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EPICLOUD (DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT)

Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal


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Devin Townsend Epicloud (Devin Townsend Project) album cover
3.94 | 228 ratings | 11 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1

1. Effervescent!
2. True North
3. Lucky Animals

4. Liberation
5. Where We Belong
6. Save Our Now

7. Kingdom

8. Divine
9. Grace

10. More!
11. Lessons
12. Hold On
13. Angel

Disc 2 (Deluxe Edition)

1. Believe (demo)
2. Happy Birthday (demo)

3. Quietus (demo)

4. Heatwave (demo)

5. Love Tonight (demo)
6. The Mind WASP (demo)
7. Woah No! (demo)

8. Love And Marriage (demo)

9. Socialization (demo)

10. Little Pig (demo)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Devin Townsend / guitars, vocals, keyboards
- Anneke Van Giersbergen / vocals
- Ryan Van Poederooyen / drums
- Mike Young / bass
- Dave Young / guitars

Thanks to peccatum for the addition
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KiKi
Inside Out Music 2009
Audio CD$10.84
$8.23 (used)
InfinityInfinity
Extra tracks
Inside Out U.S. 2003
Audio CD$9.48
$16.87 (used)
SynchestraSynchestra
Inside Out U.S. 2006
Audio CD$9.98
$3.68 (used)
Ocean MachineOcean Machine
Extra tracks
Inside Out U.S. 2003
Audio CD$29.88
$96.51 (used)
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DEVIN TOWNSEND Epicloud (Devin Townsend Project) ratings distribution


3.94
(228 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
24%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

DEVIN TOWNSEND Epicloud (Devin Townsend Project) reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Effervescent Quality

Devin Townsend is nothing if not prolific. After completing a four album project within a 3 year span, he was working on possibly three different ideas (including Ziltoid 2) at once. But apparently despite his best intentions, happy happy pop metal kept entering his bald noggin'. As part of his new middle age ethic, Townsend decided to just go with it. The result is EPICLOUD, an album that probably does something that Z2 could not. It adds yet another facet to Townsend's immense array of looks into the human condition.

EPICLOUD obviously looks back 3 years to ADDICTED, which was the debut of Townsend's use of ex-Gathering lead siren Anneke Van Giersbergen. That collaboration was a spontaneous experiment that was a rousing success, and the choice to bring her back makes great sense. Indeed, her presence still adds much to EPICLOUD but perhaps the biggest disappointment of the disc is how muted her presence is. In fact, there is nothing here you haven't heard before from Devy. Except something beautiful. Unapologetic happiness.

Ironically, one of the centerpieces of the album is a remake of Kingdom from PHYSICIST. That album saw Devin at one of his darkest, angriest, and least focused parts of his career. And with only a few actual compositional changes, the song goes from anxious freakout to angelic deliverance. The pissed off kid from Strapping Young Lad's CITY is gone. The tripped out manic depressive from ALIEN is gone too. Instead, we have an adult musical genius just figuring out what it means to be happy. Even on ADDICTED, Townsend wasn't quite here yet.

But from the opening choir of "Effervescent" through te camp stomp of "Lucky Animals" do the Space Metal Spiritual "Grace," Townsend is emoting from somewhere new. In many ways, it's just as risky as the monstrous DECONSTRUCTION. But it's alot more easy on the ears. Like that album, I am simply delighting in my end over end first listenings. But like that album also, I suspect there will be about 3 songs that become part of the long term Townsend legacy, and the rest will be fond but perhaps faded memories.

High points: Grace, True North, Kingdom

Low Points: none

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#824268) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars Back in 1998 I was sent an album to review called 'Infinity' which was by a Canadian who I knew had previously been with The Wildhearts and a metal act called Strapping Young Lad, but I hadn't actually heard any of his music. As soon as it started blasting out of the speakers I was totally blown away, and since then have tried to get hold of everything he has been involved with (if you have never heard SYL then grab 2005's 'Alien', I can promise that you won't regret it). The mad Canuck has many talents, one of which is that whatever style of music he is playing at the time appears to be the one that he is born to play, combined with a very distinctive production style which is the closest thing you'll ever come across to a real wall of sound, whatever fans of Phil Spector may think.

After hearing "Ziltoid The Magnificent" I decided that nothing that Devin would do could surprise me anymore, but even I never expected the album to start with a short a capella number where he has again joins forces with singer Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-the Gathering). She also takes the lead into the next number, with her pure clear vocals quite at odds with the force that Ryan Van Poederooyen (drums), Mike Young (bass) and Dave Young (guitars) bring to bear on the rest of the song. Devin moves between genres from one song to the next, sometimes bringing them all to bear at once (he of course provides vocals, guitars and keyboards). There is an intensity in Devin's music that is often missing from bands who purport to be much heavier and aggressive than he, and the use of Anneke provides yet another dimension that adds light to a very dark place indeed.

This is a stunning album, and amazingly with the bonus demo songs (which don't really sound like demoes to be honest) it is nearly 100 minutes long with nary a filler in sight.

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#859695) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 16, 2012

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Epicloud' - Devin Townsend Project (8/10)

Although I don't think Devin Townsend's Project series has ever come close to matching the jaw-dropping quality of his masterpiece "Terria", it's exciting to hear the man being so prolific with his art. With five studio albums released over the past three years, it's clear that Devin is enjoying a sense of revitalized spirit and inspiration. Most importantly, Devin now seems to be at the point where he is most open and unrestricted with his musical expression. There's no telling whether he might do a theatrical metal masterwork next, a soothing ambient record or, as is the case here on "Epicloud", a peppy and melodic album to showcase his cheerier side. Although initial reactions may have left me yearning for something more creatively ambitious from the mad scientist of metal, Devin's latest offering has a much longer lasting appeal and charm than the 'pop' label would suggest.

It's obvious that Devin Townsend is picking up on "Epicloud" where he left off on "Addicted", his pop-oriented and danceable chapter in the original four album Project. Although it didn't leave as strong an impression as the atmospheric "Ki" or the balls-out mania of "Deconstruction", I ended up listening to "Addicted" more than the others, if only because it allowed for the enjoyment of Devin's unique style without having to invest the undivided attention necessary for his most adventurous albums. Although "Addicted" was about as poppy and commercial as I could have imagined Devin would go, he seems to up the ante here. The proggy arrangements and signature dense 'wall of sound' production are still here, but the songwriting is an unabashed celebration of everything catchy and fun. Townsend's guitarwork still occasionally brings out the best of his talent, but the focus here is on the vocal side. "Epicloud" has fewer 'standout' tracks than "Addicted", but an overall greater sense of consistency and flow to it. Overall, this is some of the cheeriest Devin's music has ever sounded, possibly rivaled only by the hyperactivity on "Synchestra".

By this point in Townsend's career, a killer, unique sense of production and bombastic atmosphere are pretty much granted. Indeed, "Epicloud" sounds incredibly vast, especially considering that most of these tracks revolve around a familiar verse-chorus structure. Although the mix can get a little overwhelming at the album's loudest moments, it really fits the album's 'epic' approach. Although the larger-than-life instrumentation is sure to impress (especially if you haven't heard anything by Devin before), the real highlight are the vocal performances. Drawing upon his work on "Addicted" once again, Devin continues to enlist the talents of Anneke van Giersbergen (of The Gathering and Ayreon), whose unique and wonderful voice works really well with Devin's quirk. Although Devin's over-the-top and versatile voice has always been a highlight of his music, some of his vocal parts here are out of this world. The undeniable highlight "Kingdom" features possibly the greatest operatic vocals he has ever put to record.

Although the execution here is top-notch, "Epicloud" leaves the impression that only a few songs here really stand out. Among them, the epic "Kingdom" is the one that will stand the test of time, although the sugar-coated "True North" and atmospheric "Save Our Now" also distinguish themselves. Although I wouldn't say it's quite an inevitable by-product of Devin's 'accessible' approach here, many of the songs lack the shock factor to create a memorable impression in their own right. Especially considering that some of the tunes here are jaw dropping, I would have loved to hear an album that manages to hold up that amazing level of quality throughout. Seeing how much Devin has improved the pop metal approach on "Epicloud" over "Addicted" however, it's very possible that we'll hear something even greater from this end of Devin's music in the future. For the present, however, it's doubtful progressive metal has ever been catchier than this.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#876126) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review by Roland113
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Devin Townsend set out to record 'Ziltoid II', another dark and brooding story about an egomaniac alien running amuck through the universe. He failed. To paraphrase an interview, he went into the studio with something in mind and came out with something entirely different. Well lets all be glad that he did because "Epicloud" is many things throughout the course of the CD, none of which are Ziltoid (though there may be some slight similarities).

Right off the bat we know that something special is on the way by the a cappella leadoff track. "Effervescent" is all that the name suggests. While the choral arrangement of the song could easily and predictably smash into a heavy Devyesque wall of sound, he passes on the easy out and instead continues the uplifting vibe. Anneke Van Giersbergen's crystal clear voice leads the way for a moment into "True North", one of the highlights of the album chock full of riffs, beautiful melodies and a Devin sonic attack.

"Lucky Animals" is one of the more awkward songs on the album. I thought he was saying "Animal Malarkey" (thank you spell checker for the proper spelling of malarkey) the first few times I listened to the song . . . I long for those days. "Where We Belong" shows Devin's voice in a softer setting, and it works really well here. His gravelly tone is perfect for this acoustic ballad.

My song of the year is "Save Our Now". When I heard this song on Spotify, it inspired me to order the CD that night. While the song is not horribly progish, it shows how beautifully Ms. Van Gierbergen's pristine voice can combine with Devin's screams. When she sings "Happy now?" her voice cuts through the clatter demanding the listener's full attention. The keyboards and the vocals in the chorus are, in fact, perfect. The keyboards give all the majesty of a Nightwish epic without the cheese while Anke's voice holds a trancy top over Devin's multiple harmonies. This is a beautiful, dancy tune that could easily top any chart if it was given the chance. It would be a perfect song if only it didn't end so soon.

The downfall of the album though is the excessive clatter that pervades many of the tracks, "Kingdom" more so than the rest. This is a remake of an earlier song of his that I would classify as 'mostly noise'.

With all of that being said, there are some similarities to Ziltoid here, "Save Our Now" is somewhat analogous to "Hyperdrive" and many of the drum and noise sections sound like they'd fit right in with the java loving alien. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to the crazy of the planet smasher.

All in all, this is a pretty good CD, the high points soar while the low points aggravate. I gave this a solid three and a half star rating brought up to a four star on the merits of Annke. "Save Our Now" is truly a game changer in my book and the best song that Devin has recorded (in my not so humble opinion).

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Send comments to Roland113 (BETA) | Report this review (#902774) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars "I love you, I need you, I've always been around you" - get out of my head!

Devin Townsend has some curious albums that include music ranging from breakneck thrash metal blasts to balladic serenity, and his vocals are incredibly diverse, moving from screamo growls to beautiful soft tones and melodies. On this latest album there are moments of Heavy Devy of course but it is mainly permeated with very melodic infectious soft rock songs. Some of these songs jam into the brain and are maddeningly infectious such as 'True North' that haunted me for days; 'I love you, I need you, I've always been around you.' The female vocals are absolutely angelic on this album from the golden tones of Anneke Van Giersbergen she is in fact one of the best things about this album; as she was so on Devin's 'Addicted' album. When she begins singing it is heavenly, and she balances the vocals of Devin masterfully. This is one of Devin's most accessible and enjoyable albums, as he refrains from growls and thrashy music on most songs. There are thrashy numbers though to keep us in touch with his SYL background.

'Effervescent!' opens proceedings with an a cappela harmonised vocals that have a strange religious atmosphere. 'True North' has Annneke jammoing that melody into our heads and then joined by Devin and the heavy distorted guitars; it is definitely one of my favourite tracks. The hypnotic melody and beat is perfect for the album after that odd start. It features repeated phrases such as 'where do we go from here' and some sounds that remind me of past DT albums, especially with that wall of sound generated, a bit like 'Terria' or 'Ziltoid'. It has a majestic soundscape that builds into a variety of melodies, ending with more a cappella.

This is followed by another catchy tune with the heavy guitars and vox of 'Lucky Animals'.
'Animals, animals and we're lucky hanging all around us all'. The hypno melody and rhythms are again guaranteed to lock into the brain. It took me a while to like this but now I look forward to it appearing on each listen.

'Liberation' has a powerhouse riff that grinds along with some odd Bowie like vox and then the aggressive Devy voice drives it along with more repeated phrases, 'one minute away from you.' This is as heavy as the album gets and it absolutely cranks with pounding drums and mega distortion, along with atmospherics.

So far the album is perfect and it moves to 'Where We Belong', an acoustic intro and very soft vocals from Devy, as beautiful as anything on 'Ghost'. The gentle delivery is something that Devy has become known for on his albums, ever since the softer side displayed on 'Synchestra' or songs on 'Ziltoid' such as 'Hyperdrive' or 'The Grays'. The melody is excellent and really grabs hold of the emotions, along with a blazing guitar outro.

'Save Our Now' begins with wonderful guitar chords and drums before the AOR style rhythm locks in and Devy's quieter mood continues to pervade. The sound is pleasant and when Anneke joins in the augmentation of harmonies is absolutely lovely. It is such a pleasant listening experience and a real surprise as I am used to a lot more heaviness from DT.


As if on cue there is a grinding distorted blastbeat on the intro of 'Kingdom', then a thrashy rhythm with some nice keyboard motifs. Devy goes for a high register vibrato on some of his more powerful vocals. This is a diverse detour into heavy rock, and Anneke adds her classy tones overlayed; they are a real force on this album that works with admirable proficiency. The song builds into speedy double kick drums and fiery guitar work, in signature thrash style as heard on songs of the past such as 'Ziltoidia Attax' or 'Earth Day'.

'Kingdom'is raucous but still maintains a strong melody; 'stay with me or play with me' repeated so as to log into the cranium.


'Divine' follows, with dreamy guitars and keyboard ambience. The pretty melody is well executed by Devin in his most romantic mood, 'loving you is the best thing and the worst thing in my life'. The atmosphere is ethereal and haunting with those sweet melodies and ghostly key pads. It is definitely as gentle as Devin gets, and works well to balance out the mayhem previous.

'Grace' has Anneke's crystal vocals echoing across clean guitars and key pads. It has a spacey sound wth crystalline production; astoundingly dreamy, and then extreme metal blasts crash through for the chorus that is one word 'Grace!' I love how Devin screams over the jumpy rhythm and orchestra sections. This track is a mixture of metal and Symphonic nuances. It builds into fast complex riffing and Anneke sounds more like her work on The Gathering. 


'More!' is another very heavy track, belting along with manic guitars revved to the max. The riff is killer and just screams along with loud vocals sung on a high note. It reminds me of the sound on Alice Cooper's 'Brutal Planet'. I love the heaviness that balances out the next tracks so well.

'Lessons' returns to dreamy ambience with acoustics and is followed seamlessly by very gentle vocals that build to a crescendo in the chorus. The song 'Hold On' is a highlight even at this late point in the album; Devy has a magnificent timbre in his voice, such a surprise after the boisterous yelling on past albums. Anneke again adds her voice and it is a dramatic effect, hearing the high and low parts of the melody balancing each other.

'Angel' ends the album release (not counting the bonus CD), and it ends on a wonderful sweet melody, with a majestic soundscape. Anneke and Devy trade off over a killer lead riff. The lead guitar is some of the best on the album, and the ascending and descending notes actually sound like a guitar exercise but it works magnificently. It closes with a choir with religious nuances, and the positive theme of 'everyone into forever, everything a part of me' bookends the album.

Being such a brilliant album I had to get hold of the double disc Deluxe Edition. I was not disappointed as there are some fantastic tracks on the bonus. These are demos but they sound great. 'Believe' is a quiet ballad with Devin's quality vocals and gentle acoustics. 'Happy Birthday' has the gorgeous vox of Anneke over a steady beat; simply sumptuous music. 'Quietus' is a pop song with odd quirky synth effects, sounding a bit like 80s Devo, right down to the twangy guitars. I like this one a lot as it is so different than any other Devin track. It builds to a heavy sound that is abrasive and feels like a new song.

'Heatwave' is just a fun exploration of country rock; not too bad but very much a curio with a truckie theme and some out of place choruses that have a spacey quality. 'Love Tonight' has a bouncy tune and bombastic musicianship and very good vocals. 'The Mind WASP' sounds like an Arabian melody with a tinge of psychedelica and is one of the heaviest demos on offer here. 'Woah No!' has an odd title and is basically a metal blaster with some great keyboards. The harmonised vocals are dreamy balanced over the distortion and some Devin screamo. It is great to hear some more metal in the vein of 'Ziltoid'. 


'Love And Marriage'
is an odd beast that throws in all styles including the kitchen sink of Sepultura growls and a smattering of burps and Anneke reacting to her imaginary husband with that's what she would have expected; it is a lot of fun really to hear them spar off. The odd mixture of pop synth and brash vocals over distorted riffs is Devin at his most experimental. Perhaps this would have worked on the 'Ziltoid' sequel better. 'Socialization' clocks 7:18 and its length flashes by with very heavy fast drums and guitars. The operatic vocals are weird over all this metal sounding more like Galahad or such gladiator metal. The frantic guitar riffs are incredible, as well as a Slayeresque lead break, and a smattering of Mortification style growls, making this definitely the heaviest song on the whole album.
'Little Pig' is last on the slab, and the worst for me meandering along a dull musical scape and over produced vocal layers. With silly bloated lyrics 'I need a Friend'; but that is Townsend having fun in the studio and he will try anything.

If this had been the anticipated 'Ziltoidia 2' it would have been a masterful followup but of course it was not to be and this is still one of the top 3 Townsend albums I have heard. Anneke is a revelation on this album and works well with Devin's screaming and gentler moods. She is always an augmentation to every track and makes this such a compelling experience. Devin is at his best in his structuring and composition of each song. The lyrics hit home perfectly that are positive and have an optimistic edge, and the catchy tunes are surely some of the best he has created over his grand tenure. Some of these songs are unforgettable and it is an absolute stand out album, far superior to his last few, and absolutely buries 'Deconstruction' and 'Ghost'for innovation and diversity. The Phil Spectorish production is crystal clear with a commercial friendly sound, and every musician is clear, especially Devin's Keys, and guitars. It has been a delight to hear such a wonderful uplifting album. It is epic, it is loud, it is one of the great albums of 2012; treat yourself to 'Epicloud'.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#905906) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 03, 2013

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Whenever one of my favorite bands puts out something that doesn't live up to expectations, or worse yet, just plain stinks, I take solace knowing that somewhere in the world (OK, Canada), Devin Townsend is continuing his winning streak of powerful, energetic, artistic, and purely awesome albums. Epicloud makes his record 12-0, and things are just getting better.

As a whole, Epicloud demonstrates the trademark Devin feel: big songs layered with diverse vocals, guitar effects, heavy beats, atmosphere, memorability, cathartic power, and a touch of snarkiness, all bundled together in an exceptionally well-produced package. Epicloud begins with a faux hymn that gives way to a driving, uplifting anthem of an opener in "True North". Soaring vocals and heavy chords complemented by the well-performed guest vocals of Anneke Van Giersbergen start things off right. Welcome to the Church of Devin.

"Lucky Animals" is an unfortunate low-point in the mix, but it passes quickly enough into the jaunty (and heavy) "Liberation". Fun stuff, but light-weight. For me, Epicloud really begins at the 1:06 mark of "Where We Belong", where the tone of the album explodes into a mature, sensitive, and powerful series of songs that elevate, crush, renew, shatter, tranquilize, and uplift-- usually within the same song. "Save Our Now" might be Devin's most purely optimistic and beautiful song to date, while the follow-up "Kingdom" and "Grace" are hugely successful examples of Devin's amazing voice and walls of guitar sound. Fine work by drummer Poederooyen is also noteworthy, delivering complex pedal work that highly compliments the tone of these songs. Anneke delivers fine back-up vocals as well, her steady feminine tone filling a space which Townsend fans might not have noticed missing before.

Epicloud's closing trio, the etheric "Lessons", and suitably epic "Hold On" and "Angel" wrap things up in a very satisfyingly. This album makes a great starting place for Townsend's excellent music, and I highly encourage fans of heavy-prog, art rock, metal, or just about any other genre of rock to check it out. For fans of Townsend's work already-- be prepared to be rewarded once again.

As if this wasn't enough, we're given an accompanying disc of B-Sides, which, honestly, is good enough to be a stand-alone purchase in their own right. While not as heavily produced as the other material on Epicloud, the B-Sides are excellently diverse, showcasing Devin's evolving sound over the past several albums. In some ways it's more experimental than Townsend's standard sound, giving us lots of fun diversions-- light, heavy, hot, cold, crazy, sane-- it's gotten more play than all of my other "bonus" discs combined.

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

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#965352) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 26, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars This album has grown on me a great deal since it's release. It's easy listening compared to most of Devins other work, Ghost excluded of course, and at first it was just a bit too easy easy listening. But it clicks, and while it is far from perfect, some of these songs are just too nice to hea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1126018) | Posted by Billy Pilgrim | Sunday, February 02, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album basically came out of nowhere for me. I remember hearing him talk about this album at one point, and all of a sudden, it appears from nowhere out of the blue. I have to admit, even though this album is insanely different from anything he has ever done, I really love this album. I u ... (read more)

Report this review (#1033623) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Thursday, September 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've always been amazed at just how far Devin Townsend can push the limits of the heavy metal genre. A lot of his musical genius seems in part derived from internal conflict; his need for tender being at war with his need for ferocious, so to speak. This originally manifested as the crushingly i ... (read more)

Report this review (#902838) | Posted by The Blue Ghost | Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9.5/10 Loving you is the best thing and the worst thing in my life... The Devin Townsend Project represents the culmination of the career of this blessed man. He has offered us many masterpieces, but here is where he has the opportunity to innovate, be eclectic, to be himself. Why stop at Ghos ... (read more)

Report this review (#886877) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, January 03, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Devin Townsend Project - "Epicloud" 14/20 39th place album of the year 2012 "Epicloud" is the perfect name for this album. Epic and loud. And I still don't know if it's pronounced epic-loud or epi-cloud. But it doesn't really matter. This is Devin's 5th album under the Devin Townsend Project, ... (read more)

Report this review (#851271) | Posted by Gallifrey | Monday, November 05, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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