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DEVIN TOWNSEND

Experimental/Post Metal • Canada


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Devin Townsend biography
Devin Garrett Townsend - Born May 5, 1972 (New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada)

DEVIN TOWNSEND, possibly more widely known as the frontman for the extreme metal act STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, began creating solo albums in 1997.

Sometimes referred to as the 'Mad Scientist of Metal', TOWNSEND produces a wide variety of music. This ranges from soft ambience designed, as he has stated, to put the listener to sleep, to high levels of thrash and extreme metal reminiscent of SYL.
His works often feature a 'wall of sound', built by adding many layers of guitars and keyboards that are playing in unison or harmony. The end result is a number of carefully produced and mixed albums that favor high-end sound systems.

His first solo album, 'Ocean Machine: Biomech' (1997), was actually originally simply titled 'Biomech' and the band project labeled OCEAN MACHINE. However, on subsequent releases in most countries, the one-shot band name was incorporated into the title, and TOWNSEND's name was affixed to the record. Next came his first solo album proper, 1998's 'Infinity'. However, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffering with severe depression, TOWNSEND left the album only partly finished, filling in the song gaps with other demos. Rebounding from this struggle, he wrote 'Physicist' in 2000, creating a sort of pop-metal release featuring the members of his band STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. His 2001 project, 'Terria', features some of his most complicated and deep production, incorporating many sounds from nature into the recording, and stands as one of his most well-known and most critically acclaimed albums.

His next solo project, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND, began in 2003 with the release of 'Accelerated Evolution'. Adding drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen, guitarist Brian Waddell, bassist Mike Young, and keyboardist Dave Young, TOWNSEND decided to start releasing albums once more with a full-time band rather than merely studio musicians. Taking a dramatic turn from the style of 'Terria', TOWNSEND adopted a much more band-oriented feel, reducing the amount of atmosphere and increasing the level of accessibility of the music.

As a side project during this time, TOWNSEND stitched together the fierce ambient 'Devlab' album in 2004. The line-up of THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND continued for several years as a functional touring outfit. The collaboration concluded with the 2006 album 'Synchestra' - though this release marked the first time the same lineup...
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DEVIN TOWNSEND discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DEVIN TOWNSEND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 294 ratings
Ocean Machine - Biomech
1997
3.69 | 205 ratings
Infinity
1998
2.96 | 150 ratings
Physicist
2000
4.19 | 607 ratings
Terria
2001
3.92 | 227 ratings
The Devin Townsend Band: Accelerated Evolution
2003
2.19 | 83 ratings
Devlab
2004
4.06 | 328 ratings
The Devin Townsend Band: Synchestra
2006
2.48 | 82 ratings
The Hummer
2006
4.15 | 544 ratings
Ziltoid The Omniscient
2007
3.84 | 302 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Ki
2009
3.85 | 314 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Addicted
2009
3.93 | 391 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Deconstruction
2011
3.82 | 321 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Ghost
2011
3.96 | 316 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Epicloud
2012
3.85 | 172 ratings
Casualties Of Cool: Casualties Of Cool
2014
3.81 | 133 ratings
Z
2014
3.56 | 93 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
2016

DEVIN TOWNSEND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 18 ratings
Official Bootleg
1999
3.54 | 28 ratings
Unplugged
2011
4.43 | 48 ratings
By A Thread - Live In London 2011
2012
4.69 | 52 ratings
The Retinal Circus
2013
4.47 | 23 ratings
Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
2015
2.14 | 2 ratings
Ocean Machine - Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre
2018

DEVIN TOWNSEND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.57 | 39 ratings
The Retinal Circus
2013
3.98 | 26 ratings
Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
2015

DEVIN TOWNSEND Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 21 ratings
Ass Sordid Demos I
1999
3.36 | 14 ratings
Ass Sordid Demos II
2004
4.61 | 23 ratings
Contain Us
2011
5.00 | 2 ratings
Discovering Devin Townsend
2016

DEVIN TOWNSEND Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.59 | 39 ratings
Christeen + 4 Demos
1999
3.20 | 5 ratings
Iceland
2016

DEVIN TOWNSEND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ocean Machine - Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Live, 2018
2.14 | 2 ratings

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Ocean Machine - Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Another significantly huge live release from Devin Townsend, this time featuring mostly older songs--the highlight of which being a complete rendition of Ocean Machine (his first solo release). It's sort of a celebration of Devin's music, and based on his banter between songs, a labor of love to say "thanks" to people like me: fans that have been here for years loving a massive output from a genuine talent.

Which is why it pains me to say that this live release is (ahem) ... one for the fans.

Ocean Machine Live sounds amazing, is very earnest, and replete with great musical moments--it's just that, as a live release, it's blas and even uninteresting. Devin's production is crystal clear, letting you appreciate the artist's ability to replicate the massive sound of his studio works in concert. And that's pretty much the problem ... this doesn't strike me as having that "live experience." The inclusion of the orchestra is gimmicky, and actually sort of off-putting. It's not incorporated well, and the juxtaposition of roaring guitar monoliths and gentle string instruments just doesn't work here. However, it's worth saying that the band plays phenomenally, and Devin's vocals are tremendous, but again, they're pretty much as you hear them on the studio releases.

Moreover, other than some older favorites in the setlist, there aren't any surprises here, and that's the disappointment. The crowd is lifeless (or annoying, throughout Ocean Machine), and Devin's playfulness as an entertainer is lost as he fawns over how meaningful the experience is for him emotionally. I love you too, man ... I show you that by purchasing everything with your name on it ... now please take a vacation and find some inspiration for what may come next.

Bottom line, Ocean Machine Live is a fun diversion for those who want to hear Devin's first release with some modern intensity. Retinal Circus is the better way to experience the live chaos of his music.

Setlist: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Stage/Energy: 3 - Live Experience: 2

 Z by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 133 ratings

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Z
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What we have here is not necessarily a double album as much as it is two albums together in one package. The first album is titled "Sky Blue" and it is the 6th in a series of albums under the moniker of The Devin Townsend Project. This is a series of releases where each album was supposed to have a distinct feel and style. So this one does have another style, but it harkens back somewhat to earlier albums in the series. Many have compared it to "Addicted" which was the usual Devin sound but in a more pop sounding vein than usual. So, you got some driving, danceable beats behind the usual multi-layered guitars, keyboards and vocals that create the distinct wall of sound Devin is famous for. "Sky Blue" however, while it seems to lean towards this direction, is not as poppy. It may seem like it is going that way at first, with the very upbeat yet heavy "Rejoice", the perfect way to open the album. But, as the album progresses, it becomes more progressive. By the time you get to track 4, "A New Reign", you notice that there is nothing very poppy about it anymore. But, the real beauty of a song actually comes right before this one, "Midnight Sun". This song is simply beautiful, strong, atmospheric and spacey. Because it is more of a ballad than a rock song, it makes the real differences in this album sneak up on you. You will start to notice that this album is more ambient sounding than what "Addicted" was, but the real terms to describe this is atmospheric, spacious and lush. Unfortunately, the shortcoming for the album is that Devin's vocals are not as emotional as "Addicted" or other albums. Anneke also sings on this album on most tracks, but not as much as a soloist as someone singing in tandem with Devin. So this does bring some texture to Devin's lower register, which he tends to stay in more often. As you move closer to the middle of the album, this tends to get a little monotonous, and you start to actually lose interest. The one highlight in this part of the album is "Silent Militia", which is a welcome hard rock relief to what was becoming mundane. This is one where Devin starts to show his emotion, and you get a little more screaming here, which actually is the dynamic I was craving for at this point. Once you get to "Forever", things get better, because this is actually part of a suite that comprises the last three songs. The beauty returns, even if this is a quieter track, you start to hear some interesting harmonies, and you feel things building to what will be an amazing climax in the middle of "Before We Die". By now, you have an excellent use of the multi layered vocals on the part of both Devin and Anneke, so you have what actually sounds like full choir, and also by now, you feel that amazing uplifting feeling that you get with many DT songs. The first and the last part of this album saves the entire collection. Only the middle part of the album tends to lag, but the rest is definitely worth it.

The second album in this double set is called "Dark Matters" and it serves as a sequel to the "Ziltoid" album. On the Ziltoid album, DT played all of the instruments and sang all the vocals. This time, you get a lot of vocalists playing parts of the characters. This is a much louder album, pretty much all the way through, with only breaks here and there that serve to advance the story through narration and characterization. Now you get even more progressive rock, heavy metal and emotional vocals that you are more accustomed to with Devin. The story itself is quite hilarious. It is an over the top, satirical take on Science Fiction. The songs here are definitely louder than the first disc, but they are also more dramatic because of the nature of the story. Almost cinematic. You'll be listening to parts that sound like black metal with screaming vocals and suddenly you have a choir of voices singing. And even with such a silly story, you still get that "uplifted" feeling that you get when listening to emotional music. The best way to listen to this is with the lyrics, because you won't be able to follow the story any other way. The narration is easy enough to understand usually, but the parts that are sung by the characters will be hard to understand. Once you have heard it a few times though, you might tire of hearing the story and just listen to the music. DT thought about this and made a dialog free version of Z2 which is available in the Collector's Edition of the album.

Overall, there are some weak points, but it's still a great pair of albums. Not necessarily to masterpiece status, both together sporting many strong songs and aspects, but also having some weak parts too, but not enough to give the package a status of less than 4 stars. Not the best way to enter the DT discography, but great enough for those that are familiar with his music already.

 Devin Townsend Project: Addicted by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.85 | 314 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Addicted
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Under the name of The Devin Townsend Project, DT set out to do a series of 6 albums where the line up would change on each album and the overall sound or style of each album would also change. Another reason to love Devin, his versatility, but at the same time, he is cohesive in each individual outing. This was the 2nd album in this series. This time he was going with a poppier, danceable sound. That was a scary thought. Well, you can relax because he got that sound, but he did it very loudly! Immediately, you know it's Devin. You get his usual multi tracked guitars and keyboards to create that heavy metal wall of sound he is famous for. No, it's not noise, it's music. I don't know of very many artists that can achieve this as well as what Devin does.

The initial track comes barreling at you full force. A hard driving beat that makes your feet want to get up and dance and a crushing riff with Devin melodically screaming his lungs out. If this one doesn't get your blood rushing, you are already dead. There is no better way to start off an album, and you get a good idea of what Devin's intention was here, amazing melodic, hard and heavy rock that is infectious at the same time. "Universe in a Ball" is the next track and it also has a hard driving beat, but you get more of a progressive feel with this one. "Bend it Like Becker" stays exciting and hard with that continuing wall of sound and this is the first time that you hear Anneke's lead vocals on this particular album. She shares lead vocal duties with Devin throughout this album. She gives a more melodic feel to Devin's emotionally charged singing, and this is all combined into that massive wall of sound. You get a short break from that in the next track "Supercruisin'" with Anneke leading the vocals again and then everything comes crashing together again. This is an amazing track and goes down as one of Devin's best with plenty of prog present, but hard and still melodic.

"Hyperdrive" is a bit weaker, but still good. It is the same song that's on the first "Ziltoid" album, but made more accessible with Anneke's voice. "Resolve" however is powerful with both vocalists complimenting each other. Devin is at his screaming best here and Anneke is at her melodic best with what sounds like a chorus of demons behind them mixed into the sound. Amazing track. There is a sudden break in the wall of sound again on "Ih-Ah", and this time Devin sings in his best soft rock voice all of a sudden. Then towards the middle, things intensify a little as the two leads harmonize like you would never believe, and then Devin continues again. Yes, this is one of DT's softer and maybe even commercial songs, but it's still excellent. Totally unexpected.

"The Way Home" has a rapid fire beat that you would expect to hear in a Tech Metal song, but the melody and Devin's singing is quite mellow at first, but it builds up that wall of sound piece by piece, but it is melodic and emotional all the way through. "Numbered" starts out with a typical Devin riff, then Anneke's voice comes in all multi-layered. This one has a great driving guitar riff with a rhythm to match. Dev sings the verses and Anneke sings the choruses with a choir of her own harmonized voices. This one makes a great rock anthem. The last track "Awake" is the longest at over 9 minutes. It turns into quite an emotional yet loud song as it progresses, and soon Devin's growling and dirty vocals come in, staying melodic all through and easily sliding back to clean vocals while the music stays heavy without even blinking. Only Devin does this transition so well. Anneke sings the choruses again on this one. But they are at their strongest when they sing together. Simply amazing.

This album overall is excellent, there are only a few low points where the songs come to close to being too radio friendly, but they are shorter songs and don't ruin the enjoyment of this album. This is not quite the masterpiece that some of his other albums are, but don't let that stop you from getting this one if you love the hard and heavy, yet very emotional, music of Devin Townsend. This might be a good gateway album for people interested in entering to explore DT's excellent discography. Don't let the fact that Devin does scream and growl, because he can do it so melodically you almost don't realize he is doing it, and it only adds to his music like you wouldn't believe. It makes it so much more emotional. But, the only way you can truly appreciate his voice and his music is to listen to it. His music has plenty of progressiveness in it, this album is more on the melodic side, but it still doesn't disappoint . I can easily call this one an excellent addition to your collection, not necessarily his best and not a masterpiece, but still excellent.

 The Devin Townsend Band: Accelerated Evolution by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.92 | 227 ratings

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The Devin Townsend Band: Accelerated Evolution
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Accelerated Evolution was the first album that was released by The Devin Townsend Band. Previous albums by Devin were named as solo albums. This album was recorded at the same time as the Strapping Young Lad album (Another Devin Project of extreme metal) of the same year. AE was supposed to be the polar opposite of the SYL album. Even though this album is more listener friendly than the SYL album and most of DT's other albums, it still has plenty of explosive riffs and emotional sound. You still have Devin's Wall of Sound made with multi-layered guitars and keyboards. However, you can still notice a difference in the intensity here. There is also a lot less use of progressive elements in order to make the music more accessible. Devin does this well without compromising his signature sound too much. DT was praised by the critics in that he was able to do this so well.

Even with things a little more listener friendly, there is still plenty to love on this album and it is still a worthwhile addition to DT's discography. Devin still has an extreme amount of passion in his voice, which I love. Many people think this is screaming, but there is a difference here because you can hear Devin's passion in his music, and it moves me every time. I typically don't like screaming or growling vocals, but I love the sound that Devin gets from his voice, and like I said, it resemble passion more that just mere yelling and screaming, plus there is a lot of musicality when he reaches his extremes of his voice. Don't worry though if this scares you a bit, there is a lot more clean vocals on this album, and that still doesn't take away from his passion.

The album starts out with "Depth Charge" which is a very upcharges track, very similar to his usual style, and immediately you don't notice any changes. This is an amazing song that introduces you to his signature sound and is one of the more progressive songs on the album. Next, on "Storm", you hear a slight lift on the wall of noise sound, but there is still plenty of passion, even though his voice is clean now. This one builds and then explodes near the end, and the intensity is so high at the end that it almost brings tears to my eyes. After that, the track "Random Analysis" has a steady beat that goes through most of the song. This one to me is not as interesting in that it really offers not much change from start to finish and it doesn't stick with me so much.

The tone turns darker now as the feeling of "Deadhead" approaches a hard but slower beat, almost blues style but not quite. This gives us a nice change of pace to make sure things stay interesting. DT's voice is a lower register here, and things stay very interesting throughout this piece as it leads into a sort of psychedelic feel with layered vocals before it returns to the main theme again. This is followed by "Suicide" which remains dark but is driven by a harder beat and an amazing guitar riff that also drives the song. I love this one.

"Traveller" is more of a radio friendly song and doesn't really do much for me. "Away" comes next, and almost seems to segue from the previous track, so you think maybe things are going to sound same-y here, but this develops into something beautiful and flowing, somewhat similar to "Deep Peace" from the "Terria" album, but not quite the same. It is mostly instrumental, but has some subdued vocals deep in the mix. You notice now that somewhere along the way, the wall of sound is gone most of the time now, but there still is an intensity. "Sunday Afternoon" is also a beautiful track, more atmospheric and relaxing, yet still intense. "Slow Me Down" is just too typical MOR almost and I tend to lose interest in it before it's over. Even though the 2nd half of the album still has plenty of highlights, it does tend to lose some strength here which might get better after repeated listens.

The special edition of the album included a 3-track EP entitled "Project EKO". This is a completely different style from the regular album in that it is electronica done by Devin Townsend. This is nothing like anything he has done prior to this, but he will explore more of in the future. "Locate" has a steady mid tempo beat throughout with a short section with vocals mixed at a lower volume. Nothing much really happens here, just what sounds like some electronic noodling and etc. "Echo" is a little more interesting with some spoken word samples mixed in here and there. The rhythm is a more driving beat with some more traditional sounds put in to make it sound more authentic. The melodies over the top of the rhythm are more interesting that the previous track. "Assignable" is the last track. This one has a boring and repetitive rhythm track and a sort of psychedelic riff happening on top. Sort of like early Porcupine Tree instrumentals, but less interesting.

Overall , the main album is interesting especially on the first half. The second half is the more mellow side, but still has plenty on it to keep it interesting. Interest seems to wear thin though when things tend to get too accessible. Not a perfect album for DT, but still a great effort. I feel comfortable enough to give it 4 stars, mostly on the merit of the high points of the album. I am not counting in the EP as part of the rating because on it's own, it doesn't really do much for me, and it was added as a bonus and not part of the album.

 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.56 | 93 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Townsend's 10-year streak of winning output continues with Transcendence, an album that, while somewhat lacking the artist's usual stamp of creativity and ambition, is never the less a worthy purchase for fans. This release sees Devin continuing in the niche that he's sort of created for himself--ultra modern, highly produced, dynamic, electric, and powerfully emotive prog-metal.

Taken by itself, I don't have any serious criticism for this album. Townsend is a consummate musician and songwriter. The layers of nuance are thick on each song of Transcendence, each song being a sort of standalone mini-epic. You'll be roused, smashed to pieces, left to drift back to consciousness, only lifted up through prog-metal catharsis that is uniquely Townsend and uniquely excellent. "Failure" especially stands out as a highlight throughout Devin's library; it's a showcase of his massive guitar sound, powerfully minimalist and effective lyrics, and sense of pacing.

As a serious fan of Townsend's music, I do have a few quibbles though. At this point Devin feels like he's coasting. These mini-epics that I describe don't flow well, and the album itself doesn't encapsulate a sonic narrative the way his previous works have. That, combined with predictability of the work, make Transcendence a 3-star release. It's hard to argue that Townsend is anything other than a top performer in the genre, but I think most will agree that this album represents him playing it safe.

In the end, I'm very thankful for artists like Townsend, who have given us a staggering large amount of excellent music. Few reading this will find anything in Transcendence that turns them off to the experience, and maybe some will find it as a gateway into Devin's excellent prog-metal output. The rest of us will eagerly await what crazy thing he comes up with next ... although maybe after a brief hiatus to recharge his inspiration.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.56 | 93 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

3 stars More Focused but Still Searching

I love Devin Townsend. He has been my favorite artist for some years now, to the point that my children wear his t- shirts around the house casually. I've given him a number of 5 star reviews. I've seen him live, hmmm, old men have a tough time counting. Most recent concert was in support of TRANSCENDENCE and it was an amazing night.

However, things have been slowly stagnating in Devland for awhile. Most of the newer albums contain scattered glimpses of brilliance with too much good but typical Devy. While the creative well was very very deep, I see less and less new coming from my favorite artist. The prime example of this is his choice to re-record old classics, which actually worked with "Hyperdrive" on ADDICTED due to Annike's new vocals, and to a degree on EPICLOUD's "Kingdom" due to vastly improved production.

But on TRANSCEDENCE, Devy opens with a remade version of INFINITY's "Truth" and completely sucks the life out of it. While the layers are thicker, the sounds more refined, and the sound clearly more polished, the emotion and dynamic impact of the song is dim in comparison. Listen to the two "Alleluia" sections side by side to hear this most obviously. The song is phenomenal, but this version is a shining example of what should have been a bonus track instead of the album lead. Similarly, the cover of Ween's "Transdermal Celebration" just lacks the emotional impact - though I appreciate being introduced to a great song, check out the original if you haven't.

Luckily, there is some spark in this album. "Stormbending," while clearly prototypical Devy, hits the vast space-metal vibe that I love, which is enhanced by it trippy video, and has a fun tapping solo by guitarist Dave Young. "Time is a human construct" should have been the opening line of the album. The lead single "Failure" did not blow me away on first listen, but with a few spins I've come to really appreciate its depth. It highlights how much Devy's already range-y voice has improved substantially over the last decade, and his wah-solo is one of his best. The syncopated riff was awesome live. "Secret Sciences" is a mixed bag moving from elements of 80's power ballad to symphonic quirkiness - ok but not my fave from the album. "Higher" and the title track follow the lead of "Stormbending" - very strong examples of the Devy sound but familiar. "Stars" and "Offer Your Light" fill the now requisite ballad and power-pop slots on the album. "From the Heart" is actually two songs stuck together - another power ballad, and then a New Age exploration which is pleasant enough.

Unlike Z2, TRANSCENDENCE holds together quite well. The flow of the album's high and lows works well. Dev says that he allowed more songwriting input from his band mates and I believe that the performances of the band members benefit from this. The bonus tracks are worth a listen, with "Into the Sun" clearly alluding to Strapping Young Lad days, and "Monkey Mind" representing Dev playing around in the Guitar Hero playground.

Overall, this is exactly what it is - the product of a marvelously talented musician, having honed his craft to a unique signature sound but also having slipped into middle age and struggling to find inspiration. Old fans like me will keep buying and attending concerts, but also reaching for our INFINITY records.

 Devin Townsend Project: Addicted by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.85 | 314 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Addicted
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Addicted! is the Devin Townsend personal interpretation of pop-rock and hard rock.

This second installment of the ambitious tetralogy that Devin created after a short break is a fresh collection of songs, which take some pop, and hard rock elements that we found in albums like Ocean Machine and Accelerated Evolution, but in a bit more commercial and straightforward direction.

And with the perspective that we have eight years after the release of Addicted!, I think that this album is one of the most important works of this prodigious Canadian artist, because later albums like Epicloud and Sky Blue took a similar direction in terms of production, style and character. And of course the contribution of Anneke van Giersbergen showed itself as a vital contribution for Devin. This woman's voice fits perfectly in the sound of Devin Townsend, and the success of Addicted! supposed the start a very fruitful collaboration.

The album starts with Addicted!, a song with a catchy riff and the typical Devin's wall of sound, but this time with cool electronic elements. The melodies and lyrics in the verses are a variation of the last track of the album, Awake, and here we clearly hear that Devin's intention was to create a more conventional and commercial album than Ki, but maintaining the trademark elements of his style. And Anneke sings so damn good here!

Universe in a Ball starts with powerful drums and a menacing riff, and the great vocal melodies they remind me to Ocean Machine. Fine track, but not a highlight. Quite the opposite as Bend it Like Bender, a very surprising song that is an outstanding mixture of pop-rock, disco and extreme metal. Just incredible and another sample of the unmatched talent of this musician!

But Supercrush! is even better! The initial riff is breathtaking and the Anneke verses a real wonder. Devin shows off again with his incredible voice in the chorus, and the atonal instrumental interlude is very original and unique. A real classic! And also a classic is Hyperdrive, a song included in Ziltoid the Omniscient but this time with the Anneke voices. I prefer the original song, but this cover is also very good and it fits perfectly with the mood of the album.

Resolve! is another powerful exterme-hard rock song with very good vocals from Anneke, which strenght is very adequate before Ih-Ah!, the ballad of the album. And what a wonderful one! Intimate but not corny at all, and with beautiful vocals from Devin. I think that his voice was in top-form here, and Ih-Ah! is a good proof of that.

The Way Home contains a very good instrumental work (the drumming is awesome) and a surprising tenor interpretation from Devin, while Resolve is a vehicle for Anneke, who offers her better singing in the whole album in this good song.

And finally, Awake! is my favorite track of Addicted! Is a progressive hard rock hit with amazing growls and even more incredible high-pitched vocals from Devin, with a mysterious ending, which anticipated the next album Deconstruction, both musically and lyrically. What a great way of end this album!

Conclusion: Ki brought us the most experimental, dark and diverse side of Devin. But Addicted!, on the contrary, is pure delight and power, luminous, fresh and catchy. In my opinion is not so innovative as Ki or Deconstruction, and of course it does not reach the level of masterpieces like Terria or Synchestra. But it is an excellent record anyway, and a very important one for Devin's career because its success strongly influenced his style in later releases.

And Anneke was so a great addition! Thank you, Devin. This girl is pure magic.

Best Tracks: Bend it Like Bender!, Supercrush!, Ih-Ah!, Awake!

My rating: ****

 Terria by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.19 | 607 ratings

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Terria
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars I never considered myself much of a fan of this whole "experimental/post metal/tech metal" thing (I don't really understand what any genre of music with the word "post" in it means). I bought this album because it was cheap. I knew of Devin Townsend by reputation, but have never thought of myself as a fan. He did produce Stuck Mojo's 'Pigwalk' though, and that album is bloody brilliant!

But 'Terria'... one great big ball of "meh" from me. I find most of the songs too slow paced for my liking. Not that I mind slower songs, but these ones just plod along uninterestingly. Other than two songs, 'Earth Day' and 'Nobody's Here' (admittedly, two very good songs), I find most of the album boring. There's nothing catchy or memorable that incites anything from me other than dreariness.

The record does have a very "big" sound, and the vocals blend in with the music very well to create an almost dreamlike ambience. Sadly it just doesn't do anything to make the album any more appealing to me.

Devin Townsend's 'Terria' is not awful by any stretch, but it's just really not my thing. Simple as that.

I'd rather listen to Stuck Mojo!

 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.56 | 93 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Transcendence" is the seventh installment in the Devin Townsend Project discography and was released earlier this month. After a highly prolific release period from 2009 to 2014, which included the original four DTP albums, a live album, a box set of the four albums and live album and two discs of bonus material, a fifth DTP album "Epicloud", the Casualties of Cool album that had a special edition with an extra disc of bonus material, and the double album of DTP's "Sky Blue" and the Ziltoid sequel "Zed Squared", Devin Townsend prepared for a live performance of Ziltoid at the Albert Hall and then took a much-needed rest. On his web site he wrote that he had several ideas brewing for new albums including a project where he would play only bass guitar and another project that would include an Icelandic choir among other things. No matter what was to come, no one could be sure exactly what the Mad Man of Metal was going to do next, especially after surprise albums like "Ki", "Ghost" and "Casualties of Cool" which were so different from his more established, very loud wall of sound, aggressive pop metal approach.

At first I was a little disappointed with this album because it was exactly another installment in the very loud wall of sound aggressive pop metal approach. As we've heard on albums like "Terria", "Infinity", "Epicloud" and even "Zed Squared", Devin and the band play loud and layered heavy guitar music with a triad of screamed vocals that could make a poltergeist crap itself, soaring operatic vocals, and gentle vocals that could put a cranky baby to sleep. Guest vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen, a regular on DTP releases, appears once again, though this time she takes less of a lead role than on "Addicted" and "Sky Blue". The music is generally a blend of aggressive heavy music and variations of adult contemporary progressive pop (by that I mean no bee-bop, bubble gum pop) but all filtered through the concept of overcoming lack of confidence and a tendency toward self-deprecation, hence the title and theme of "Transcendence".

As with "Epicloud" and perhaps even more so with "Sky Blue", the ultra heavy/aggro sound that Devin is known for at times is restrained here and only brought out in special moments that require that angst effect. There's actually a lot of acoustic guitar here compared to the other two albums mentioned above in this paragraph and even when the heavy electric guitars are thundering away it's possible to pick out the strummed acoustic guitar in some tracks. By the end of the album there's a noticeable change in direction toward lighter music with some very pleasing and beautiful moments. Of course, Devin's music often has what I call the audio equivalent of the swimming pool chlorine effect, which is because when I was a kid, after coming out of the pool I could see hazy rainbows around any light sources because of the chlorine in the water. Devin's mixing approach has a hazy, nebulous, echoing cloud of sound around the vocals, keyboards and guitars, and there's no exception here.

As I stated earlier, I was originally disappointed and that was because I had been expecting possibly hearing something really new and refreshing instead of what I quickly concluded was part three in the trilogy of "new" DTP albums that includes "Epicloud" and "Sky Blue". Remember that the original concept of the Devin Townsend Project was to release four distinctly different albums which is what we got with "Addicted", "Ki", "Deconstruction", and "Ghost". These latter three follow a more similar formula which could be considered the Devin Townsend style of the 2010's. However, after the third and fourth listen through, I found myself enjoying this new album more. It also made me want to go back and listen to a variety of songs from Devin's catalogue and I listened to a 58-song mixed playlist that also included songs from his other band, the defunct extreme metal outfit Strapping Young Lad. Thinking about it now, "Transcendence" is very much a Devin Townsend album.

I bought the special edition with a bonus disc called "Holding Patterns" which features two additional completed tracks and a bunch of demos which actually sound good enough to not be called demos (Devin says that demos are prepared ready to hear as they should sound though the songs might still undergo some changes in the mixing before growing out of their demo status). While the songs on "Transcendence" are meant to be based on deeper and more profound notions, the tracks on the bonus disc are a variety of moods including high-speed, aggro metal, pop metal, a song resembling a dance remix of an eighties dance rock song done in DTP style, and a classic rock and roll song with piano but also done in the wall-of-sound, in-your-face style of DTP. There's also an instrumental featuring Devin's lead guitar playing, which is actually very good but he downplays it in the album notes.

Fans of Devin will have nothing to complain about here. It's yet another solid album. Newcomers will be alright to hear this album first, though I personally would recommend starting with "Terria" and "Synchestra". I have been wavering about the star rating, unsure of whether to award four stars or three. I would choose either depending on my feeling at the time of listening to the album. For today, I will give it only three stars simply because I don't feel Devin has given us anything really new. For someone who really has tried to stretch out and create his own distinct concoctions of music, this album is in a way an easy approach for him to follow.

Incidentally, the Japanese edition comes with three additional demo tracks, and I was very tempted to pay the extra 1,000 yen to get them. I really wanted to hear the song called "Sophie's Boobies". But economy and reason got the better of me and I just bought the regular double-disc edition.

 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.56 | 93 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by RainingStigmata

3 stars I'm not sure how I feel about it on this album, but then Dev has his own sound and if you're after more of the same or more from the early days then at least the first half is definitely for you. There is ultimately no doubting the genius that is Devin Townsend. I however keep getting sucked into the hole of feeling like he's repeating himself until I fall in love with him all over again when he plays live. This album feels no different to that as I am sure there will be brilliant live performances even though this album on the whole feels a bit same-y.

Truth - You can immediately tell this is Devin - the wall of music hits you in the face and he just loves re-imagining his earlier pieces of music. This latest one from the earlier "Infinity" album. A solid start which reminds us yes this is Devy. He hasn't changed (despite the ending of the song suggesting it has)

Stormbending - Starts off a little slower than the name of the piece would have me believe. The wall of sound is as thick as ever and the drums are bombastic as ever. There it is! The change of pace into some heroics before a melody arises from the heavenly sound of Devins guitar and then the contrast with the softer vocals. Some nice work so far. In comes the choir and the high pitched vocals of Devin to finish off the piece. A beautiful yet familiar track to anyone who is a fan of Devin.

Failure - This starts off feeling so much like Planet of the Apes, but then launches into a piece in its own right (Devin definitely likes re-visiting his earlier stuff in this album so far). The lyrics on this song are just superb and the solo suitably weird at first before very much becoming part of the drive. Absolutely beautiful piece of music.

Secret Sciences - Begins almost like something like from Ocean Machine. Boy this is really becoming a trend. Anneke provides some nice backing in the middle of this song. Good to hear her beautiful voice again. I can't help but zone out a little bit in this middle period as the song seems to meander in it's Deviness. I'm a little bit disappointed in that but then it all comes together nicely in the end with the typical DT climax.

Higher - Nothing untoward to start with which means there has to be some sort of brutal contrast soon. Some lovely soft vocals kick in to accompany the feel. Very nice. In comes the change before settling down into a nice groove and then back to the bombastic feel to interrupt just as I thought I knew where this was going. Some brutal metal in the 5th minute with brilliant guitar lines and it just keeps getting heavier as this goes on! This is going to be a hit with a live crowd. 8 minutes in and the music goes from heavy passage to heavy passage. It's a brilliant listen, before the choir kicks in for the final portion of the song. This song feels like it has everything Devin has ever done in it.

Stars - This is Devin back to his heavy metal/rock best, or so I thought, because he then dials it back into melancholy mode with some nice backing by Anneke once again. I feel like this song will get a lot of rotation. The melodies work so well against each other and the vocal line is so easy to sing.

Transcendence - What a start with that drumming! Wow. In comes a male choir this time before settling in with Anneke and Devin call and responding and then back to the chorus again. This is truly beautiful so far. The majesty of the piece continues even into the guitar solo and up toward the climax of the song. That was epic.

Offer Your Light - Woah! This song does not let up. Anneke again providing some beautiful vocals, then Devin comes in with his rough feel as the guitars drive, the melody soars and the drums round out the epicness. This song is a true wall, with so much happening at once. The change on around 2:30 is a welcome breath of air before we dive straight back into it. This song absolutely rocks perhaps at the risk of sounding like a wall of Devy-bricks have just been dumped on you

From The Heart - Devin knows how to make an epic introduction for his 8 minute songs. This is no exception. Even the lyrics are absolutely striking and the chorus is beautiful beyond words. Townsend really knows his own sound and keeps delivering in the same vein. Just as the song appears to be trailing off it sits into a lovely moody passage

Transdermal Celebration - Devin has a knack for leaving you with hope, happiness and optimism and this is no exception to that theme. The motif here is probably the best on the album before trailing off into an ethereal sea to see out the album.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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