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Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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Devin Townsend The Puzzle album cover
3.18 | 38 ratings | 1 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chromatic Ridge (3:44)
2. Life Is But a Dream (3:30)
3. Yucky Lung (1:23)
4. Kittenhead (1:13)
5. Shark in the Ice (1:49)
6. Devil in the Details (0:58)
7. Hammerhead Sugarplum (3:47)
8. Me and the Moon (4:12)
9. Anxiety in Pajamas (3:29)
10. The Yugas (3:01)
11. Albert Hall (3:59)
12. StarChasm (3:59)
13. Perfect Owl (2:18)
14. Maybe over the Void (2:56)
15. Light Year Whale (4:31)
16. FrogFlowers (1:11)
17. Mother (4:28)
18. Southern Sky Geometry (2:11)
19. The Puzzle (5:23)
20. Monuments of Glitch (7:23)

Total Time 65:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Devin Townsend / vocals, guitar, bass, synth, computer, orchestrations, co-producer, mixing


- Tina Ågren
- Aman Khosla
- Echo Picone
- Tommy Rodgers
- Tanya Ghosh
- Gitai Barak
- Ché Aimee Dorval
- Anneke van Giersbergen
- Ana Patan
- Samantha Preis
- Anne Preis
- Arabella Packford
- Blindboy Boatclub
- Morgan Ågren
- Chris Kelly
- Shiraz Afik
- Korina Savoie
- Chris Johnson
- Mom Alvarado
- Mark Cimino
- John Bertsche
- Pete Mark
- Amy Wong

- Mike Keneally
- Aman Khosla
- Steve Vai
- Plini
- Mark Cimino
- Matt Picone
- Andy Mckee
- Jed Simon
- Markus Reuter
- Chrys Johnson
- Yotam Afik
- Buckley Kelly
- Ana Patan
- John Bertsche

Keyboards and synths:
- Mattias Eklund
- Diego Tejeida
- Jordan Rudess
- Kat Epple
- Ben Searles
- Mike St Jean
- Mark Cimino

Strings, wind instruments, horns:
- Mattias Eklund
- Kat Epple
- Phillip Peterson
- Neyveli Radhakrishna
- Jørgen Munkeby

- Nathan Navarro
- Jonas Hellborg
- Jean Savoie

Drums and percussion:
- Morgan Ågren
- Fazal
- Anup Sastry
- Chris Kelly
- Kat Epple

Releases information

Label: HevyDevy Records
Format: Vinyl (Black, Deep Purple* Ltd 200)
December 12, 2021

* Deep Purple available only at RecordshopX

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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DEVIN TOWNSEND The Puzzle ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

DEVIN TOWNSEND The Puzzle reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Puzzle" is the eighteenth full-length studio album by Canadian artist Devin Townsend. The album was released through HevyDevy Records (Townsend´s own label) in December 2021. It was released on the same day as its companion album "Snuggles - Beautiful Dream".

Stylistically the material on "The Puzzle" is ambient/atmospheric music, which is a continuation of the ambient/drone music experimental Townsend albums "Devlab" from December 2004 and "The Hummer" from November 2006. Compared to his previous ambient/drone music albums, "The Puzzle" is generally a much more inviting, melodic, and structured release, featuring 20 relatively short tracks (with exceptions of a few longer tracks) and a total playing time of 65:25 minutes. All tracks seque into each other to form a whole conceptual listening experience. That´s not to say that "The Puzzle" is an easy listening experience, as it´s still quite experimental and ambient, but it´s actually pretty entertaining most of the time (the occasionally jazzy touch is pretty nice). Some tracks go by almost without the listener noticing, and they sometimes sound like rough unfinished ideas, which become part of the whole, but there´s still enough dynamic tension and drama in the music, for the listener to not loose his/her interest. The sudden appearance of extreme metal elements (distorted guitars and growling vocals) on "StarChasm" is for example quite surprising, and helps keep the album interesting.

Upon conclusion I´ve been pleasantly surprised by "The Puzzle". It´s a very different sounding ambient/experimental release to "Devlab" and "The Hummer", and I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit more than I had expected. There´s purpose here and structure, which means that the accessiblity of the album is much higher for those of us not used to listening to ambient/experimental music. The fact that the album is packed in a detailed, layered, and well sounding production, doesn´t exactly make things worse. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

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