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INFINITY

Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal


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Devin Townsend Infinity album cover
3.67 | 156 ratings | 18 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Truth (3:58)
2. Christeen (3:40)
3. Bad Devil (4:52)
4. War (6:28)
5. Soul Driven (5:15)
6. Ants (2:00)
7. Colonial Boy (3:04)
8. Dynamics (5:06)
9. Unity (6:57)
10. Noisy Pink Bubbles (5:20)
11. Sister (Live acoustic version) (2:15)
12. Hide Nowhere (Live acoustic version) (5:03)
13. Man (1996 Demo) (5:12)

Total Time: 59:11

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Devin Townsend / vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, programming
- Gene Hoglan / drums
- Christian Olde Webbers / upright bass
- Andy Codrington / trombone
- Erin Townsend, Lyn Townsend, Dave Townsend, Naomi, Tanya Evans, Lara Ulhoff, Chris Valago & Brad Jackson / additional vocals

Releases information

Released through Hevy Devy Records / InsideOut. InsideOut editions contain three bonus tracks.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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DEVIN TOWNSEND Infinity ratings distribution


3.67
(156 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
21%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

DEVIN TOWNSEND Infinity reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Canadian guitarist and vocalist Devin TOWNSEND is a very original musician. His career took off in 1992 when he got the honourable opportunity to sing on Steve Vai's "Sex and Religion" album. His own compositions are truly original and you probably won't find any other artists with Devin's approach to the music. He's a brilliant guitarist as well as vocalist, and his music is often very complex and experimental.

Some may find the distorted sound that is very present on this album quite disturbing, but if you're familiar with, and enjoy bands such as FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, PEACE, LOVE & PITBULLS, MINISTRY and SKINNY PUPPY, you'll probably enjoy this album, even if it's quite not comparable to these bands. But if you're mixing the aforementioned bands with Adrian BELEW, PpZ30, SLAYER, Steve VAI and Frank ZAPPA, you're quite close to how it sounds.

Some songs may sound like a massive noise if you're taking a quick listening, but if you're listening closely you'll hear that there's a melody behind it all. Then there's the other songs that are catchy and almost commercial (Christeen), groovy (Bad Devil), funny (Ants), power ballad-ish (Wild Colonial Boy) and beautiful dreamy (Unity). As you can see there's a lot of variation to the material, so you won't get bored with this album in a long time.

A very interesting album that will grow on you with each listening. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#18024) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars I read that Devin Townsend's music is deeply rooted in grunge and industrial and that can be confirmed by listening, both styles are very much dominating his music. But I can't quite follow the link to progressive rock or metal. Certainly he's (ab)using massively keyboard textures, but LOTS OF doesn't mean all the times GOOD as well. He's probably in that way progressive that he might be the only one trying to mix all this rather noisy music done by industrial metal bands with some symphonic-alike sounds. But all this noise/music is just added up on top of each other, there is no real symbiosis, if you know what I mean. The result is really just noise more or less, of course there's still melody, but this kind of music is IMHO the real end of the rope. I mean you can't top this anymore, it's good for people who are already almost deaf because they are just listening to extreme loud metal music all the times. I listened three albums by him so far, from which I find "Accelerated Evolution" the only acceptable one, but even this one can't really fascinate me. The only track listenable here for me is "Unity", "Christeen" is a terribly commercial one and the rest terribly noisy. 1 star is the maximum I can give for this great piece of noisy art!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#18027) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars As Devin notes in the liner notes: This album was a tremendous effort, extremely difficult to make. In order to fully appreciate it, you have to listen to it on a good hifi system. Many tracks were used, and on this album Devin really begins with his massive layering of sounds - dozens of instruments playing the same, creating a wall of sound.

The tracks are all great, and the ONLY reason for not giving this 5 stars is that Terria is even better ... so consider this a 4 1/2 star review. The tracks are all very different, every track sets a different mood.

Truth: This is a vocal oriented track, with a big choir in the chorus. I wonder where Devin get's his crazy ideas ... singing "Hallelujah" on top of these epic metal riffs.

Christeen: This is an up-tempo happy track which reminds of the Biomech album.

War: Bad Devil ends with a huge bang, which is also the begin of War. An amazing thing about this song is the sizzling keyboard layer that accompanies the whole song. And then there's some crazy 50s rock vocal lines: doo wop boddum... doo wapideewapideewapideedoo... and at the end of the song, some really amazing lyrics, which are indeed the beginning of the next track:

"Now that the love is gone

What's still holding on?

If all that was said was true...

What's still holding you?

If ever, you need someone there

Who's been there for ever

And ever, will waken the dawn

Awaken the dawn for you... "

Bad Devil: Outstanding. A swinging up-tempo track with a 8th shuffle feeling. Devin added tasty wind instrument sections and a crazy organ, and it's amazing how all these instruments remain clearly separated in the HUGE mix. About mid way through the song, there's this crazy break with a trombone solo, followed by some honky tonk piano bits. Awesome.

Soul Driven: This is the biggest and most majestic groove that I've ever heard, and again magnificent lyrics:

"The birth has occurred and the time has begun, it's the end of this age and the

preparations must begin for a new time that takes so much work and will hurt in the

beginning, change always does, and know strength is not something you buy or sell

through aggression and fear. Only love and acceptance of faith will convince you

that you're not alone and exist among friends so have patience..."

Ants: The most complex and weird track on the album. You'll have to listen in order to understand, it's just utterly bizarre.

Colonial Boy: love the majestic guitar riff of this track - it's essentially a waltz, which starts out as a 6/4 rhythm but occasionally shifts to a true 3/4 waltz rhythm.

Dynamics: This song starts fairly normal, but at 1:30 it explodes into a majestic groove similar to the one in Soul Driven.

Unity: A meditative track without distorted guitars. It just flows nicely, with lot's of activities going on within the layers of sound (beneath the surface, so to speak).

Nosiy Pink Bubbles: Another interesting song that's not so heavy as the others. It consists of two parts, the first resembling Pink Floyd's "Run like Hell", the second part more up-tempo with the typical weird Townsend vocals.

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Send comments to MikeEnRegalia (BETA) | Report this review (#40079) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005

Review by FishyMonkey
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I just got this album. No, I didn't just buy it, I just understood it...after so long of trying to comprehend it...I get it. And lo and behold, it is beautiful and amazing and majestic and badass and awe-inspiring and divine. Add another five star rating to Devin Townsend from me; this one is one of the most amazing releases ever.

While Terria feels like the story of the earth, Ocean Machine the story of the ocean, and Synchestra the story of all things good in life, this album is the story of the soul of mankind in relation to god. Yes, I will overinterprete that much. Maybe if you ever love this album as much as I do, you'll do the same. The journey of the human soul in it's purest and most raw form through life, that's what this is. From the birth to the midlife crisis to the calm at the end of life, this has it all. This is an epic voyage through life and the way god made the human soul.

The album opens up with the most majestic and amazing piece of music I've ever heard, simply entitled Truth. From the opening riff, you can tell it's gonna be majestic. Then Devy comes in with his high yells over those crazy guitar riffs, then everything turns perfect, and oh man, words cannot describe how perfect this song is. The absolute best opener ever. This is the revelation; the awakening; the birth of the soul, and all it is screaming is "OH HELL YES I AM ALIVE AND IT FEELS ****ING GREAT! HALLELUJAH!" You can feel that being cried out all throughout. Amazing. Truth turns into Christeen, easily the most accessible song on the album. It's more or less a pop rock song with tons of Devy-isms (such as lots of layering and odd touches everywhere). Great great song, lots of fun. This song, I feel, talks of early life, where the soul is free and full of life, and trying to find love, and looking optimistic and happy and finding love, even if there is none. The soul believes there is. Happy upbeat song to represent a happy and upbeat soul.

Next comes probably the most recognizable song on here from Devy fans, which is Bad Devil. This is essentially a big band rock song with awesome organ and a nice shuffle feel all throughout. There's a nice trombone solo interlude halfway through with finger snaps, a jazz keyboard solo. Good singing, and good drumming. What a fun song this is, haha. This song is when the soul gets older, around the teen years, where a person starts to learn of the risky and risque things in life...all the dark sides. It flirts with the dark side though, much like many teenagers. It hasn't been fully imbraced anything bad, but it knows it is all there. Following Bad Devil is another fan favorite, War. This has a shuffle feel as well, except slower. This is a little repetitive, but in no way bad at all. good vocals and lyrics, and the ending is very interesting. And how about that "doo-wap wawap, doo-wap wawap" section in the middle? Awesome. The end is kinda a preview for how weird the album is about to get, I think. This song I feel like is college years to about 25 years, where some hope for love is there, but it's more the soul is searching, trying to balance and stabilize their lives in the hectic life a young person leads...everything is being shoved on the soul and it screaming, "I DON'T WANT YOUR WAR!".

Next is Soul Driven, the first really "out there" song on the album. It's got a very majestic riff around it. It requires all the listener's effort to get anything out of it that's worth noting, and I still haven't gotten all of it. I have picked up on enough to love it though. It's super majestic all throughoutand the way Devy uses his voice is super cool. Something worth noting at 3:50-4:00 is that a melody from Stravisnky's Rite of Spring comes in softly and plays out a little bit. This is the part right before the deep voice comes in. It's just a real cool touch. I feel like this is the first breakdown of the soul, screaming out to whatever the soul worships and believes in, screaming, "WHAT THE ****?! THIS IS LIFE? HELP ME!". A cry to whatever one believes in. And the end I had trouble putting meaning to, but I feel like maybe it's saying how after this breakdown, life goes on as normal, frantic and whatnot for simple things, and the weird pop techno feel of what Devy is singing is how life happily goes on without you, breakdown or not.

Ants is next, and it is INSANE! You can almost see tons of little ants scurrying around to accomplish whatever they gotta do. So much layering here, it must have taken forever to produce. This song revolves around the frantic meaningless insanity of the human life and soul around 30...do the laundry! Make money! Make more money! It represents the soul running around like crazy trying to live, and they really have to go nuts to survive.

Wild Colonial Boy is another very good song. It takes some getting used to, as it's different in feel even for this album. This just feels like Devy is messing around a bit. Thus...it's not up to par with the rest of the album, but it's still good, and I like listening to it out of sequence with the rest of the album. If I had to interpret this...it's the soul quietly on the side during the bussle of life, trying to say it still has some of that carefree freedom that we saw in Christeen...it's just muffled by the formality and retardedness of life. This is around age 40-50 now.

Dynamics is similar to Soul Driven, just done better and with a much nicer beginning. I like this song quite a bit...I mean, I already liked Soul Driven, and this is just a super-buffed up version of that song. The last three minutes absolutely tear my head off...this is the climax of the album, the last three minutes of this album. It's as hardcore and emotional and majestic as possible. This song is the second and final breakdown, starting to reach nearer to the end of your life, and saying..."My life has been one crazy as hell ride...holy CRAP! I'M ALIVE, BUT I'M LOST I'M LOST I'M LOST IN THIS CRAZY ****ING WORLD." It's another cry to god, more of a cry of asking what my life has been about, and the insanity of it all, and how nothing feels real and so on. The final screaming at the end of this song is the true climax of this album. It sums up the feel so well...just a mighty scream at the behemoth that is life.

Unity is the end of your life. It is the relaxing, the calming down..."I''m ok now...I'll make it, through this damned life of mine...it's almost over, and I'll enjoy what I have. It's alright...I'm home." I always feel like this is the grandparent stage of life, watching your kids grow, your grandkids, and just being happy for them, and relaxing yourself after working hard through the insanity all your life. It's a very peaceful song that could cheer anyone up. Wonderful relaxing feel. The end grows, symbolising how life is still insane, but the original peaceful melody and feel stays intact. Because it's alright. The soul is at peace. The song ends with a minute of silence..the fade out into death. But a peaceful fade out. Such a nice song, it's a little repetitive but so pretty I don't care at all. In fact it's one of my favorite songs on the whole allbum.

Noisy Pink Bubbles is plenty of fun, it's kinda a stoner-ish song, which is ok. It's well-done, and starts with some real funky stuff going on. The second half is more interesting yet. I can't even describe it or draw up comparisons, like I can't for most of this album because there's nothing else like it. It kinda has a Pink Floyd feel to it, almost. This doesn't fit into the story, because the story is over.

So basically, this album breaks down into two halves: the first four songs, which are the more accessible and more satisfying songs, and the next five having more focus on crazy layering and a rather divine feel. So divine the listener might not enjoy them, actually. But they are divine. For audio buffs a most here, and for anyone with patience, they will reward you greatly. Then...Noisy Pink Bubbles is in a class of its own.

I guess I more told of my interpretation of the album than anhything else, heh. But that's ok...just know it's a masterpiece. Very difficult to get into...very difficult. Thus, I wouldn't be surprised to see many people hate it. Those who get it, however...will not regret it.

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Send comments to FishyMonkey (BETA) | Report this review (#61560) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 24, 2005

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Lively - but not that deep.

I can't help but feel this album as much too commercial for my tastes. The industrial and grunge -like overtones make me cringe in so many different sections. While he certainly has talent and it would seem like great stage presence (being a frontman for Vai), after a few spins I'm left wondering what else there is to discover.

I think this would be a great place to introduce people to diverse music (prog, etc.) but too much of the songs lack enough artistic quality for me to enjoy it. You can tell Devin had fun with this, which is admirable, and I can certainly understand why people would like it, but there's not enough substance here for me. Songs like Bad Devil are humorous and such, with its holly/jolly type of shuffle beat, but at some point I'm looking for something inspiring and I've never found it on this record.

There's enough creative juice here to look into other Townsend projects, but I'd prefer it if there was a more serious tone to the music. This kind of stuff is only satisfying to me at social gatherings and such.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#106929) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars While it gets flak for not being as well-crafted as DT's later works, Infinity gets big points in my book for being very, very, fun to listen to. It's a many-layered symphony of technical metal with enough memorable guitar, vocal, trombone, and compositional moments to satisfy fans of heavy music, who will likely eat up Townsend's gigantic sound and effortless variety as a songwriter.

The opening number is a big, lush explosion of sound, giving way to a catchy, vocal driven number which will have the listener tapping their foot and singing along with DT's unique voice instantly. If you're not hooked by then, the haunted-house introduction and stellar riffing of Bad Devil will finish the job. Possibly one of my favorite DT songs, this one has so much crazy stuff happening I find it impossible NOT to get into-- nothing beats a bayou-trombone solo in the middle of a metal song!

The rest of the album is just as good, delivering a huge variety of sounds and songs to enjoy, with DT belting out memorable vocals and very unique guitar work; not to mention giving us a crisp, stellar production. A very fun listen and highly recommended to any considering checking out this exceptionally talented and entertaining artist-- a good first-buy.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#165599) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Second Devin Townsend's opus... Not his best, but still really interesting.

After the solid debut Ocean Machine, and having stablished Strapping Young Lad as a strong band, Devin came out with his second album under his own name... Infinity. This album has two important facts: the developing of the typical Devin's wall of sound, and having the best Gene Hoglan behind the drumkit (this kind of drums would be in his entire career after this album...)

These facts made Infinity having the sound that Devin would completely develope later... This well named wall of sound, really present in songs like Christeen or War. This wall is just layers and layers of guitars, keyboards and some noises, being the Devin's voice diminished in such a terrible buch of sounds, usually played fast. And this is the Devin's trademark style! In Ocean Machine it was not really implemented (maybe because the poor production...), but in Infinity, the Devin's proper sound was born.

This wall of sound would later evolve in the ultra-fast and very funny Physicist, a criminally underrated album, and in the environmental masterpiece Terria. The Accelerated Evolution pop-metal style is also based on this wall, and so is the phenomenal and variated Synchestra. In the Strapping Yound Lad's albums this sound is also present... And you can hear it in the wonderful Ziltoid the Omniscient too. But in Infinity, back in 1998, this sound was created by the grace of this genious.

But this album is different anyway... Christeen, War, Dynamics... This tracks are typical Townsend's tracks, not really different of that he would later make in Physicist, and some parts of Terria. But songs like the Broadway/cabaret oriented Bad Devil, the crazy Ants, and the weird Noisy Pink Bubbles, make this album being different of all the other Townsend's albums. Every release of this man has a clear direction, while being different from all the others. But in Infinity, I think Devin's was a bit dissoriented... Because the direction of the album is not clear. It goes to different places, and nowhere at the same time... It's not really coherent, and it loses strenght towards the end.

The first half of the album is just great, with a Devin in full form, making great songs, and showing an evident evolution from Ocean Machine. But the second half is not so good... Ants is funny, but I can't say this song is good. Colonical Boy has also some broadway feeling, like Bad Devil... But is far in quality, despite the great Devin's vocals. Dynamics is good, but a bit repetitive, and the same goes to Unity, a song wich follows the ambiental feeling of some parts of Ocean Machine. Noisy Pink Bubbles is a sort of strange acoustic rock track, really weird and different from all the other Devin's songs... It's not bad, and Devin sings wonderfully here, but it doesn't really fit in this album, I think.

So this is a good album... But far from being a masterpiece, because some too strange and dissoriented songs. I think that Devin tried to make a variated album... But in my opinion, he losed a bit of inspiration in the process.

Best songs: Truth (the heavy wall of sound is here... A punch in the face), Christeen (commercial and catchy pop-metal song...), Bad Devil (the highlight of the album... Broadway music filtered by the progressive-extreme metal point fo view. A genious's work!) and War (another catchy song... With repetitive riffs and great vocals. Terria's Earth Day was a progression of this song, I think)

Conclusion: being not the best Devin Townsend's album, Infinity is another interesting, different and catchy little jewel made by this genious... Funny, with crazy lyrics, incredible vocals, powerful drums... And the unique Devin Townsend's style. Not so good like the previous Ocean Machine, and far from the Devin's masterpieces, Infinity is interesting because here we can hear the born of the Devin's wall of sound, his trademark. So every fan of this man should hear it... The rest of mortals have better choices from this man. But Infinity is a very worthy album... And knowing that this man has many better albums, you will not regret from purchasing this crazy piece of metal anyway.

My rating: ***1/2

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#171980) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 22, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Infinity is Devin Townsendīs second solo album and itīs a bit different from Ocean Machine which was his debut solo album. Infinity is a bit more varied, but also a much harder to appreciate. As I recall it Devin Townsend were very busy in those years. In 1997 he released Ocean Machine which was his first solo album and he also released the second album City by Strapping Young Lad. In 1998 he released Infinity and the live album No Sleep till Bedtime by Strapping Young Lad. As you can see Devin Townsend was busy in those years ( as always I might add) and itīs actually pretty hard to understand how he manages to have time for touring in between his busy studio schedule.

His albums are always hard to describe because he uses so many genres as inspiration. This is truly eclectic music.

Truth is a good start to the album and as most Devin Townsend albums itīs an instrumental song that starts the album. Christeen is a very good and melodic Devin Townsend song with the signature wall of distorted guitar. Guess where Diablo Swing Orchestra got the idea for Balrog Boogie. Balrog Boogie has a very similar theme to Bad Devil. There are lots of brass and a swing rythm to go along. This is one of the highlights of Infinity. Great song. War has a very heavy beat, but drags on for way too long IMO. It could have been a better song if it was cut down to about 3 minutes. Soul Driven Cadillac is an ambient atmospheric song which to some extent is enjoyable but again itīs a bit too long and IMO it overstays itīs welcome. Ants is an avant garde like song. quite humourous but also a bit stupid.

Colonial Boy is like Christeen a great signature melodic Devin Townsend song. Dynamics is anything but dynamic. This song is full blown symphonic with lots of the trademark guitar walls and extensive use of layered keyboards. Unity is a very keyboard laden ambient song that builds to a climax of symphonic proportions. This is not my style of music. Even though itīs a beautiful song I find it a bit boring. Noisy Pink Bubbles is one of my favorite songs on Infinity. Itīs very different if you compare it to the other songs on Infinity. Itīs got a grand sound as all the material and itīs very melodic, so I donīt know ? Maybe itīs just me who likes this melody better than the others. Noisy Pink Bubbles isnīt as noisy as many of the other songs and I like it when Devin Townsend shows his melodic pop side.

The musicianship is great here on Infinity which is a matter of course when itīs something Devin Townsend is involved in. Devin plays most things himself but the drums are played by drum wizard Gene Hoglan ( Dark Angel, Death, Old Manīs Child etc..etc..) and of course these a played with the precision that Hoglan always deliver. He is a man machine. Devin sings as ususal both his sweet melodic vocals and some more rocking gruff ones. It never gets very heavy though.

The production is a story all by itself. Devin is not only a great musician ( god damn the man sang and played guitar on a tour with Steve Vai) but also a great producer. You have to hear his signature sound to really understand what a unique producer he is. Itīs a chaotic yet crystal clear sound. Thatīs how I would describe it.

Well itīs not my favorite album from Devin Townsend but then again I was never a big fan of his solo albums. I always find songs and sounds I like on his solo albums but I never really like a whole album. I have always prefered his presence in Strapping Young Lad. One of the greatest experimental ( dare I say progressive when SYL is not in the Prog Archives?) metal bands ever. Infinity is good though and it does reach excellent from time to time, but it also reaches the bottom a couple of times and I guess a 3 star rating is allright. If you ask me for my personal opinion I would recommend that you listen to either City or Alien from Strapping Young Lad instead or maybe the Ziltoid the Omniscient album from Devin Townsend which I find essential listening if you want to hear something Devin is involved in. Great metal albums that are of course a bit more aggressive than Infinity but also a lot more exciting.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#172139) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 25, 2008

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Intristing and boring in the same time

Dewin Townsend second album named Infinity from 1998. First, this is intristing post metal, experimental industrial noise, but in the same time some of the pieces here are absolute boring to death. No doubt he is among the most prolific and important musicians from metal field, but to me this album specially, is almost a desaster. I can't go with the crowd saying that this is a masterpiece or something close, because i can't stand this industrial sound combined with metal, simply i don't enjoy this kind of sound. So some good piece to me are Chresteen and Bad devil, but these two tracks doesn't help the album to be a total desaster overall. The rest of the tracks are pure industrial noise with some metal and symphonic elements here and there and i don't like ait at all. Sorry to diseppoint the fans but this one is 10 times weaker than Terria. Here is invited on drums one of the most talented and important drumer ever metal embrace Gene Hoglan from Death and Dark Angel fame. 2 stars fot Infinity, for fans only , i'm not one of them.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#181412) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album isn't perfect, but it is criminally underrated in many circles.

What we have here with Infinity is Devin's most progressive record, his most unique contribution to the world of music. Instead of the inescapable flow of Ocean Machine: Biomech, Infinity jerks around from point to point. Part of the problem with that is that it still is an unfinished album, in a way. Devin suffered a severe manic low near the end of this album and checked himself into a hospital, to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some of the tracks, then, are unrelated songs situation into the gaps to make it a full-length album. I end up with mixed feelings about this, because these new additions (Bad Devil, Ants, Wild Colonial Boy, and Noisy Pink Bubbles) do not fit the mood of the rest of the songs, which are nearly perfect. However, I do rather enjoy these tracks, too, so I am glad that they are included somewhere. If you are interested, demos of the remaining tracks meant to be on Infinity can be found on Christeen (+4 Demos).

Infinity opens with Truth, a very deep and brutal track musically, throwing sonic booms and impossible walls of sound at the listener. Devin prefers to open his albums with something will really knock the listener around, and Truth might be the quintessential example of that. The album continues with Christeen, a single sort of track, fun but mostly unimpressive. This then segues into the wonderfully odd Bad Devil, a track that stylistic is nothing like the songs before (in truth, nothing like anything on the rest of the album--or anything else Devin's ever done for that matter). The song has something of a wild swing feel, with the added bonus of a creepy deep voice singing the verses.

War continues Infinity, riding forward very smoothly. The song isn't necessarily really upbeat, but somehow it propels the listener forward very effectively. At some point, a moment which is intentionally kind of vague, the song becomes Soul Driven Cadillac. This song isn't as much of a song as a good bit of atmospheric metal. Lyrics about most everything fill in this massive wall of sound. As a song, it's pretty weak, but as a part of Infinity, it is almost indispensable. It ends with a colossal voice rumbling something about bodywash. That won't make any sense until you hear it a couple of times. Ants comes right on the tail of Soul Driven Cadillac, Devin's most technical and spastic work to date. Wild guitars and even wilder vocal parts detail the sorriness of human obsession with doing things. It doesn't work very well with the album flow, but it certainly does stand as a fascinating piece of music.

Wild Colonial Boy comes next, a rather random Broadway sort of track. It's interesting but not great, though I must admit, the ending reminds me a lot of the ending of Ayreon's Ye Courtly Minstrel Boy (listen to them!). Life Is All Dynamics is one of Devin's most emotional and evocative vocal performances. It then flows into the soft and building Unity, a good album closer. Well, it was supposed to be the album closer, but the fun throwaway track Noisy Pink Bubbles shows up after a bit of quiet. Some bonus tracks wrap up the album.

All in all, a very flawed album, but despite those flaws a very, very strong one. If only Devin had really finished Infinity, we'd have likely his magnum opus. As it is, Infinity is a wonderful release I'd recommend checking out, although as a first taste of Devin it might not be the wisest course to take.

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Send comments to LiquidEternity (BETA) | Report this review (#184311) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Review by horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This was probably the Devin Townsend album that took the longest to grow on me. The first couple of times I heard it I thought it was only an average release with a few moments of uniqueness here and there. But like almost every other album the man has ever written, Infinity has certainly grown on me. What makes this album different from all other Devin Townsend albums is the variety of moods. While most of his solo work concentrates on one aspect or feeling of the Devin Townsend sound (and does so very well most of the time), Infinity seems to jump all over the place mood-wise. Although Devin was suffering greatly from a mental standpoint while he was writing this album, and did spend time in a mental hospital shortly after it was released, so that certainly explains why the mood is everywhere on the album. Although this might be perceived as a major flaw, it actually works perfectly...almost.

The first couple of songs really prove my point effectively. The opener, Truth, is a fairly heavy track filled with frequent sonic assaults and walls of sound that Devin often enjoys throwing at the listener. This is followed by Christeen, a song that screams pop metal Devin-style and would have worked quite well as a single. The third song, Bad Devil, is really enjoyable because it's a very unique song in the Devin Townsend collection. I can't really think of another song he's written that I can compare it too, both vocally and instrumentally. If the first 3 songs don't effectively show that the album moves everywhere, then I don't know what will. Another song I'd like to point out is Ants. Although it is fairly short, it's one of the wackiest songs Townsend has ever written, and it makes me laugh every time I hear it.

If Devin had actually finished this album, it would probably have been one of his best. But given that he technically didn't and that some of the songs don't fit the overall mood (as good as they may be), I have to limit this to 4 stars. Great for expanding your Townsend collection, but starting here might leave something to be desired.

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#223901) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009

Review by TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album strikes me because of the creative textures that it creates, and how it manages to be metal without feeling overly cheesy, as some metal has a tendency to (Man-o-War anyone?).

The vocals are varied, and perhaps one of my favorite aspects of this album; the way Devin twists his voices into different sounds, from typical singing, to deep growls, to higher vocals that are difficult to understand and often sound like just another very unique instrument added to the mix. The guitars are heavy, without being blatant, which is quite pleasant.

The album starts of auspiciously enough with Truth, an interesting mix of noises that leads into 'Christeen' and 'Bad Devil', two more straight forward tracks that nonetheless are quite apt at getting the juices going, and contain enough of Devin's uniqueness to make them stand out. In Christeen, during the verses, Devin proves that he can use his voice to evoke a wide range of emotions, from fury to hopefulness (the way he sings the word 'running' sounds great to these ears).

War is another Devin track that uses a Wall of Sound over some fascinating vocals to really grab the listener by the ears, building up and layering additional vocal themes until the near the end, when Devin demands "Quiet, just a little bit of quiet please - just stop the noise for once, please!" (at which point the audio seems to implode upon itself), followed by some excellent, if difficult-to-understand vocals by Devin (although this album is not about the lyrics so much as the vocals, to me).

War leads into Soul Driven, which builds up from just vocals and guitar to another heavy track that is highly recommended for the same reason as previous tracks on the album. In fact, at this point, it's becoming obvious that this album is, more than anything else, about massive layering into walls of sound, which Devin is quite good at. At the end of this song is a moment that is too weird to happen in almost any other type of music, strange low range vocals with high vocals layered overtop, sounding almost monstrous and very frightening. It is excellent in the way that songs like Gentle Giant's Alucard, VDGG's Lemmings, Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man, and Yes' Close to the Edge are - new textures of sound that you had not imagined beforehand, but that leave you breathless with their ingenuity and how they just WORK. It is only a one minute section, and not quite as good as the aforementioned tracks, but it definitely evokes the same feeling (to a lesser degree).

Ants is the next track, and this is a track that MUST be listened to sitting or lying down, as the crazy vocals will make you dizzy and knock you down if you try to keep up with them any other way. The frenetic pace of this song alone makes the album worth the purchase, for there is not a lot of other music out there like this. Next is Colonial Boy, much more straightforward (relying more on guitars and the chorus) than the rest of the album, yet surprisingly catchy. I've put this album on simply because I had this song stuck in my head many times.

The next three tracks return to the heavy layering, and while each is great on its own, none of them quite rank with the middle of this album. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of this album, and the great experimental parts (especially Soul Driven and Ants) make this a highly recommended album, although the heavy layering may be troublesome too some, so I will rate it at 4 stars: an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. I will definitely be looking for more Devin to add to my library after hearing this album.

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Send comments to TheGazzardian (BETA) | Report this review (#238495) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 11, 2009

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Devy At His Breaking Point

Warning: this review is about the entire INFINITY project, not just this album.

INFINITY was Devin Townsend's second solo release, and came at a time when he was mentally falling apart. Shortly after this album came out, he put himself in the hospital and was diagnosed with Bipolar illness. Besides his personal issues, there were reportedly alot of technical difficulties as well. As a result, the record company finally forced Devin's hand and he had to give them the songs he had finished rather than the full album he had envisioned. (He was already far behind schedule, and things were looking rough for completion any time soon.) As a result, INFINITY as it was released feels like exactly what it is, a collection of songs that were sequenced and linked after the fact. There are some great immense atmospheric pieces and some novelties, and they tend to bounce from style to style. As it happens, I love the more experimental quirky songs on this album as well or more than similar ventures on his other discs. However, they break the continuum of the soundscape. With the release of the Christeen EP, the remainder of the material was released, again in a kind of mishmash with an assortment of ideas.

The original track order was to be 1. Truth 2. Processional (parts 2-4 from the EP) 3. Christeen 4. War 5. Starchild Rise (part 1 of Processional from the EP) 6. Soul Driven 7. OM (from the EP, part of his current live set) 8. Life is All Dynamics 9. Unity. Reconstructing this using whatever music software at your disposal (as the demos are quite high quality) will result in a very different INFINITY. Like OCEAN MACHINE or SYNCHESTRA, this album flows, taking the listener on a inner journey that is simply beautiful. Several songs take on a completely new feel based on the emotions that went before. "Christeen," a poppish single that I never liked by itself or within the original album sequence, emerges from an intense brain melt as a cruise on a motorcycle with the wind in your face. The rises and falls of "War" work much better.

Four songs from the release version are omitted. The first "Bad Devil" is a great tongue in cheek, almost vaudeville song that is much better than the similarly conceived "Vampira / Vampolka" off SYNCHESTRA. "Ants" is an insane piece of experimentation that I'm sure is too much for some listeners, but I love. It almost evokes Mr. Bungle at places with manic circus-y sections alternating with free time chaos. "Wild Colonial Boy" is a slightly overbaked waltz that again is fun but forgetable. "Noisy Pink Bubbles" actually reminds me a little that Devin was once a bandmate of Steve Vai's, and points back toward FLEX-ABLE to a degree during its introduction. Along with "Sit in the Mountain" from the Christeen EP, these songs would have made a wonderful EP bonus to the album as Devin intended it to be.

The core songs (appearing on both versions) are epic, grand, ambitious works where Devin is clearly trying to understand the meaning of, well, Infinity. (He would make fun of thise aspect of himself almost 10 years later on Ziltoid.) The opener "Truth" alternates between a vocal that sounds like munchkins singing "Money money money" in unison with a heavily distorted guitar with a gang vocal of "Hallelujah." It takes Townsend's immense sonic landscape to support such a grand project, and INFINITY definitely sees Devy making huge strides in the development of his trademark wall of sound. "War" and "Unity" are the kind of songs that I love Townsend for - psychedelic, textured, often heavy, but the kind of music that takes you to another world.

I cannot give the released album a full five stars. But the INFINITY project as a whole is an essential part of the Devy legacy. The EP is a must, of course. Highly recommended for those exploring the world of one of metal's most gifted muses.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#411095) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 04, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars 7.5/10 A somewhat disappointing follow-up to the great Ocean Machine: Biomech, Infinity was released shortly after the mental breakdown of Devin Townsend that led to him being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I do not know whether this had any impact on his music, but the fact that this alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#775499) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, June 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars On Infinity, Townsend struggles to control his technique of orchestration using mass digital layering. Tracks like Unity lack cohesion, lack any real sense of dynamic thrust or vector, and the whole experience is somewhat like an Aural equivalent of drowning. That being said, this is Townsend, s ... (read more)

Report this review (#155701) | Posted by La fraisne | Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Devin Townsend fronts the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad, as well as being an in-demand producer of metal groups like Lamb of God. The singer/guitarist has put out several solo records, either as Devin Townsend or the Devin Townsend band. "Infinity" is perhaps his strongest and most ly ... (read more)

Report this review (#115213) | Posted by SamW | Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of the most amazing albums i heard in the last couple of years! Bad Devil is the first Devin Townsend song i heard when they played it on the radio in Belgium in 1998 (they gave Devin alot of airplay on Metalopolis on Studio Brussel in those days). Bad Devil just blew me away with it ... (read more)

Report this review (#57424) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a fantastic ride. Crazed Canadian master guitar smith Devin Townsend has a creative reserve that most of us would exchange a body part for. With Infinity, Devin serves up a gorgeous, powerful opener, followed by the mostly straightforward and very rockin' "Christeen". So far so good, ... (read more)

Report this review (#18026) | Posted by | Friday, July 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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