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Devin Townsend - By A Thread - Live In London 2011 CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team
4 stars These four concerts contains a very different atmosphere each of them. KI had some mellow tracks that offers some up-tempo moments to keep the show interesting. Addicted is very intense and represent the typical Devin Townsend sound, with a melody slowly developed with raging guitar in a dense atmosphere. Ghost is very quiet, with flute, acoustic guitar and more restraint vocals by Devin. This last concert require more patience to get into, but when you get across the ambient passages, you can enjoy the melody again. Deconstruction is a progressive metal tour de force that shows complex playing, a symphonic approach with choir and classical arrangements. At times it remind me of Therion and Unexpect, the latter when multiple notes are played in a short time. This is the show where you have more animated videos with the character "Ziltoid" that could be cool for young metal heads, but for me it didn't seem to fit here. The encores offers another type of music, definitely punk oriented with simple and direct songs.

Also on each DVD, there a commentary tracks by Devin Townsend himself. Only interesting for the musicians out there, or those who want hear the stomach reaction of a guy while he drinks! For the picture and sound quality, it has been made on a low budget, so i won't be too critical about this issue, as long as the stereo sound is decent, which is the case here. My little criticism is about the excessive use of the red lights on each concerts, that give some unwatchable reflections on the face of the musicians.

Devin Townsend has all my respect for all the work he has put in this project (18 hours of material). It's not perfect but it's made with passion and dedication. It's a original concept that allows us to see and hear four different incarnations of Devin Townsend's music live. The Deconstruction DVD will appeal to progressive metal fans and the others to the converted Devin Townsend fans.

That's it! , oh no there is still the four cds to listen!. I assume that the contents will be the same, so I will give 3.7 stars, round up to 4 stars.

Report this review (#781707)
Posted Wednesday, July 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yep, a live album review. And damn does it deserve a review. I only wish I could have been there to see this in person (as a side note, if anyone knows where I can pick up the full boxset of this, I would be grateful, it seems to be sold out everywhere, I have only been able to listen to it on spotify). This will be a monster review (compared to the other ones I've done so far).

Lets start with day one of these live shows with the band playing Ki in its entirety, plus a handful of random songs for the encore. On first listen, I was immediately amazed at how well Devin translates these epic albums to a live setting and Ki is no exception. The interchange with the audience is also nice to hear. The playing of everyone involved here is very tight and becomes obvious about halfway through Disruptr. Throughout Devin really shines on vocals with all the various styles on display. The buildup in Heaven Send is awesome! Trainfire will always put a smile on my face. You can definitely tell that Devin doesn't take himself too seriously and yet he just basically loves what he is doing and playing for the crowd. I mean he redoes Coast because he thought the first time sucked LoL. Then Deep Peace is the perfect song to end on, it goes very well with the whole vibe of Ki.

Day two is of course Addicted. We get Ziltoid to open the show! Silly alien. Addicted just seems like it was absolutely fun to play live. And it's a blast to listen to. I think the only problem I have is with the first track, Addicted!, all I can think throughout the chorus is, "You're a dick, Ted." LoL, of course this is more my problem rather than the fault of the song. It's a great tune, really. Then Supercrush, Ih-Ah, and Numbered are even more heavenly live. Also I'm in love with Anneke van Giersbergen's voice. In the encore we start with Pixilate from Synchestra, an album that never clicked with me for some reason, and well, I still don't get it. It's not a bad song, to me it just doesn't touch everything else Devin has done, like for instance the next 2 songs.

Next up DECONTRUCTION! Every bit as crazy, intriguing, jaw-dropping, face-melting, and did I mention crazy, as the studio version. Maybe more so. Devin is obviously entertaining live, taking this over the top record and making it more over the top in a live setting. The highlights here are Juular and Deconstruction. The encore is positively silly with a trio of Punky Bruster songs. LoL is all I can say. Then at the falsetto scream in Metal Dilemma I pretty much lost it, I was laughing so hard.

After deconstruction, what better way to end than Ghost, the polar opposite of Deconstruction. It just further proves that Devin could do any kind of music and make it amazing. Ghost is absolutely beautiful in this live setting. The first six tracks are just otherworldly here and even though I think it falls off a bit after that the rest is pretty damn good.

Overall there are little dips here and there, whether in performance, technical issues, or whatever, but it doesn't distract from this being a brilliant 4 night performance by Devin Townsend and Co. There are very few people in the music industry that would go out of their way to perform 4 albums in their entirety over 4 nights plus about a dozen other songs for encores. Devin truly loves what he does and loves his fans and gave them a spectacular set of shows here.

Report this review (#846740)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

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