Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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Devin Townsend Deconstruction (Devin Townsend Project) album cover
3.91 | 348 ratings | 18 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Praise the Lowered (6:02)
2. Stand (9:36)
3. Juular (3:46)
4. Planet of the Apes (10:59)
5. Sumeria (6:37)
6. The Mighty Masturbator (16:28)
7. Pandemic (3:29)
8. Deconstruction (9:27)
9. Poltergeist (4:25)

Total Time 70:49


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Devin Townsend / vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, programming
Ryan Van Poederooyen / drums
Dirk Verbeuren / drums
Mikael Åkerfeldt / vocals (Stand)
Ihsahn / vocals (Juular)
Tommy Giles Rogers / vocals (Planet of the Apes)
Joe Duplantier / vocals (Sumeria)
Paul Masvidal / vocals (Sumeria)
Greg Puciato / vocals (The Mighty Masturbator)
Floor Jansen / vocals (Pandemic)
Oderus Urungus / vocals (Deconstruction)
Fredrik Thordendal / guitar (Deconstruction)

Releases information

Label: HevyDevy / InsideOut Music

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DEVIN TOWNSEND Deconstruction (Devin Townsend Project) ratings distribution

(348 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

DEVIN TOWNSEND Deconstruction (Devin Townsend Project) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Deconstruction' - Devin Townsend (7/10)

Throughout the course of a prospective four album series going by the name of the Devin Townsend Project, musical mastermind Devin Townsend has traversed virtually every corner of his musical vision, from folky ambiance to atmospheric rock, to extreme metal, be it of a poppy, or progressive variety. Long awaited since the first pair of Devin Townsend Project albums dropped in 2009, 'Deconstruction' has been hailed as Townsend representing 'what he was trying to achieve with Strapping Young Lad', his former flagship band, which was well-known for their antics, crushing heaviness and over-the-top nature. Suffice to say, the Devin Townsend Project has seen some mixed success since its inception, but as far as 'Deconstruction' goes, this is the closest thing of the Project to the sort of music that Townsend is best known for; tongue in cheek, bombastic progressive metal. In no shortage of ambition or complexity, 'Deconstruction' is Devin Townsend's crowning achievement in terms of this particular series, but much like the other three albums, it does not compare to the sort of perfection Townsend achieved earlier in his career.

If 'Ki' represented Devin's ability to restrain himself and use moderation, then 'Deconstruction' is its direct antithesis; a work that can be considered over-the-top in just about every conceivable way imaginable. Besides being about as long as a single disc will permit, 'Deconstruction' shows an almost unrelenting bout into complex arrangements, orchestrations, and- not to mention- a load of guest appearances from some of modern metal's most recognizable figures. Of these are Paul Masvidal of Cynic, Ihsahn formerly of Emperor, Joe Duplantier of Gojira, Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried And Me and- certainly of note- Oderus Urungus of GWAR, with whom Devin Townsend has had a lasting working relationship with. All of the elements that can be associated with Devin Townsend's heavier material are here in greater definition than they have ever been; operatic vocals, (bad) humour, incredibly heavy riffs and some rhythmic experimentation. The entire thing is certainly a spectacle, and sounds about as theatrical as I have ever heard Devin's work. Of another particular mention is the use of a full orchestra and choir here, which got me excited even months before hearing the actual record.

Of course, the album is brimming with promise, even if it was only still on the drawing board. Where the faults in the formula start showing up are not the ingredients themselves, but rather the way Devin Townsend uses them, or in this case, fails to use them. For instance, the full orchestra that Devin employs here can be heard on some of the more dramatic moments of the album, but are almost always drowned out behind the metal instruments, which seemingly never slink out of the spotlight once they are there. The guest cast of vocalists was another major selling point for 'Deconstruction', but hearing some of metal's most recognizable and greatest vocalists only being alloted a single verse or two feels incredibly underwhelming. Of course, Devin Townsend's vocals here are in top form; his clean operatic vocals are some of the best he has ever recorded.

The biggest joy here is the cheer over-the-top theatrics of it all, as well as the overbearing complexity that never seems to abate. The complexity comes at a fair price though; none of the songs on 'Deconstruction' ever feel like they will become classic tracks in Devin's repertoire. Unlike songs on 'Terria' which were able to marry intensity with incredible melodies and memorable moments, it almost always feels as if the intensity is at 100% throughout 'Deconstruction', and this can make even the most sweeping passages sound hazy in the context of the album. Even so, 'Deconstruction' is certainly an entertaining effort, despite it's intentional lack of discipline and lack of focus. Of course, this is only an album that will grow with each listen, and while some of Townsend's lackluster humour here will turn some listeners off from the start, there is a wealth of nooks in 'Deconstruction' that should keep an adventurous listener exploring worth many listens.


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Review by Negoba
5 stars You Want Crazy - I'll Give You Crazy!!!

So screamed Devin Townsend on Strapping Young Lad's ALIEN album, a project for which DT went off his meds and onto a steady stream of intoxication and excess to create. As intense and colossal as the album was, still one of Devy's most popular projects, he has stated from the beginning that the effort felt forced and at some level artificial. Soon after the dissolution of SYL, Devin became a father, ditched the drugs, and began a journey that has clearly aged him and often sees him happy but exhausted in interviews. The creative culmination of this maturing process was the four album Devin Townsend Project, with the final albums released simultaneously. From the beginning album 3, DECONSTRUCTION, has been held out to the metal community as the payoff, supposedly more intense than SYL, the outlet of heaviness, complexity, and the depths of his wild psyche. Many of us have been waiting for this music for years now. The buildup was going to be nearly impossible to meet, but Devin's done it. And he's done it not by pushing the rage and raw white hot emotion of SYL but instead exploring the multicolored lightning electricity of a barely regulated genius. If you want a glimpse into crazy, this is the real thing.

At some level, the premise of DECONSTRUCTION is unbelievably indulgent. The basis of the lyrics begin with the kind of barfing up of personal thoughts and spiritual reflection that have made some listeners want to rend musicians (prog especially) limb from limb. However, Devin eventually seems to have come face to face with the absurdity of trying to understand the entire universe (actually and old theme for him) and so the album becomes a combination of deep spiritual searching and massive absurdity. After a soaring section about wanting to save the world, Devin takes on a faux-hick voice and opines "I'm really good at that saving the world stuff. See I got my saving the world boots on." On ADDICTED of the project we had "Universe in a Ball." On Deconstruction, we get "Universe in a Cheeseburger." For fans of Devin, all of this fits. The juxtaposition of bathroom noises, odd meter guitar (and drum) virtuosity, and heavenly choruses singing "All Beef Patties" is so congruent with the artist many of us have come to adore that it just works. But I don't think he could push it any farther than this.

Musically, the album is much more varied than any SYL record. All the extreme metal elements are here (including some insane drumming by regular DT accomplice Ryan van Poederooyen and Soilwork's Dirk Verbeuren) including screams by many of metal's biggest names. Most are used sparingly, but in a very nice touch there are musical nods in Devin's compositions (The harmony solo during "Stand" with Mikael Akerfeldt, and the very Gojira-like riff of "Sumeria" which features Joe Duplantier) Devin's voice, as it has been throughout the project, is absolutely at its peak. Already one of the most versatile singers in metal, Devin pulls more tonalities out of his pipes than anyone this side of Mike Patton. The album uses odd meter more often than straight (while Dev sings "We all rip off Meshuggah"). There are even some great singable melodies. In fact, the gothic stomp of "Juular" is one of Dev's best standalone songs ever, and I suspect will be part of his live set for the rest of his career.

This is absolutely a necessity for all Dev fans, and probably for all extreme prog metal fans. For casual Dev fans, if the idea of mixing Zappa with Ziltoid appeals, here you go. And if you can handle metal, and love to hear a genuis stretching the limits of his muse (and yes sometimes overstretching) I offer DECONSTRUCTION.


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Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 8/10

"Deconstruction" is one of the LP's thanks to which Devin Townsend will be remembered.

I could have reviewed this a little earlier, but my opinion and rating would have been very different. This for me was what you call a grower, it took me quite a few listens to get into it fully. In fact, now I consider "Deconstruction", third album of the Devin Townsend Project, one of his best works, and one of the finest albums of 2011.

I've always been a Townsend fan, but I lost a little track of him when the DTP started, with "KI". When seeing that this third album was coming up, I picked up "Addicted", and I really enjoyed it. This though is even better. "Deconstruction" is most definitely Devy's most ambitious and progressive album to date; landmark albums of his like "Terria" and "Ziltoid" were much more accessible than this monster. Musically, Devin changed a lot; his style, despite being more experimental and progressive, is heavier, more chaotic and confusing than ever. "Deconstruction" is pretty out there, enough to be labeled Avant-Garde Metal. But there's much more; there's Ambient, Electronic, Industrial, Death Metal, and quite possibly even Thrash/ Speed Metal. It's a complex and massive album full of everything. However, they are still some classic Devin elements, like the surreal melodies, the vocals, and the typical wall of sound that makes Townsend's music so mind blowing.

There are countless guest musicians on this album, which shows how the Canadian metaller intended this to be the masterpiece of the Project. And what guests: Mikael Akerfeldt, Tommy Giles Rogers from Between The Buried And Me, Ihsahn, Joe Duplianter from Gojira, Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan and many others. I've got to say that my two favorite guest spots are the ones of Ihsahn and Joe Duplianter, both excellent growlers. Yep, almost like an Ayreon album.

The album is full of humor, an element that isn't new in Townsend's music. In fact, the album is a concept album about a man that ends up in hell, meets Satan, that offers him a cheeseburger, which will make him know the secret of the universe. But the man can't eat it because he's a vegetarian. Almost hard to believe, but that's how it really is. The first two songs, "Praise The Lowered" and "Stand", are for me perfect songs, flawless in every way. All the other songs have many moments that are most definitely worthy of competing with these two, and even surpass them, but some other moments lower the quality of the track, like in the long songs, the excellent "Planet Of The Apes" or the epic sixteen minutes of "The Mighty Masturbator". "Juular", which features Ihsahn's growls, is another great song. "Sumeria" has some weaker moments, but Joe Duplianter's vocals put this up to a whole other level. The title track is the most chaotic, along with the closer "Poltergeist", which honestly I don't care much for.

Despite some flaws that can be found along the album, "Deconstruction" is an excellent album, one of the LP's thanks to which Devin Townsend will be remembered, years from now.


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Review by J-Man
4 stars If not one of the most impressive albums you'll hear this year, Deconstruction will surely be one of the most entertaining. Devin Townsend has always been known as a musician willing to experiment with the wacky side of music, and the third album in the Devin Townsend Project series is among his craziest thus far. Although not outdoing Ziltoid the Omniscient in terms of over-the-top wackiness, Deconstruction is certainly among the more insane albums in Devin Townsend's catalog. This concept album revolves around a man who meets the devil, receives a cheeseburger (which he cannot eat, for he is a vegetarian), and other topics like farting and masturbation. Although possibly a bit too lyrically "juvenile" for your average prog metal listener, the unique and intriguing compositions keep Deconstruction from ever feeling like a boring vehicle for middle- school humor. And, for what it's worth, I personally find the crazy lyrical concept to be extremely interesting and well-done. With Deconstruction, Devin Townsend has convinced me that he is "the Frank Zappa of metal", and a genius visionary for 21st century music. People who enjoy progressive metal on the more unique, experimental, and creative side should find plenty to love with this effort from the Devin Townsend Project.

The music on Deconstruction is every bit as crazy as its lyrical counterpart. From a songwriting standpoint, expect plenty of technicality and odd song structures, but also a few melodic (and even beautiful) sections are contained within the CD. This album covers damn near every emotion in existence, yet never feels incoherent or poorly written. The instrumentation is also quite varied; lots of different vocal styles, keyboard tones, and guitar techniques are used on Deconstruction, and it's even complete with a full orchestra. A symphonic feeling is present throughout most of the album, even if it's in combination with about five hundred different stylistic traits. Deconstruction is a busy album with very little breathing room, and this is a wacky journey from the first note of "Praise the Lowered" until the very end of "Poltergeist". Remarkably enough, the album never loses any steam in spite of its 71 minute playing time. Arguably the highlight of Deconstruction is the sixteen-and-a-half minute epic, "The Mighty Masturbator". Although every bit as lyrically insane as the song title implies, this is a truly remarkable piece of music that is filled to the brim with memorable hooks, technical nuances, and entertaining antics. Deconstruction is virtually free of weak moments, though, and I'd have a tough time picking out my least favorite track here. Devin Townsend is a truly gifted songwriter, and there are enough jaw-dropping moments on Deconstruction to satisfy me over and over again.

One thing that will immediately jump out about this album is the prominence of guest musicians - something very rare on Devin Townsend's other works. Deconstruction hosts plenty of metal legends, including Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth), Ihsahn (Emperor), Tommy Giles Rogers (Between the Buried and Me), Paul Masvidal (Cynic), Oderus Urungus (Gwar), and many others. Although it may be a slight disappointment to hear some of these guys only contribute a few lines to the album, Devin Townsend makes sure that the guest vocalists never get in the way of the music itself, and in that sense, I'd say it's a good thing.

On Deconstruction, Devin handles all of the instruments except for drums; truly a remarkable feat considering the complexity of the music here. Blistering guitar work mixed with amazing vocals and complex keyboard sections are always present, and the fact that Devin can handle all of them is admirable, to say the least. Mr. Townsend is also responsible for Deconstruction's sleek and powerful production - the polished sound suits the music perfectly, and I can't think of a production that would've sounded better for this album.

Deconstruction took a while for me to fully appreciate, but I can safely say that giving it the attention it demands was worth it. Devin Townsend is one of the most important musicians in modern metal, and with this album he's proven his genius once again. Deconstruction is unquestionably among my favorites from 2011, and will probably remain one of Devin Townsend's strongest efforts until he ceases to make music. People who enjoyed the over-the-top antics of Ziltoid the Omniscient should love this one, and anyone with a craving for truly original progressive metal should get Deconstruction in their collection as soon as possible. I'd say a big 4.5 stars are deserved for this terrific album. This is one of 2011's highlights for sure.


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Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Another stellar release in Devin Townsend's already body of work, Deconstruction is perhaps his most savage, intense, dense, and majestic album to date-- which is saying something. In what is probably the pinnacle of his songwriting, Devin offers us this slice of pure madness. It's part avant-garde, part high-concept, part practical joke... but mostly it's all metal, and all awesome.

Deconstruction allows you to slowly enter the sonic depths with the dark and moody "Praise the Lowered", which is a good example of Devin's classic use of layered instrumental and more modern, almost trippy sound effects. By the 3-minute mark the listener will have his head smashed to pieces by the crushingly heavy weight of the metal roller coaster that follows. This track, and the lengthy follow up "Stand", let the listener know that this is going to be a loud, intense, and heavy experience.

Devin does plenty of singing, but Deconstruction has more growls, roars, and screams than every one of his previous albums combined. This, and the aggressive layers of guitar riffing makes this a very intense and angry album to listen to , despite the lip-curling moments of levity that appear from no where amid the chaos. We're reaching Unexpect levels of chaos here, with the same sort of deep songwriting hidden beneath that controls it all, but holy crap is this a powerful album. The only really downside is that there are very few chances to appreciate the nuances of Devin's instrumental and synth work, and even fewer chances to catch one's breath.

While the songs here don't jump out with memorable moments, such as Terria or Ziltoid, there are true gems here. "Planet of the Apes" is a lengthy, dynamic masterpiece, while the epic "Mighty Masturbator" is , pound for pound, probably among Devin's best songs ever. This song and "Deconstruction" demonstrate Devin's playfulness and genius when it comes to crafting simply huge and purely enjoyable metal. Outstanding!

The weight and constant intensity (definitely set to "11") makes this a tough album to listen to, especially early on. Sticking with it reveals Deconstruction to be among the top of Devin's releases, while probably not the best release to pick and choose songs from. You listen to Deconstruction to safely expose yourself to the forces of pure chaos of the universe and safely come back again. Be strong though, because this album will drive lesser minds mad.

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


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Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars EDIT To be honest, I acquired this album back soon after it was released, had one listen and then moved to other, better prospects for my tastes. It wasn't until now when I saw one review here on PA and quite high rating of the album (but note that all previous reviewers are either former or current Metal team members, or majority of their reviews are from Metal department.

Don't take me bad, each of these guys are capacities on Metal, knowing far more than I do. But I was afraid that it would be one side point of view, fan's view.

Knowing few Devin albums and being quite fond of what I know, I've decided to make a new, proper listen.

So I had a new listen to remember my experience from previous session and hear for myself how this album stands up.

Damn, it's good old Devin, as he was on Ziltoid (which I love), doing the same thing with new concept and few new musical tricks (but not so much). Craziness, mostly in lyrics, but when in conjuration with the music, it gets wholy new meaning. Being concept album again, we get Devin's distinct repeatitevness of ... the same sound over and over again, the same musical theme, only graduating or breaking into even more weirdness.

So 4(-), I am satisfied. Certainly more than with the Ghost.


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Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars Very 'eavy and very 'gressive and full of growling noise.

Heavy Devvy always creates such incredible metal merged with humour and creativity that I was really looking forward to this one. I don't mind his growls as he mixes them with very gentle vocals and inventive musicianship. I am a massive fan of "Ziltoid" and hoped for something similar. I didn't get it at all and this is Devins worst album I have to say unfortunately. It is so similar to the snarling Strapping Young Lad style and is way over the top with as many guest growlers as he could recruit.

"Deconstruction" begins with soulful Devin crooning a ballad and suddenly black metal growling infiltrates and layers of growls as a blast beat of metal is heard. It is a track called 'Praise the Lowered'. Here we go.

Next is 'Stand' and Devin using his Bowie vocals. The riff is chugging patiently along and lots of spacey effects. It builds gradually till we get to the loud chorus and it sounds like "Ziltoid" again. Mikael Åkerfeldt growls nasty Opethian vocals over the riffs. This is a noise feast and some odd time sigs with galloping blastbeat percussion. It settles into a quiet section at the end and very nice bass and sporadic hammering drums. When Devin shouts "Show yourself" it is reminiscent of "Ziltoid" again. Actually a bit more dialogue and fun would be nice as it sounds a bit grim at the moment.

'Juular' features Ihsahn on vocals from Emperor, and a very jaunty sledge hammer tempo with insane percussion. Devin sounds good on the verses. When Ihsahn begins growling it loses me completely. This is as heavy and dark as Devvy gets with the speed riffs and choir chanting to accent the riffs. My ears are ringing with this white noise.

'Planet of the Apes' is a 10 minute mini epic and more thrash blasts cranking out of the speakers. This one has some humorous lyrics that I always like in Devin's ouvere. He yells, "I know who I am today", and "I stay heavy for my god." This is unbelievably noisy, until finally there is a let up in the anger with a gentle vocal and I love it when Devin uses his ballad voice, in the same way as Akerfeldt does at times. Tommy Giles Rogers growls his nuts off on this too, perhaps practising for some more time with Between the Buried and Me.

'Sumeria' has a nice speedy blast riff and Devin screams out spiteful lyrics. He is joined by Gojira's Joe Duplantier and Cynic's Paul Masvidal. I can't tell when they are singing but it is very messy. The trademark Devin chanting is here and supersonic percussion ticking away, and it gets faster and suddenly slows as the growlers scream their throats raw; "Say no more!" The next section is rather strnage music and growls of "so much we need to learn, be free!" Its hilarious when all the noise halts and a musical box is heard. It almost made me laugh.

'The Mighty Masturbator' is the epic 16 minute opus. It begins quietly, Devin crooning gently about "25 years at the factory." It suddenly explodes into chanting choir and doomy metal riff. Those lyrics are bleak but humorous; Greg Puciato is a guest vocalist on this. I love the interlude spoken banter "I got my saving der world boots on", and then the time sig changes on "save the world you fool, you child, you can't ever ever, save the world." It is a fantastic wall of sound here with Math rock polyrhythmics. Then a countdown "maybe the electro magnetic impulses will be on our side." I love the narration which is more like what I was expecting. "we come to you, to extend ourselves for consideration into the intergalactic community, we bring to you the process of human development", is the speech from Devin. He is really in his element here and the music is a circus side show with growsl, screeches, chants, shouting and all out carnage. The host of the freak circus even mentions past characters on Devin's album including Ziltoid the Omniscient. The religious ending is funny and this is absolutely the best track on the album.

'Pandemic' is back to very fast metal speed and growls. Its awesome to hear the incomparable Floor Jansen operatic on the next section "Soon you will know where all the sinners go, I sew you up and throw you away." She is always brilliant and more of her and less growling would help. There is a real Zappaesque jazz metal thrash fusion thing happening and then a wild lead break.

'Deconstruction' starts with an hilarious scientist farting and then the repeated "cheeseburger" over a massive fast riff. Oderus Urungus of Gwar is on vocals with Fredrik Thordendal. The chanting and weird narrations are typical Devin at his most absurd. He even has a sound effect of diarrhoea, yes he does. It gets weirder and funnier; "all beef patties, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun, oh glorious cheeseburger we bow to thee, the secrets of the universe are between the buns." And then Devin yells drunkenly, "but I don't eat the cheeseburger guys, I'm a vegimatarian." This is followed by chaos and madness in music like Zappa and the chant of "Beer Beer Beer!" A cow is heard mooing, and a speed riff fades up, as Floor Jansen sings "sorry", and a high pitched vocal screaming "fire!" It ends, a fart, mumbling, blast beats, and a rather melodic riff to end, and a burp. This truly represent the mad scientist of metal. Pity the rest of the album at the start was so uninspiring.

'Poltergiest' is the final track so "Let's finish this!" Devin yells a lot and there's manic riffing. This really sounds evil and its weirdly serious compared to the nutter alert previously.

The album is not terrible but I was just really frustrated with all the noise, the dark anger, especially the black metal growls and way too much speed metal. I loved "Ziltoid" and "Terria" and others, as there was good balance of styles. but "Deconstruction" is only half good thus 3 stars for 'The Mighty Masturbator', Pandemic' and 'Deconstruction'. I have "Ghost" too and only hope this is marginally better.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review by Sinusoid
4 stars I don't regret getting DECONSTRUCTION as my first Devin Townsend album despite the vast amount of music he's done over the years and the prospect that there are potentially better albums out there. It's a nice little introduction to Devin's oddball little world laced with operatic vocals, Meshuggah influenced guitars and quite the sense of humour.

The music is very aggressive, layered and thick. We're very bottom heavy on the guitars and drums in an attempt to blow the bass off your car's stereo, yet the operatic moments and airy keyboards create a high-end contrast to the extreme metal without sounding like there's a middle ground being sacrificed. There is the occasional moment where a perfect fusion is in order, and even a little bit of technical dabbling in the second definable section of ''The Mighty Masturbator''. That epic is something else as it is a hodgepodge of all things over-the-top (Broadway-esque swing, technical prog metal, carnival music, multiple sections, techno interludes), yet it strangely manages to come across as cohesive enough not to lose the listener's attention.

I must say recent adventures with this album have been more fruitful on my end to the point where I am finally coming around to understanding the album's plaudits. Townsend himself adds to the charm of DECONSTRUCTION with his vocal performances fluidly going from comedy hour to agonizing growling without sounding too forced. The music of this is what I would call gleefully chaotic; in spite of the pounding metal, Townsend still finds room for a memorable melody beit a searing vocal line or a simple repetitive chant. It ice-skates through many dynamic and emotional levels at tolerable fluidity; no theme sounds too short or overstayed.

In midst of all of this musical mastery, there is the humourous tone which works in Townsend's favour. I believe Townsend is self-aware of the goofy ideas behind the album when the big showcase number is titled, ''The Mighty Masturbator''. There's still other goofy moments that may not make you fall on the floor laughing, but give a little chuckle in understanding; take the mesmerizing chanting of ''Cheeseburger'' in the title track, or the choir leading off ''Sumeria'', or just the overall contrast of opera vocals and extreme metal, it all works to an extent.

DECONSTRUCTION can run long, and a few tracks can blend into each other sound-wise, but the end result is surprisingly beautiful?for metal, anyway. I must admit that many of the albums' traits would normally annoy me, yet Townsend seems to make over-the-top humour, self-aware prog music and a potpourri of influences really work and really gel. Unless extreme heavy metal isn't your bag of tricks, there's plenty to enjoy on a sesame seed bun.


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Review by FragileKings
4 stars So, this is the intense and chaotic progressive metal album that comprises one fourth of the original concept of the Devin Townsend Project (which has since progressed into six albums with "Epicloud" and also "Sky Blue" from the "Zed Squared" double disc). Having four of Strapping Young Lad's albums (Devin's other band from 1995 to 2006), I was expecting something really similar because the reviews I had read suggested so. Devin said in an interview that this is where he wanted to take Strapping Young Lad, and in another interview he said in response to a question about reforming SYL that "This is the kind of metal I want to do now".

Considering all this, I found my expectations were not met. Instead, I was faced with a mountain of creative music that I realized was going to take some time to explore and become familiar with. There is only one track here that I feel is similar to SYL's music, "Poltergeist" (an interesting title as the simultaneously released sister album is entitled "Ghost"). The rest of the album covers a surprising range of music, though still in the metal mould, from "Praise the Lowered" with lots of mellow and dark electronica to the 16-minute plus "The Mighty Masturbator" with various metal shades as well as a club music section, to the wild theatrical ride of the title track.

Fans of Devin will know that he has often worked with female vocalists (at least five that I can think of) because he writes music with a certain vocal quality or sound in mind that only woman can provide. He once said that he doesn't need to work with male vocalists because he can do most of what he needs himself. On this album, however, he wanted to make a real metal statement and called in quite a host of male guest vocalists. At first, I find the guests are not so easy to pick out. Devin is an accomplished screamer, growler, shouter, and sneerer, as well as singer, howler, whisperer, and crooner. After several listens now, I can better identify the guest vocal performances, particularly Oderus Urungus on the title track, Ihsahn on "Juular", and Paul Masvidal and Joe Duplantier on "Sumeria". Some have complained that the guest vocalists weren't used to their full capacity; however, I only feel the Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth has taken the most time to pick out considering his vocal talents.

The album alternates between shorter songs ranging between 3:29 and 6:37, and longer ones ranging between 9:27 and 16:38. My general impression of the album is that it is a precursor to the "Zed Squared" disc, "Ziltoid Dark Matters" because it includes an orchestra and choir and in parts sounds like a metal musical. It is loosely a story about a man seeking the secrets of the universe and finds himself in Hell before the Devil who offers him a cheeseburger which contains all he seeks to know. But he can't eat the burger as he's a "vege-ma- tarian" and so his quest ends in vain. I believe the message here is that we can't expect to solve life's mysteries as long as we cling to a single ideal. The limitations we impose upon ourselves will forever blind us to the truth.

The music is generally dark, brooding at times, full of rage at others, and very intense. At other times though, there are some slower moments, some of which are rather beautiful. The height of the theatrics lie in three songs: "Juular", "The Mighty Masturbator" and "Deconstruction". "Juular" features a choir singing back up and if you've seen the video with the train riding through a hellish landscape, you'll understand how the choir's vocal contribution suits the image of a train. When Ihsahn sings the chorus, the choir and music may inspire images of a very dark scene in a Tim Burton movie. "The Mighty Masturbator", in spite of its humorous title, is mostly quite serious, though the part about saving the world features some goofy spoken dialogue. Ziltoid himself makes a guest appearance here, first in voice only and later announcing that he is indeed Ziltoid the Omniscient. There's this crazy club music section where Greg Puciato sings "We praise God. He lives inside of us," and later "We praise ourselves," and finally, "We praise Satan". I find this part really cool to listen to and the meaning of the three statements together could be interpreted rather deeply and philosophically. The song concludes with a carnival atmosphere and Ziltoid introducing some freak show characters like the four-face boy, the man with seventeen testicles, and the Mankee Brothers who provide flatulence free of charge.

The wackiest, zaniest song on the album is the title track. Beginning with two scientists discussing the brain in a toilet (Devin's toilet humour fetish in full force here), the song seems to jump from theme to theme, mostly including wild, over-the-top guitar soloing, machinegun fire drumming, a choir (who sing "All beef patties, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun" in one part), and some crazy dialogue provided by Devin and Oderus (and I'm sure a third party). Fredrik Thordendal of Messhuga contributes a crazy guitar solo, too. This song really allows Devin to indulge in his elementary school boy humour with plenty of farts, toilet sounds, misplaced emphasis in the word happiness (hapPENIS), and some nose clearing and bizarre vocal sounds. It is the craziest song I have ever heard that still pretends to be serious.

I can't say there's anything I don't like about this album. True it will not impress everyone. People who don't like heavy metal will best keep away, and people who prefer their metal a bit simpler or more technical or more serious can also spend their money elsewhere. But this is one very imaginative album and one that is slowly growing on me. Recommended for the adventurous.


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Latest members reviews

2 stars This wins the 'most dissapointing album of the year' prize hands down, with Ghosts coming in a close second. Devin is a genius in all he does, and makes album after album of great music - until now. There is nothing about this release that gives that same feeling you get from a Dev album. I hav ... (read more)

Report this review (#1135967) | Posted by Kevman28 | Sunday, February 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars So now we approach Devin's biggest challenge to date. Now before releasing this album, Devin pretty much did say this was going to be his heaviest and craziest album. Now, I was expecting something big and crazy, but this takes it even a step further. Musically this album is bat[&*!#] insane. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1032593) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7.5/10 Deconstruction is Devin in your typical crazy, but I prefer what came before and after. In Ki he was soft. In Addicted it was simple and straightforward. Now he is bold, crazy, preposterous, bipolar, funny - a man can gather so many facets within themselves? In the case of Devin Tow ... (read more)

Report this review (#865617) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, November 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I love Devin Townsend. I like his music. I like his humor. I especially like it when he combines his humor with his music, as he did so well in Ziltoid, the Omniscient. Unfortunately, I think he really goes WAY over-the-top in about every area imaginable in the production of Deconstruction. I h ... (read more)

Report this review (#787060) | Posted by Lofcaudio | Friday, July 13, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mr. Townsend's craziest and greatest effort (since Infinity) Having listened to this album plenty of times, I still can't believe that this man created this original, unnatural and bizarre masterpiece while being sober (which he is now)! It never stops, being in constant motion all the time, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#564221) | Posted by Immaturation | Tuesday, November 08, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As weird as this may sound, Deconstruction was my introduction into the wacky and wonderful world of Devin Townsend. Though, I guess nothing is as weird as Deconstruction itself. Being new to this type of metal, I had no idea what to expect from the album itself, so I was definitely flustered the ... (read more)

Report this review (#511327) | Posted by The Block | Monday, August 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I must admit, I have been anticipating this album for months, and I may still be on my honeymoon phase as I hear it, although I am listening to it for the fourth time as I write this. Devin Townsend has managed to create a masterpiece that is as brutal as it is melodic, chaotic as it is focused, ... (read more)

Report this review (#469608) | Posted by soggybomb | Saturday, June 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Amazing! After the first audition I was astounded. Devin was able to gather heavy, fury, intensity, experimentation, complexity and humor, in this album. He creates a chaos from which emerges memorable moments. It is important to note the presence of many choirs and orchestrations, giving a good dos ... (read more)

Report this review (#444823) | Posted by peccatum | Monday, May 09, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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