in the slightest.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

Report this review (#1445989)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Review Permalink
2 stars I never considered myself much of a fan of this whole "experimental/post metal/tech metal" thing (I don't really understand what any genre of music with the word "post" in it means). I bought this album because it was cheap. I knew of Devin Townsend by reputation, but have never thought of myself as a fan. He did produce Stuck Mojo's 'Pigwalk' though, and that album is bloody brilliant!

But 'Terria'... one great big ball of "meh" from me. I find most of the songs too slow paced for my liking. Not that I mind slower songs, but these ones just plod along uninterestingly. Other than two songs, 'Earth Day' and 'Nobody's Here' (admittedly, two very good songs), I find most of the album boring. There's nothing catchy or memorable that incites anything from me other than dreariness.

The record does have a very "big" sound, and the vocals blend in with the music very well to create an almost dreamlike ambience. Sadly it just doesn't do anything to make the album any more appealing to me.

Devin Townsend's 'Terria' is not awful by any stretch, but it's just really not my thing. Simple as that.

I'd rather listen to Stuck Mojo!

Report this review (#1739523)
Posted Thursday, June 29, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars Considered by many to be the DT's masterpiece. I can't decide really if I agree, as DT has several strong even albums. This one is a step forward from the debut album and surpasses it also in terms of ambitions.

The first ambient track puts you into an another world before human emotions on both side of spectrum kick in in the second track. Rough sound and ambiance/new age are in balance here.

"Earth Day" is one of the most favoured DT's tracks: strong melody, excellent vocals, extreme metal as well as pop feeling shape the lengthy song. And yes, we finally have an instrumental track with a guitar solo that reminds progressive metal - listen to "Deep peace". It could have stayed without vocals but the typical DT's sound brings it back to Earth. "Canada" is another fine and slow-paced track devoted to the homeland . "Down and under" serves more as a background track with constant wall of sounds, even the vocals harmonies are restrained not to interrupt the flow. "Nobody's here" could be considered album's ballad with very light parts. "Tiny tears" is another attempt at epic track and it works well but does not reach the qualities of "Earth day". The bonus tracks are not very interesting.

Strongly recommended album!

Report this review (#2043096)
Posted Friday, October 12, 2018 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars Devin Townsend's fourth album "Terria" has been considered by many his masterpiece, and you can read all the reasons why in some of the reviews on this site. I completely agree that this is a masterpiece, but being one of Townsend's stalwart fans, it is just one of many of his masterpieces. However, I started exploring his music with this album, and I would recommend it as one of many starting points for others also. After hearing the extreme emotion, heaviness and beauty of this album, if you don't get it, then there probably isn't much of a point to explore further. But, if you love it, then you will definitely be inclined to listen to more.

No one expresses himself like Devin does. His music is heavy, usually described as a wall of sound, which is a good way to explain it. But that sound is full of beauty and emotion, it's just that it is expressed so loudly sometimes, and to me it is hard to do that with the power that Devin does and still make the music so amazing. There are plenty of great tracks here, but I tend to direct people to a few n particular, namely "Earth Day" which is an extreme song about recycling and birthdays and everything. This song is even more personal to me because I can consider it an anthem that Devin wrote about me since my birthday falls on Earth Day. Ok, so maybe it wasn't about me, but it gives me this perceived connection to DT. On the other end of the spectrum, there is the beautiful track "Deep Peace" which is so wonderfully atmospheric and immersive, and that guitar solo in the middle is to die for.

It's not just his extreme and emotional approach to music that I love, but it is his unique sound and the way he orchestrates everything to sound so much like a rock and roll symphony. I also love his powerful vocals, and yes he goes into screaming territory, but he does it right with emotion. On this album, everything has such an epic feel to it, like every note and every passage is important and Devin treats it that way. Devin wanted to make this album his tribute to his country Canada, and the music here conveys the love he has for it. It is an album that comes from his heart and to me, that is very apparent in the music here, everything so carefully crafted into powerful songs that are oftentimes very very loud, but also extremely beautiful and emotional. That is why I have no qualms giving this 5 stars, but also why I consider it one of my personal favorite and rare 6 star perfect albums. My words can't give it the justice it deserves, listen to it and see if it touches you like it touches many other fans out there.

Report this review (#2200720)
Posted Monday, May 6, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars With Terria, Devin Townsend created what is often recognised as one his best, and it's no surprise. It's a powerful, personal, flowing journey of a style of progressive metal unique only to Devin - one that relies on feels over technical prowess. What helps make Terria stand out is, complimentary to his typical reverby wall of sound production, an abundance of layered nature sound effects and atmospheric keyboards that add so much to the experience. The tone is one of anger at times, but it somehow fits well with the more dominant uplifting and blissful tone.

Terria occurred as part of a healing process after a rather chaotic and difficult time for Devin. A few years prior, with the help of hallucinogens, a Christ complex and accompanying bipolar diagnosis had formed throughout the creation of the album Infinity, and a period of intense depression and regret followed during Physicist. Terria was a time of 'acceptance', as Devin would put it - an acceptance that he is just an ordinary human being like everyone else, whose art isn't the centre of the universe but something to do for a living and enjoy. Life goes on, man. Devin even begun dressing in beige like a regular citizen, hence the man on the album cover. It wasn't necessarily happy times but an emotional numbness that said 'yeah, it's ok. I'm ok.' The tracks 'Nobody's Here' and 'Tiny Tears' act as quite vivid depictions of this time lyrically.

The concept of Terria - the earthy song titles, sounds and album cover - came when Devin was driving through the Canadian countryside on a tour. It acts as a bit of an ode to his home country in all its natural beauty. 'Terria' itself isn't a word, but it sounds right. It gets the feel across.

The album begins with the instrumental 'Olives' and what an incredibly intriguing way to open an album. The very strange tone and textures building to a fuzzy onslaught of heaviness is so satisfying. The voice saying 'olives' throughout... why? Because why not. The complimentary atmospheric synths established here and heard throughout the album brought Close to the Edge to mind upon first listen.

Other highlights from the album include 'Deep Peace', a softer track with a brilliant mid-section of a more typical prog rock vibe, featuring one of the most memorable guitar solos Devin's ever done. 'Down and Under,' a tribute to Australia, is an uplifting instrumental. And then there's 'Nobody's Here' and 'Stagnant,' two simply structured tracks that indulge in being super unapologetically dramatic and almost cheesy, the former track especially. I love them very much.

The only issue I have with the album is the choice to make the bass drum very prominent in the mix, cutting through everything else. But it's no deal breaker.


Report this review (#2382300)
Posted Saturday, May 16, 2020 | Review Permalink

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