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


Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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4 stars Devin Townsend has done it again. This is the feeling I get when I listened the first time to this album. It's just great. Devins voice is just magnificient. This album differs from Ki alot. When Ki was a quiet and calm album, Addicted is almost completely opposite. Addicted is powerful, vibrant and strong. The addition of the female vocals are just awesome. I wasn't too sure about the new version of Hyperdrive, but maybe I'll listen to it a few more times to really get it. I think this is a must-get to every Devin Townsend fan. Get it and feel the power of musical genius Devin Townsend!
Report this review (#247620)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Devin Townsend's eleventh solo album or the second Devin Townsend Project presents an interesting starting point for me. Among my friends and family I'm known as a fierce opposer of pop music. On the other hand I'm a huge fan of Townsend. So now I'll let the cat out of the bag: Addicted isn't exactly a pop album, and I'd suspect it is much too progressive and heavy for "the average listener" (gasp!). I'd be happy to be wrong, though, for this album is definitely of the highest quality!

There are two tracks that could possibly have mainstream appeal, "Bend It Like Bender!" and "Ih-Ah!". Incidentally these very same tracks will most likely annoy every progger and metalhead on planet! The former is a weird and humorous dance song with Anneke van Giersbergen on second lead vocals. Anyone who's familiar with The Gathering would know she has a strong and clear voice, enough to produce a female counterpoint for Devin. No metal vocals from her, though. "Ih-Ah!" is the "your own special way" of the album, with plenty of honey on top! I have to give it extra points for the passionate performances from the two vocalists, but really to me the song is quite funny. I think these are the weakest tracks here, but I don't hate either.

The title track opens the album with absolutely crushing guitar chords and a slow build-up. Devy kicks the door in with an incredible "Ohhh, YEEEEAAAAHH!" when the rhythm section comes in. And speaking of the rhythm section: the beats are pounding! Townsend once again mastered a new style of drum teching and Ryan van Poederooyen's performance throughout the album is beyond words. Powerful beats and catchy choruses were promised, and from the first track alone it becomes clear that this promise was kept. We are also given the first progressive touch in the shape of a crazy guitar solo.

"Supercrush!" is a definite highlight. The chorus sounds a bit familiar and is as massive and emotional as anything Townsend has ever recorded, but the verses are completely fresh. Anneke sings with a nasal voice over an electric backround until it explodes into Devy's manifesto. Though Poederooyen is a monster behind the set, he adds these delicate Gavin Harrison-like touches on Addicted, which are here on full display.

Like any great release, Addicted is magnificent from beginning to end. In fact, it keeps getting better in the ending with "The Way Home!" leading us. The song sounds strangely like something I've heard before, but I can't put my finger on it. Mew's second lp? Townsend's singing is absolutely beautiful as usual. And then we get heavy with "Numbered!"...

"Awake!"! If you ask me this is one of Devy's greatest achievements to date! It seems this piece predicts the direction we're going next with DTP number three. It's getting progressively disturbing and complicated with layers and layers and layers... well, you get the idea. By now the sound is booming with fullness and the music is really heavy. Townsend is screaming: "Now DECONSTRUCT!!!" Then one by one the layers begin to disappear... until the only thing left is Ghost.

On top of everything we are treated with the larger than life "Universe In A Ball!" which sounds like the Infinity-album more than anything else, "Hyperdrive!" which is a great version of the track from Ziltoid The Omniscient with Anneke on vocals, and "Resolve!" which sounds a lot like The Devin Townsend Band.

Highly recommended especially for Devin diehards. Extreme fans of Strapping Young Lad are in deep trouble, and I'm hungry for Deconstruction!

Report this review (#247653)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Among Devy's Best - Just Get It

So here we are, album #2 of metal's maturing wunderkid's new sober project. The first album, Ki, was one of his most experimental albums. On this one, Addicted, Devy just wanted to make music that felt good. Townsend has sent out so many warnings (mainly to metal fans) that this was going to be just bubble gummy pop that you had to know he was secretly hiding something. That something happens to be the best album he's ever made in terms of pure musical pleasure. What I've always loved Devy for is his ability to make beautiful heavy music, something that is amazingly hard to find. On Addicted, he's tapped fully into that muse and the result is, at least for me, pure joy.

This is not Terria 2. It is not nearly as musically or emotionally complex. Instead, it points back to Ocean Machine, but with more insight into production, the world, and songwriting. Despite all that Devin has to offer, he enlists Anneke from the Gathering as a second lead singer, and her voice is an enormous part of why this album is so gorgeous. The songs she sings lead along (a new version of "Hyperdrive" and "Numbered") are highlight tracks, and Devin the engineer manages to merge the very different voices to great effect. Devin's voice (maybe related to the sobriety / no smoking thing) is perhaps the best it has ever been on record. He uses a wide breadth of timbres, but it his clear singing voice that is so amazing here.

The standout track is "Supercrush" which almost brings me to tears. Devy released a video of himself tracking the vocals, and even then you got a sense that the track was good. Here, with the two singers both at their emotionally dripping peaks, the song reveals itself as an immensely powerful piece that earns its name. Certainly, the whole album reverts back to Devy's signature "wall of sound" and as always there is so much going on that the listener can be overwhelmed or at worst distracted. Again, there is video of Devy walking through the ProTools tracks that is just breathtaking. But what is clear is that massive amounts of music are happening on this record that you can barely even hear.

This is not Devin's most ambitious or progressive record. But it has more love and joy than most artists' entire discographies. In an amazing 2009, this is among the best.

Post script...if you don't like Devy, this one is not going to change your mind. It's Devy taking his signature sound and honing it. But if you like his sound, get ready.

Report this review (#251581)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Addicted' - Devin Townsend (6/10)

Earlier this year, one of my favourite artists and musicians Devin Townsend released an album that was generally thought to be pleasant, but alienated alot of the man's existing fanbase. While I personally have nothing against 'Ki' and openly welcomed his change of pace, alot of people will be happy to know that Townsend is back to a more familiar trademark sound on this one, but with a twist...

The second addition to Devin's new drug-free project is chock full of nuances and sounds that will conjure up thoughts of previous works like 'Ocean Machine' or even some of the more melodic material from his metal flagship band Strapping Young Lad...

The twist is that it actually manages to incorperate dance music elements into progressive metal. With that in mind, it's suprising the album actually works as a whole. 'Addicted' has a very big emphasis on catchiness and hooky melodies; this works as a double-edged sword both for and against the album. On one hand, 'Addicted' is undoubtedly one of the most 'fun' and instantly gratifying albums I own. In other words, it would be the perfect soundtrack for a party.

On the other hand, the fact that 'Addicted' gives everything it has in the first few listens really takes its toll on the lasting appeal. Sure, there is the vast multi-tracking 'wall of sound' that gives alot of sonic depth to the music, but emotionally, the impact compared to 'Terria' for example is almost negligible. There are some great beauty moments here however, from the stunning chorus of 'Numbered!' to the powerful 'Supercrush!'

The choice to have Annekke Van Giersbergen as a vocalist on this album was a great one. She has the perfect voice to compliment the melodies that Devin has crafted here, and while much of her role on this album is dedicated to soft beauty moments or peppy pop choruses, she pulls off a stunning performance in the new rendition of the song 'Hyperdrive!' which some will instantly recognize as a track originally from 'Ziltoid The Omniscient.'

With yet another album under his belt, Devin Townsend shows us that he isn't willing to become a one-track gimmick. From the intelligence and introspective mood on 'Ki' and now the overly peppy and dance metal tunes of 'Addicted,' one can only guess what the next album will bring to our ears.

Report this review (#254293)
Posted Friday, December 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yeah, it's pop, but I suppose it's Devin Townsend so I'm allowed to enjoy it. =D

There was a sense of that when I first listened to this, but then I realized that this is just so much better than the rubbish pop that floats around the radio and settles like a grim fog over the general public's ears. Wow, I really am a snob.

Anyway, onto the tracks.

The first few tracks are fairly similar. Addicted is very heavy, with an incredibly strong beat and a simple riff. Universe in a Ball doesn't do much for me, but Bend It Like Bender is a lot more dynamic. If the whole album was like this it would only get 3 stars, but they improve later. What keeps these tracks interesting is their almost seamless flow. Addicted to Universe in a Ball is basically just a drum solo, retaining a lot of energy making the tracks a much more rewarding experience. They set the tone of the album very well.

Onto something with a bit more substance, though. Supercrush is awesome - one of Devin's best choruses. I assume this track was a bit of an odd track for the album. It's not particularly poppy, with a long instrumental section and a rather dynamic verse chorus structure, but it fits well. Reminds me of Numbered, later on, but this track is definitely in the top 3 on this album.

The new cover of Hyperdrive restores my faith in the female gender (in terms of singing, of course, I will forever have faith in them in every other way). This version is easily fresh enough, really lively, powerful, and oddly happy. The next track is a bit silly, but Resolve keeps the catch chorus way of doing things, with a cool intro to boot. Possibly my least favourite here, though.

In-Ah is the oddly named ballad, a very romantic piece with a fantastic riff. The choruses are particularly awesome, and it's a very subtle song - best played very loudly to pick out all the fine details, particularly the vocals at the start. In the top 3. The Way Home is a fast paced, reserved song, which shows us Devin's amazing vocal ability, whist referencing Deadhead (I believe). Guitars are pretty cool here too. It's a very odd song - with a great little instrumental section, retaining the same style beat. It's not one of the best, though.

Numbered has very satisfying guitars and vocals throughout. There's a brilliant arpeggio section in the middle which reminds me of parts of Ziltoid. This one's not really poppy either, just heavy, really. I suppose the female vocals stand out a lot more here. The end just leaves them going, which is great. I think the last track is a hidden track, and it has to be one of my favourite Devin Townsend songs yet. The length is misleading, the song kinda peters out into ambiance, which is quite nice. Really, the focus is on vocals, and the crushing guitar, which is a fantastic riff as well as other chorus parts and a heavy, growly bit. It keeps the pop-esque keyboards and some of the stronger beats from the pop element of the album. Devin also displays his fantastic vocal range here, as well, as a tenor opera singer, screaming "I'm free!!!" in the verses, and then going into a twisted growl for the heavier sections. There's even a reference to the next one in the set - "Deconstruct!" is given a good few growls at the end. Is this an overture to Deconstruction? It would be a great one.

So overall, best ones are Awake, In-Ah and Supercrush. You'd be misled if you thought it was all pop, but even when it is, a narrow minded prog fan can still enjoy it, so take a dive, and grin and bear some electronic drums.

But no, it doesn't really go "Unst, Unst, Unst". Thank God.

Report this review (#254599)
Posted Sunday, December 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars Another interesting change in direction (though not of iconic sound) takes this Devin Townsend release into somewhat bland and unchallenging territory, offering a set of loud, bombastic, heavy-handed songs which feel is like an attempt to make his sound more accessible... but this is Devin Townsend we're talking about-- so it's never that simple!

"Addicted" uses a huge, highly produced guitar sound grinding out a shattering wall of sound backed by very loud drums and effects blasting out dance-beats and rather empty- headed grooves. For the first half of the album we are bombarded by what is essentually the same crunchy sound to a repetative beat. His lyrics and vocals are fine, although this first half is all screaming (and I mean screaming), and the endless guitar chugging will probably test one's endurance more than get their mojo moving. Giersbergen's feminine vocals add a nice new element to the mix, mostly there to lend a pop feel to the tunes. There's nuance to many of the songs, but this is essentually Devin's iconic metal sound forced into a pair of trendy hip-hugger jeans; it doesn't quite fit, but somehow demands one's gaze.

The mighty "Supercrush!" stands out as an early highlight thanks to its good chorus, and "Addictided" turns a corner shortly thereafter (although the remix of "Hyperdrive" is a misfire-- if Dream Theater has shown us one thing, it's never but bits of other [better] albums into mediocre releases). Once we're finally given a chance to catch our breath with the mellow "Ih-Ah!" it feels like the songwriting picks up noticebly. Thoughtful, somewhat varied compositions follow with a greater depth in sound and vocals. These are the reason for getting "Addicted", it's just a shame we have to sit through the noisy lead-up.

"Addicted" is vastly unsatisfying compared to Devin's other releases; although it has some merit, most listener's will simply find the bombast of the songs boring. The "pop" aspects to this record are certainly tongue-in-cheek, so I don't take them too seriously, but I expect something memorable at least, and "Addicted" is just loud. Unless one is already of fan of Townsend-- it'd be best to avoid getting "Addicted".

Songwriting 2 Instrumental Performances 3 Lyrics/Vocals 3 Style/Emotion/Replay 3

Report this review (#256948)
Posted Saturday, December 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars For all intensive purposes, this was my first Devin Townsend album, and what a delightful find it was.

I understand, as all newcomers to Devin Townsend should be warned, that this album by no means is an accurate representation of his usual work. It's poppy in places, sometimes downright trite, but there are spots in this album that absolutely floored me. I've always been one to stray to the accessible side of prog, so Townsend's mix of prog mentality, wall-of-sound- production, pop sensibility and metal heavines really makes this album a gem.

If you are new to Devin Townsend, this is a good place to start if you're looking for some uniquely flavored yet accessible pop-metal (which, for the record, I propose as a new PA sub- genre). If catchy hooks and sing-along choruses simply fail to tickle any part of your fancy, I would recommend that you begin elsewhere. A fantastic album nonetheless, one of my favorites of 2009.

Report this review (#260030)
Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars When I got this album sometime last November I was Addicted! to it for weeks. This album is the poppiest and catchiest of Devins albums, but it still has enough comlexity to keep my interest.

The album kicks off with the heavy and powerfull title track. The sound of the drums on this record makes me often feel like like I┤m listening to a dance album, but then Devin brings me back to reality by screaming something like: Let┤s be like the mountain!. The next song Universe in a ball has a quite hypnotic opening. Again we have a great catchy chorus. Great stuff so far. On the previous album Devin did Elvis and now with the 3rd track Bend it like Bender he goes into Vengaboys-mode. I think that says enough about that track.

The new version of Hyperdrive makes good use of Anneke von Giersbergens great singing abilities. All the rest of the songs are good heavy stuff as well with very catchy choruses. I really enjoyed Annekes contribution to this album. She is one of my favourite female singers and she makes a great addition to this line-up.

Very nice album. Definately among the better ones of last year for me. Solid 4 stars.

All hail the mighty Devin.

Report this review (#268096)
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars A lot, and I mean a lot, of thought has gone into this review. I try not to give out too many five star ratings, and I certainly try to take a fair look at artists whose outputs I consistently enjoy. I am not rating this album five stars just as a fan of Devin Townsend. I kept thinking about it, wondering what I'd rate it, and figured somewhere in the three or four range. And then I noticed it: according to, Addicted was my most played album. That's many hundreds of plays since I first bought it last fall. And so a serious reconsidering of what I actually thought of the album began, and the end result is that this album is clearly one of Townsend's top-tier releases, one of the strongest of the year from any artist, and defiantly progressive in its own zany way.

Coming in as part two of the planned four part Devin Townsend Project, Addicted follows the general mellowness and stripped-down nature with something closely akin to its opposite. When you mention Townsend playing a heavy, upbeat, wild record, you conjure up images of Strapping Young Lad sorts of growls and screams and general fast-paced anger. Addicted is not at all this beast, and that is one of its best moments. Instead, we get songs built around clever riffs, zesty drumming, and, despite the fact that this is a progressive release, catchy melodies. The addition of Anneke van Giersbergen on vocals (a girl who likely is my favorite female voice in metal or in rock) gives the hard-hitting crunch of this album a softer, sweeter vibe. For example, if you enjoy her work on Ayreon's 01 or Into the Electric Castle, you'll be even more pleased with her work here. Unlike on Ki, where the female vocals occurred only a couple times and then were nothing special, Anneke on Addicted takes whole choruses, verses--even her own song.

The first track of the album, the title track, is likely its least new and exciting. It's a good song, but if any of the ten tunes here might bring the album down to four stars, it's this one. The chorus is solid, though, and the instrumental section in the middle is delicious noodling goodness (not in the usual shreddy prog metal sense, so don't worry). With only a long drum fill to separate the two, the second track appears on the scene. Universe in a Ball! is a very heavy song with consistently amazing drumming and some very well-mixed walls of guitars. Its layout is fairly nonstandard, so it might take a few listens to find any direction to it at all. Next comes Bend It Like Bender!, an appreciably controversial track. Anneke makes her first lead debut here on the chorus, and yes, it is mildly ABBA-esque. But that says nothing for how stylish and grooving of a chorus it is, with her strong vocals soaring over heavily electronicked metal. I can see this song on principle bothering prog fans, but it really is a good song, if we are willing to admit it.

Supercrush! brings not just massive walls of guitars but a massive wall of bombast. Devin's vocals in the chorus (countered by Anneke's soft vocals in the verses) are about as over-the-top as they come. Very fun, and a very entertaining song. Hyperdrive! is a reworking of the Ziltoid classic. Some fans prefer this over the old one, others the old one over this. The only real difference is instead of Devin singing it very mellowly and softly, we get Anneke belting it out solo. And whether or not this is the version you'll prefer, I don't think there's a person alive who could listen to this and not appreciate the raw enthusiasm and skill she pours into her performance here. She is, as they say, incredibly good at singing. And to follow that comes the highlight of the album (at least to my ears): Resolve!. This one is very straightforward (well, once you get past the quirky keyboard solo at the beginning and the beautiful verse that only appears once). It's primarily a chorus dueted between the two vocalists, and boy do they sing it crazy. Subsequent appearances of this chorus result in layers being added and power just flying out of the CD.

Ih-Ah! has its share of opponents as well. It is almost reminiscent of Coldplay or something, being a largely piano/guitar ballad. However, despite the weak lyrics and the simple song structure, the harmonies sound just fantastic. Like Bend It Like Bender!, Ih-Ah! might be one of those tracks, the enjoyment of which entirely depends on whether or not the prog fan can get over its subprog nature. Well, if you wanted something more progressive, The Way Home! wanders in next. The music itself is very fast, almost like a SYL song sans the distortion and screaming. Townsend's vocals are fairly subdued save for a few moments where he leaps out like on Supercrush!. The end result is a very unique and interesting-sounding track. Numbered! follows, and Awake!! after it: both are much heavier than the tracks before them. Numbered! features a wonderful ad-lib by Anneke, and Awake!! features the only moments of growling on the entire record. Also, as a note, Awake!! isn't really a ten minute song--it's about five, five and a half minutes of music followed by a fadeout that turns to electronica and meanders around becoming this beat and that (think Project EKO except with much more change and much more creativity to it).

And that leaves us ready for Deconstruction, if that is the name that Devin plans to keep for the third Project release. Either way, if you can enjoy metal with bizarre elements (no, I do not mean maudlin of the Well or Behold... the Arctopus--is that how you spell it--elements, just abnormal songwriting), and if very talented, bombastic vocals, then Addicted should be lots of fun for you. This is happy metal. This is metal that dares to defy the demands of its genre to be very upset and upsetting. Sure, other bands do this too. But none as well as Devin does on Addicted. Give it a shot, I recommend. Even people who aren't big fans of metal will find plenty to enjoy on here.

Report this review (#269965)
Posted Saturday, March 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Addicted as a full-length studio album release by Canadian artist Devin Townsend. The album is released under the Devin Townsend Project monicker. Addicted was released through HevyDevy Records/Inside Out in November 2009. In addition to Devin Townsend on vocals, guitar and electronics, the album is graced by the female vocals by former The Gathering vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen. The drums are handled by Ryan Van Poederooyen, the bass is played by Brian Waddell and Mark Cimino plays guitar.

The music is melodic heavy rock/ metal with the signature Devin Townsend wall of sound production and instrumentation. The songs are mostly pretty simple, so don┤t expect this to be one of his more demanding releases. What you get here are good melodies and above all a great mostly positive atmosphere. It┤s the kind of album that makes me happy when I listen to it. Devin Townsend and Anneke van Giersbergen compliment each other very well and it┤s nice to hear a female voice singing some of Devin┤s songs. The songs are all of good quality but seldom reach real excellence in my book. The reworking of Hyperdrive! from Ziltoid the Omniscient (2007) works very well though and is a semi-highlight here for me. Ih-ah! is probably as close to commercial pop that Devin Townsend will ever get, but he proves that it┤s a genre he masters too.

Addicted is another well produced, well played and well composed album by Devin Townsend and I┤ve raised my rating from 3 to 3.5 stars after having listened to the album a bit more. Initially I felt the songs didn┤t stand out from each other but repeated listens have proven me wrong and a 3.5 star rating is deserved.

Report this review (#281631)
Posted Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Devin Townsend described this album to be 'an album of melodic and danceable music' with the production of Nickleback's Dark Horse and influences ranging from Meshuggah to Boney M, and he wasnt wrong. While being a lot more stright-forward than Ki, Addicted (for me) was a harder album to get into, ive had this album for 7 months, listened to it at least 10-12 times and i still dont 'get it'. Dont get me wrong some songs like ADDICTED, BEND IT LIKE BENDER and the epic almost metal opera style of SUPERCRUSH are really the saving graces of the album i also really like the reworking of the song HYPERDRIVE the final epic track AWAKE!! and the slow section in the album IH-AH overall i just didnt think it was as strong or as well put together as Ki was, still production (as you'd expect from Devy himself) is top notch and world class musicmanship as per. Maybe i have to listen to both one after the other to truely respect both;

Addicted! - 9/10 Universe in a Ball! - 7/10 Bend It Like Bender! - 8/10 Supercrush! -9/10 Hyperdrive! - 9/10 Resolve! - 8/10 Ih-Ah! - 9/10 The Way Home! - 9/10 Numbered! - 8/10 Awake!! - 10/10

My Conclusion? as i said, not as strong as Ki in my opinion its still Devin Townsend and a second great album in the series

Report this review (#284069)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wait... what? First acoustic and now spangly electro pop? Surely not. Well, electro pop isn't exactly the truth, as former Strapping Young Lad frontman Devin Townsend mixes his trademark industrial ambient metallic attack with some more unusual genres of music.

Luckily, for the mad scientist of metal, this risky move works extremely well. The album is introduced with the title track, a pounding riff with pristine production within. After that, we are greeted with "Universe in a Ball!", starting with a furious flurry of drums and eventually worming its way in as one of the strongest songs on the album. A person favourite for me on this album is the re-work of "Hyperdrive!", originally on his epic space-metal opera Ziltoid the Omniscient. However, this time it is reworked with frontwoman of The Gathering, Anneke van Giersbergen, who does a great job of it.

There are few negatives, but sometimes the album does drag on slightly. Sometimes the songs unwittingly blend together, and what could've been done in a few minutes is extended into five. "Ih-Ah!", although not bad, isn't the type of song I'd like from Devin Townsend. That's probably me being one-dimensional with my musical tastes, but it just seems too generic by Devys normal standards.

In conclusion, Addicted! offers a strong blend of typical Devy Metal, immense creativity and electronica all mixed into one happy and joyous bag of greatness. It may not be his strongest album, not by a long shot, but it is a worthy addition to Townsends catalogue.

Report this review (#284805)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
3 stars Supercrusin

Devin Townsend is well known as the master of experimental metal. His solo project, born after the deterioration of his old band Strapping Old Lad, displayed a feverish fury all throughout his music, with intense riffs, crazy playing, and an overall great experimental style, which fluctuated with each release in level of intensity. This album, Addicted, was produced after Townsend announced he had stopped taking drugs. The album, although still reminicent of Townsend's crazy, energetic style, has a more oddly poppish and accessible feel to it, using what seem like pop-based melodies and often times not progressive riffs, vocals, and rhythms. Although the music is good, it is not Townsend's best and is only a decent display of mildly progressive music. 3 stars.

Report this review (#299307)
Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars My first review of 2011 and I thought i'd pick an album that is like listeneing to a party in progress. Man this is fun, catchy, loud and heavy all at the same time. Anneke formerly from THE GATHERING is my favourite female vocalist so the fact that she's featured on this album rather prominantly was the reason I picked this up. And she is amazing as usual,no surprises there. Perhaps the biggest surprise was at how well Devin sings. I mean he can sing in any style he wants and do it as good as anyone, and I mean anyone. I like the picture of the band on the back cover because the looks on Devin and Anneke's faces tell it all.This is about having a blast folks.

"Addicted !" opens with these slow but heavy riffs as the drums join in then a scream from Devin followed by vocal melodies from Anneke. Catchy stuff as Devin comes in vocally with power. It blends into "Universe In A Ball !" where the drums lead early followed by riffs then Devin's vocals as he spits out the lyrics. It settles before 2 minutes but it's brief. Love the drumming on this great sounding tune. "Bend It Like Bender !" opens with drums and guitar as the vocals from Devin come in. Anneke a minute in. Hell yeah ! Just a blast. "Supercrush !" is my favourite. It just hits me emotionally for some reason. It's heavy as Anneke offers up some vocal melodies. It settles a minute in with Anneke singing. My God ! It turns powerful again with Devin singing this time as contrasts continue. Man Devin can sing.

"Hyperdrive !" is heavy and uptempo with Anneke singing. It's so uplifting 2 1/2 minutes in as she sings with passion.Too much. "Resolve !" opens with laughter then the heaviness kicks in joined by Anneke's vocals. Some keyboards in this one too. "Ih-Ah !" is where they slow it down for a change as Devin sings in a reserved manner. Keyboards before a minute. "The Way Home" is also fairly laid back including Devin's singing but it's uptempo. It's also building. Damn he can sing ! Love the calm to end it. "Numbered !" opens with heavy riffs as Anneke joins in. It's Devin's turn a minute in as contrasts continue. Great sounding track. "Awake !!" opens with heavy riffs as Devin comes in vocally. Anneke after 1 1/2 minutes. Devin is more aggressive before 2 1/2 minutes. Anneke is back 3 1/2 minutes in. Devin's turn again as he sings with passion. It ends with a spacey soundscape.

Easily 4 stars and it is different hearing Anneke sing on such an upbeat album. As a side note 2011 is going to be a strange year for me because by the summer my 2 reviews a day pace will end. I guess five years at that pace is deserving of a break but when this ends it will be a sad day for me. Oh well, happy 2011 everyone !

Report this review (#369794)
Posted Saturday, January 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is actually the second of two releases from Devin Townsend in 2009 (the first was Ki, and two more are slated for 2010 in order to complete the four-part "The Devin Townsend Project" series).

Townsend is the founder of "Extreme Metal / Thrash Metal / Death Metal" band, Strapping Young Lad. I am not a fan of these genres of music, and have little interest in SYL. I find it all so loud and obnoxious. But with his new endeavor, "The Devin Townsend Project," Townsend is turning over a new leaf. "I wanted to make a record that was heavy, without being dark or depressing. When I got into metal it was for the energy behind it, but somewhere along the way that energy started getting really negative."

Townsend, known as a "growler" from his SYL days, surprisingly has an incredible vocal range, and when he sneaks a growl in here and there, it is absolutely appropriate and actually acts as another instrument in the harmony.

With Ki, Townsend created a mellow, restrained album. With Addicted, Townsend found the perfect formula. He added the incredible vocal talents of Anneke van Giesbergen (Agua de Annique, ex-The Gathering, Ayreon).

This was an excellent choice; Anneke's beautiful and haunting vocals compliment Townsend's exceptional vocals perfectly. This album must be heard on top-of-the-line headphones or a high- end home sound system to get the fullness of the production value. Townsend's ability to add layers upon layers of sounds without muddying the sound is an amazing feat. Turn off the lights and get lost in the place that this album will take you.

Report this review (#442792)
Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7/10

"Addicted" is the most straight-forward, memorable album of the Project.

Devin Townsend is one of the most active, if not the most active, metal musician around. After his various projects (Devin Townsend Band, Strapping Young Lad), and his completely solo album, "Ziltoid The Omniscient", Devin Townsend writes down about sixty songs, all of them without the use of drugs, unlike how he did for all the other previous works, and decides to divide them up into four albums, all of them having a different theme, under the name of the Devin Townsend Project. "Addicted" is the second of the saga, following KI, a quiet and atmospheric album that was intended to set the stage for the other albums.

Townsend's eleventh studio album is supposed to be the most commercial, memorable, melodic, but at the same time the heaviest album of the four. And Devin scores on this one. "Addicted" is a perfect follow up to KI: everything is so alarmed, loud, heavy, all the prog elements are pretty much gone, compensating them we have a little more electronic, sometimes even ambient, and very Industrial sounding guitars, which is anyway a typical quality of the Canadian musician. It's not at all estranged from Townsend's earlier albums, but a change is definitely felt, some people think in a bad way. The most noticeable change is the huge presence of female vocals in almost every song, and they definitely are in my opinion one of the best features of "Addicted". I'm not even going to mention the lyrics, since Devin was never a great lyricist, in fact he is one of the worst out there, extremely corny and banal, that make me cringe every time.

But whatever, Townsend can surely write a song: the opening title track is energetic and explosive like dynamite, and the weird, industrial electronics really give the music a more lush sound, just like the female vocals. "Universal In a Ball!" is the crazy song that you can find in a lot of Devin Townsend albums, definitely the heaviest one off the album. "Bend It Like Bender", however, is one of the catchiest and most accessible songs, thanks to the disco influenced chorus, sung by the female vocals. Another great highlight is the revising of the song "Hyperdrive", originally from the album "Ziltoid The Omniscient", this time sung exclusively by female vocals. Other great songs are the single "Numbered", very epic and huge sounding, thanks to the amazing wall of sound, and the catchy rock n'roll influenced "Resolve!". They were some songs however that I just didn't care for, at all, like the long "Awake!" or "Ih-Ah!", which seems to be hated by many.

But overall I really enjoyed this second chapter of the Project, even though some times it was a little irritating but I'm really looking forward to listening to the third release, which supposed to be more progressive sounding.

Report this review (#448032)
Posted Sunday, May 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars I love Devy, but I don't get the fuss about this one. Many have been calling it one of his better albums (not so much on this site, but elsewhere), and the first half could lead to that conclusion, but by the second half it gets kinda tiresome.

Now this isn't Devy's normal style. It's a lot more playful, upbeat, and accessible. Not necessarily a bad thing, but as I said earlier, it gets tiresome. The first half has some real winners. "Supercrush!" is especially a fantastic song. But do you know how some bands later in their career eventually begin sounding like a tribute band of themselves? Well the second half of this album just sounds like a tribute to the first half, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Put it into perspective though, it's how I feel.

One thing of note here is Devy's use of a female vocalist: Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering. She actually fits the album really well and sort of adds a positive to it. I'll admit, she sounds a little strange to me on "Hyperdrive!" (a remake of "Hyperdrive" from another Devin Townsend album, Ziltoid the Omniscient), but other than that I have no problems with her performance.

Anyways, other then Anneke's stellar performance and a first half with some strong songs, this album leaves much to be desired. 2 stars from me.

Report this review (#545395)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9/10

More of this!

Devin Townsend was a little disappointed in his latest productions, but with Ki he showed a new facet that captivated me here at Addicted he conquers me whole again! Offering a "pop" vision but not sell the music industry Devy gets down on one of their best albums!

Since the beginning Addicted gets down. Devy not relinquish their growls, but like Ki he is more interested in clean vocals (and wow, how he sings beautifully!), And before he counted on the help of Ch├ę Dorval on backing vocals here he has beside her Anneke van Giersbergen (Ayreon, the Gathering), that should be the biggest surprise I could have with this work! Seriously, I love her contributions, especially in Supercrush, Hyperdrive (which can be even better than its original version in Ziltoid) and Numbered. No wonder these are my favorite songs on the album, as well as Ih-Ah (well, the title is silly, but this is a wonderful opportunity to see Devy trying new ways). The album itself is extremely accessible - much more than their predecessors - but that at no time is a negative point. I have only praise for this work!

Lack bit for me to achieve Epicloud, the latest album of this genius, but I have to say that The Devin Townsend Project is the most consistent phase of this brilliant artist and so multifaceted. Toast me with anymore, Devy! 5 stars!

Report this review (#851772)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Devin Townsend's 'Addicted'was an album that I bypassed at the time of release but was drawn back to it after hearing the masterpiece 'Epicloud'. The power of that album was partly due to the incredible vocal performance of Anneke van Giersbergen. As her presence was also on this Devin album it became a point of necessity to hear it. The album opens with a very raucous slammed in your face scream fest on 'Addicted!'. My real attention was grabbed on the next track 'Universe In A Ball!' with its catchy main riff and phrase repeated over and over. It jams into the head in the same way of much of the material on 'Epicloud.' Devin screams his lungs raw again and the riff is entrancing, though simple sitting on the one note. It is the rhythm that transfixes and the drum blastbeats. When the boisterous tunnel of sound settles and allows some softer vocals it becomes more tolerable. This is a very loud album and is perhaps more metal than albums to follow. That is why every song title ends with an exclamation mark; it simply powers out on these metal piledriver tracks.

'Bend It Like Bender!' is one of the best here especially as the riff is infectious and Anneke gets a chance to allow her golden sweet voice to reverberate. I love the blend of metal and her vocals; it is as endearing as 'Epicloud' that I cannot rate more highly. 'Supercrush!' has a skull crushing riff and some terrific harmonies, Anneke is audible over the intricate rhythms, and virtually takes the lead and that makes a break from all the yelling and screams. This is a masterful song and a definitive highlight.

'Hyperdrive!' is divine as it is the same song from the insanely brilliant 'Ziltoid', except this time Anneke takes the central role and she is wonderful here. I love her passion on the familiar lyrics, reinvigorating this classic track. So that's 3 excellent songs in a row after a rather aggressive start. Following next is 'Resolve!', with a killer riff, Anneke and Devin powering out a bombastic melody. They work well off each other and the lyrics have a potent theme as 'I won't resolve to receive what you'll be, the ocean returns to the sea'.

'Ih-Ah!' has an odd title so what will the music sound like one may wonder. What we have is an acoustic opening, soft Devy vox, a very subtle lightweight melody and lyrics about the dangers of love, 'we don't even understand so how can this be wrong' and he cant express any more so just sings 'Ih-Ah, Ih-Ah'; a bit kitsch but the song is a break from the metal mayhem previous.

'The Way Home!' has a hyped up fast driving rhythm and clean measured vocals from Devy. That rhythm is so fast over the slower vocals it has a feel and style all of its own unlike anything I have heard from the mad scientist of metal. 'Numbered!' returns to the huge metal riffs and a very melodic over produced sound that is the way Devin likes it. His vocals are easier on the ears here, some of his best in the high register. The album ends with

'Awake!!' with the extra exclamation mark so it is bound to kick serious butt. It is the longest track at over 9 minutes and features a blistering riff and clean tones from Devin singing very well on this song. Anneke joins him and lifts the atmosphere up a notch and the it gets brutal again with pace and powerhouse vocals.

I would say this is one of the heavier albums of DT especially the opening tracks and the last. It has some variation in the centre and Anneke'svoice is an embellishment that was worth returning to with 'Epicloud'. She is the ex Gathering singer and certainly knows how to power out a song. 'Addicted' is a great album, though not as consistent as some others I have heard. Devin rarely disappoints with his blend of styles and here is no exception. I am glad the album delivered the goods and it certainly features some of Devin's best material. This is an album to savour and leads nicely to the next stint with Anneke that came 3 years later on the superior "Epicloud".

Report this review (#906934)
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Addicted is a masterpiece through and through.

Every song just draws you in with its majestic wall of sound. I don't know how this man manages to put together heavily layered albums like this in the short amount of time that he does it. I attempt to make recordings like this and I just can't seem to find the right loops or synthesizer sounds to compliment the song. I struggle to balance out all the levels and frequencies of each track if I'm piling on the layers like Devin does with his songs. There are so many little bits and pieces of sound that you discover in revisiting this record time and time again. The same goes for a number of his records. It's sheer brilliance, in my opinion, the way he makes his albums.

Possibly the most awesome thing about Addicted is that it is literally highly addictive. There's just so much about it that brings me back over and over. The sounds of the instruments are fantastic, the vocal performances are stellar and even bone-chilling at times, the rhythms are fun, the melodies are entertaining, and the flow is seamless. Each song is rock solid. Their structures, or at least the way the songs bleed into each other, don't lend the songs to standing on their own tremendously well... I would say. But that might just be a psychological thing with me though. Because I don't have many urges to listen to just one song from the record. I NEED THE WHOLE THING... every time!

I should note that the drummer, Mr. Ryan van Poederooyen, does add to the excitement of this album is a significant way. And of course the lovely Anneke van Giersbergen makes this album shine in an incredibly special way.

I wish I could put into words the ethereal, cosmic, goosebumpy vibes that I get while listening to this album, but I don't think I can. I think that is something you need to experience yourself. Five Stars without a doubt! This album stands tall and shines even in the brilliant discography of its creator.

Report this review (#963826)
Posted Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have been a huge fan of Dev music since the day I saw Krusher interview him on Noisy Mother's before the release of 'Heavy as a really heavy thing' by SYL. I then had the pleasant suprise of discovering his work on Vai's 'Sex & religion'. This guy obviously had talent, and found a way to be creative down multiple avenues. SYL released the anger with stunning results, and his solo efforts such as 'Ocean Machines' and 'Infinity' offered a more controlled style which showcased his more melodic (but still heavy) side. Then came 'Terria' which is one of the only albums which has that humbling effect and can reduce a grown man to tears (deep peace). Think of the way Gilmour's solo in Comfortably numb sends shivers down your spine! Before I sound too much up Dev's butt, I did wonder if he had past his best after that. SYL for me tried too hard after the excellent self titled 'SYL' and it all got a bit samey, probably why they have disbanded now. Also Dev's next few solo works had the same 'similar but not quite hitting the spot' feel to them. 'Accelerated Evolution' being the main culprit there with 'Synchestra' a massive improvement. (Ziltoid is not worth a mention! Sorry Dev)

Anyway, enough of my proverbial B.S. - After a break Dev came up with the idea of a quadrilogy of music, each with a different sound and musicians. First he gave us 'Ki'. A rocky, Jazzy album which is all about the musicianship. A very different sound for Dev and some great experamentation. Secondly we have 'Addicted'. Like the title says 'WOW'!!!!! This CD seriously amazed me from the first listen and just gets better and better from there. It is catchy, fun, very heavy, and the tracks blend together so well. Don't let yourself be kidded into thinking this is a pop album by some of the reviews - it is far from it! The album is still Devy and still has his trademark heavy sound with a wall of soundscapes behind it creating an amazingly atmospheric and enjoyable album. We also have the addition of Anneke van Giersbergen (ex The Gathering). I have to admit I don't really go for female singers in rock (Nothing sexist but just a personal preference) but my god this girl can sing!!! Not only that she really makes this album come alive. There are only a handful of tracks featuring her talents but they really stand out and leave you begging for more. Thankfully we get more with 'Epicloud'!

Report this review (#1135968)
Posted Sunday, February 23, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars If I remember correctly, this is Devin Townsend's 2nd album under his Project moniker, after "Ki". Now, "Ki" is an interesting album, the sound of DT at his heaviest but not reverb-iest. It's a different sound that made sense, a different sound I liked.

Although, I really don't know where he was going with this album exactly.

"Ki" has more of a grungier, down-tempo feel to it, whereas "Addicted" from the surface looked like a parody of pop-rock sellouts, but the title track proves otherwise, I think. It has a really strong Marilyn Manson-Rob Zombie kinda of groove to it, and Townsend's screams really give it this dirty, grungy sound to it, a sound that continues on into "Universe In A Ball". It's not a terrible sound, but maybe I don't like it at this point in time because it wasn't what I was expecting. Even the middle of the song dissuades expectations, almost going into a more industrial metal sound, a la Celldweller.

"Bend It Like Bender" then starts and now that catchy rock atmosphere is starting to form. But by now I'm also understanding that this particular album doesn't have a certain "identity" that Townsend's albums normally do. After all, singer Anneke has a huge part on this album, and her absence on the first two tracks puzzled me a bit, because the rest of the songs on the album really jell and flow together. "Supercrush" gives Anneke some room to flex her pipes, and I love her rendition of "Hyperdrive"

Now that the album is starting to make more sense, "Resolve" sounds like a parody of an 80's hair metal band, like a Motley Crue-ism. "In-Ah" is the album's signature ballad (beautifully done, by the way), and "The Way Home" sounds like it's best fit would've been on the Ziltoid album. "Numbered" starts off like DT's future "Deconstruction album (perhaps that's where the idea came from, just take the first 19 seconds of that song and make an hour long album based off that), and "Awake" follows suit with the duo of Townsend and Anneke singing in vast open reverbed soundscapes with hints of "Deconstruction's" brutal, darker side.

So apart from the first two songs, which really don't seem to fit the image of the album's theme (which I've been accustomed to from being a loyal fan and listener), the album's parody-like approach on pop-rock makes sense, lest the first two songs WERE supposed to parody guys like Manson and Zombie and whatnot. As a purely prog standout, though, this is not. Even though there are a few catchy tunes here, it's not DT's best work, despite Anneke singing beautifully, and getting tons of work as well. The disc, while brandishing a theme, still has a lack of cohesiveness, a lack of identity. It's still a good album to have if you're a fan, but if you're looking for DT's juiciest offerings, look elsewhere.

Report this review (#1453215)
Posted Friday, August 14, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is the one that got me into Devin in the first place. There is really not a lot to it though. In fact, this would probably be his most accessible album to date.

Short songs, fun grooves and a general feeling he is paying out popular music, Devin and Anneke nevertheless take us on a journey of great musicianship and vocal skill. Though I wouldn't necessarily call any song here "prog" and hence the rating, it is still a great release from the modern master.

Highlights include the title track, Bend It Like Bender, Hyperdrive and In-Ah. In usual Devin Townsend vein, listen to the music, vocal and composition ability, stay for the cheesey smiles and fun that this album will no doubt bring.

3 and a half stars, rounded down due to the "prog" parameter.

Report this review (#1528425)
Posted Friday, February 12, 2016 | Review Permalink
The Crow
4 stars Addicted! is the Devin Townsend personal interpretation of pop-rock and hard rock.

This second installment of the ambitious tetralogy that Devin created after a short break is a fresh collection of songs, which take some pop, and hard rock elements that we found in albums like Ocean Machine and Accelerated Evolution, but in a bit more commercial and straightforward direction.

And with the perspective that we have eight years after the release of Addicted!, I think that this album is one of the most important works of this prodigious Canadian artist, because later albums like Epicloud and Sky Blue took a similar direction in terms of production, style and character. And of course the contribution of Anneke van Giersbergen showed itself as a vital contribution for Devin. This woman's voice fits perfectly in the sound of Devin Townsend, and the success of Addicted! supposed the start a very fruitful collaboration.

The album starts with Addicted!, a song with a catchy riff and the typical Devin's wall of sound, but this time with cool electronic elements. The melodies and lyrics in the verses are a variation of the last track of the album, Awake, and here we clearly hear that Devin's intention was to create a more conventional and commercial album than Ki, but maintaining the trademark elements of his style. And Anneke sings so damn good here!

Universe in a Ball starts with powerful drums and a menacing riff, and the great vocal melodies they remind me to Ocean Machine. Fine track, but not a highlight. Quite the opposite as Bend it Like Bender, a very surprising song that is an outstanding mixture of pop-rock, disco and extreme metal. Just incredible and another sample of the unmatched talent of this musician!

But Supercrush! is even better! The initial riff is breathtaking and the Anneke verses a real wonder. Devin shows off again with his incredible voice in the chorus, and the atonal instrumental interlude is very original and unique. A real classic! And also a classic is Hyperdrive, a song included in Ziltoid the Omniscient but this time with the Anneke voices. I prefer the original song, but this cover is also very good and it fits perfectly with the mood of the album.

Resolve! is another powerful exterme-hard rock song with very good vocals from Anneke, which strenght is very adequate before Ih-Ah!, the ballad of the album. And what a wonderful one! Intimate but not corny at all, and with beautiful vocals from Devin. I think that his voice was in top-form here, and Ih-Ah! is a good proof of that.

The Way Home contains a very good instrumental work (the drumming is awesome) and a surprising tenor interpretation from Devin, while Resolve is a vehicle for Anneke, who offers her better singing in the whole album in this good song.

And finally, Awake! is my favorite track of Addicted! Is a progressive hard rock hit with amazing growls and even more incredible high-pitched vocals from Devin, with a mysterious ending, which anticipated the next album Deconstruction, both musically and lyrically. What a great way of end this album!

Conclusion: Ki brought us the most experimental, dark and diverse side of Devin. But Addicted!, on the contrary, is pure delight and power, luminous, fresh and catchy. In my opinion is not so innovative as Ki or Deconstruction, and of course it does not reach the level of masterpieces like Terria or Synchestra. But it is an excellent record anyway, and a very important one for Devin's career because its success strongly influenced his style in later releases.

And Anneke was so a great addition! Thank you, Devin. This girl is pure magic.

Best Tracks: Bend it Like Bender!, Supercrush!, Ih-Ah!, Awake!

My rating: ****

Report this review (#1768889)
Posted Sunday, August 6, 2017 | Review Permalink

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