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THE RETINAL CIRCUS

Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal


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Devin Townsend The Retinal Circus album cover
4.83 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 69% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music


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Live, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Effervescent!/True North (6:24)
2. Lucky Animals (3:34)
3. Planet of the Apes (11:02)
4. Truth (4:00)
5. War (6:09)
6. Soul Driven (1:09)
7. Planet Smasher (6:20)
8. Baby Song (5:31)
9. Vampolka (1:37)
10. Vampira (3:43)
11. Addicted! (5:33)
12. Colour Your World (9:49)
13. The Greys (4:55)
14. Hyperdrive (4:45)
15. Ih-Ah! (3:58)
16. Where We Belong (4:19)
17. Detox (6:04)
18. Bend it Like Bender! (3:37)
19. Life (4:53)
20. Kingdom (5:10)
21. Juular (4:00)
22. Love? (5:24)
23. Colonial Boy (2:58)
24. Grace (6:53)
25. Little Pig (7:30)

Total Time: 2:09:01

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 Vanporderooyen / drums
- Mike Young / bass
- Dave Young / guitars

Releases information

Released by Inside Out on 30th September 2013. This is the double CD.

But, it is available as a Die-Hard Deluxe Fan Box incl. 2-DVD/1-Blu Ray/2-CD*, Special Edition 2-DVD/1-Blu Ray/2-CD Box Set, Standard 2-Disc DVD , Standard 1-Disc Blu-Ray, Standard 2-CD Audio & digital download

Thanks to kev rowland for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
Edit this entry

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Presents: Ziltoid the OmniscientPresents: Ziltoid the Omniscient
Inside Out 2007
Audio CD$10.98
$9.00 (used)
SynchestraSynchestra
Inside Out U.S. 2006
Audio CD$9.30
$8.08 (used)
KiKi
Inside Out Music 2009
Audio CD$10.70
$7.03 (used)
PhysicistPhysicist
Inside Out U.S. 2003
Audio CD$11.96
$12.95 (used)
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DEVIN TOWNSEND The Retinal Circus ratings distribution


4.83
(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(69%)
69%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
19%
Good, but non-essential (12%)
12%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

DEVIN TOWNSEND The Retinal Circus reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars Over the years I have been lucky enough to hear most of what this mad Canadian has released, and what I have learned to expect is actually not to expect anything but just go along for the ride. His mind obviously works on a totally different plane to the rest of us, and the only person I have ever compared him to is Phil Spector, as here is yet another genius who creates a wall of sound all of his own making. So when I heard that there was going to be a double CD (plus associated blue-ray and DVD versions) released of his 'musical' I knew that I was going to be in for a treat. The word 'musical' is in inverted commas, as there is no real storyline and to be honest it is just a whole load of songs put together from different periods (including the mighty Strapping Young Lad) that gave him excuse to put together a stage show quite different from anything he had undertaken previously.

Devin actually admits as much during the performance, but he takes it all to a new level with the use of loads of guests outside of the core band, but not all of these are musical. And it is this that is so frustrating with this album for me, and the clue is right there in the title of this. 'Retinal' is an adjective pertaining to the word 'retina', which is a delicate, multilayered, light- sensitive membrane lining the inner eyeball and connected by the optic nerve to the brain. All the time I am playing this I keep feeling that I am missing out on something visually, so I went onto YouTube and checked out the official video for 'Grace'. Some time later I managed to get my jaw back into place from where it had dislocated while I sat there open mouthed not quite believing what I was seeing. As well as a top metal band, he has brought Anneke van Giersbergen back, and although I can hear that on the CD, I wasn't able to see the video of Steve Vai providing the verbal introduction, the double jointed acrobats on stage, the gospel choir, the guys with angle grinders shooting sparks over the stage and so very much more.

I went back to the CD feeling a little disappointed, but to be honest I soon got over it as I put 'Planet Smasher' on at speaker damaging volumes (I've always been a sucker for Ziltoid). Once I had accepted that there was more to it than I could hear I instead concentrated on just the music instead of what I might be missing, and what we have here is an aural feast. Anneke has a wonderful voice, and relishes playing the part of being the light against all of the shade. This music is really heavy, very bottom end, and she plays a huge part in making it sound complete.

What we have here are 25 songs, more than 2 hours in length, and a show that must have created huge waves when it was performed last year. This is a masterpiece, and I am sure that the full blu-ray (which I have yet to buy, but is now definitely on my list) is stunning. Somehow, even though I feel that part of it is missing, I can't bring myself to score this any less than 5 *'s, as it truly is one of the most remarkable live albums I have ever come across.

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#1066224) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "The Retinal Circus" is a live album release by Canadian progressive rock/metal artist Devin Townsend. The album was released through HevyDevy Records in September 2013. "The Retinal Circus" is both available in audio format and on DVD/Blu-ray. The 25 tracks, 2 hours long show was recorded/filmed on the 27th of October 2012 at Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London. The show was a one-off, which took a year of pre-production. The show was divided into two parts with an intermission in between.

As "The Retinal Circus" is meant to be a celebration of Devin Townsend's, at the time, 20-year musical career, the tracklist features tracks from quite a few of his releases. There are even two Strapping Young Lad tracks included, which also feature Jed Simon on additional guitars. Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) also guests and contributes female vocals on some tracks. The band consists of Devin Townsend on guitars , vocals, keyboards, Ryan Van Poederooyen on drums, Mike Young on bass and Dave Young on guitars. High level musicianship all around. These guys are skilled and execute Devin Townsend's music to perfection. Not in a clinical way though, as the live versions of the tracks are different enough from the original studio tracks to warrant releasing a live album and more organic sounding too.

"The Retinal Circus" has what I'd characterize as a great flow. The song selection, and the way the dreamlike concept of the event is put together, work really well. There is generally a good response from the audience throughout the concert and Devin is always good for a couple of hilarious/silly or mindbending commetaries. It's one of those live shows where you, as a listener, can feel the good energy that was at the concert venue on that particular night.

...and that's it. "The Retinal Circus" is about as perfect a live album release as they come. Flawless high level musicianship, a high quality sound production, great tracklist and concert flow and a receptive and active audience to give the release that crucial final boost. If you are not familiar with Devin Townsend's work, "The Retinal Circus" could be a great place to start listening. It's a release that perfectly displays his eclectic approach to writing music but at the same time also displays the red musical thread that goes through his entire discography. Be it as a solo artist or as part of a band. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#1158448) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 07, 2014

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