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DEVIN TOWNSEND

Experimental/Post Metal • Canada


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Devin Townsend biography
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 had been present for two albums in a row. That same year, he released 'The Hummer', another ...
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Ocean MachineOcean Machine
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$11.36
$14.57 (used)
Ziltoid the OmniscientZiltoid the Omniscient
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$6.83
$5.00 (used)
DeconstructionDeconstruction
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$11.48
$8.99 (used)
AddictedAddicted
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$8.99
$12.96 (used)
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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)

3.99 | 281 ratings
Ocean Machine - Biomech
1997
3.70 | 197 ratings
Infinity
1998
2.97 | 143 ratings
Physicist
2000
4.19 | 594 ratings
Terria
2001
3.94 | 216 ratings
The Devin Townsend Band: Accelerated Evolution
2003
2.22 | 79 ratings
Devlab
2004
4.07 | 321 ratings
The Devin Townsend Band: Synchestra
2006
2.52 | 77 ratings
The Hummer
2006
4.18 | 530 ratings
Ziltoid The Omniscient
2007
3.84 | 292 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Ki
2009
3.86 | 302 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Addicted
2009
3.94 | 384 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Deconstruction
2011
3.84 | 312 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Ghost
2011
3.99 | 304 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Epicloud
2012
3.85 | 164 ratings
Casualties Of Cool: Casualties Of Cool
2014
3.82 | 123 ratings
Z▓
2014
3.71 | 80 ratings
Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
2016

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

3.69 | 16 ratings
Official Bootleg
1999
3.60 | 26 ratings
Unplugged
2011
4.50 | 44 ratings
By A Thread - Live In London 2011
2012
4.73 | 47 ratings
The Retinal Circus
2013
4.59 | 20 ratings
Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
2015

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

4.61 | 36 ratings
The Retinal Circus
2013
4.02 | 23 ratings
Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
2015

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

3.40 | 20 ratings
Ass Sordid Demos I
1999
3.38 | 13 ratings
Ass Sordid Demos II
2004
4.59 | 22 ratings
Contain Us
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Discovering Devin Townsend
2016

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

3.60 | 37 ratings
Christeen + 4 Demos
1999
3.33 | 3 ratings
Iceland
2016

DEVIN TOWNSEND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Devin Townsend Project: Addicted by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.86 | 302 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 | 594 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
3.71 | 80 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
3.71 | 80 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.

 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.71 | 80 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

2 stars Sounds like Devy. Feels like Devy. It is Devy! No matter how many times I hear pleas of Devin Townsend's "variation" and "eclectic" or "chameleonic" sound experimentations I always hear . . . Devin Townsend. With each song, on each album I struggle to hear Devy's murky though often beautiful vocals (and interesting lyrics) among the ubiquitous walls of guitar sound--or else I'm faced with his screaming approach which always makes me wonder why he has to scream: Is his screaming so necessary for the effective delivery of his subject matter? This album is, to my ears, no different. The songs' chord progressions are as constant and monotonous as ever. The existence of any other instrument other than guitar (and drums) is, as usual, completely drowned out (by the guitars). (And people actually like this!) I don't get it. With each song I open my ears, my mind, my heart--I find myself thinking, "This has been getting great reviews--great praise--maybe this is the album that will turn me," or "This might turn out to be great!" or "This might get better" or "He's singing about something important" or "He's so intelligent!" but each time I am only let down; each time I find that I'm just making excuses. "Other people love this so I must be missing something! What is it? What is the key to accessing the joy, love, admiration, and respect for Devin Townsend's music?" 'cuz, try as I do--over and over and over again--I'm not getting it. If I were writing songs to accompany these lyrical messages I would be choosing music of a very different nature. If I were singing the lyrics of these relevant and 'important' messages that I want to get out to large audiences I would not be choosing such an abrasive delivery style. But that's just me. People also go to great lengths to extoll the engineering and production of Devin's albums. I'm just not sure how the delivery of song after song of hazy, murky, fuzzy, affrontery constitutes great production. As I've mused before: I wonder what happens to water molecules (Emoto), plants (Thomkins and Bird), and human brains (Tomatis, Monroe, Gass, et al.) with repeated or constant exposure to this type of music. Another album gets dumped into my "Devin Townsend--try again later" pile . . . . Maybe someday I'll get it. After all, I finally got Gentle Giant! (... after 35 years)
 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.71 | 80 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars This is another excellent release by Devin Townsend. He can create a wall of sound like NO ONE else. His unique signature sound is all over Transcendence, and it just has a nice flow from track to track to keep the listener interested. He has consistently produced one high quality release after another which gives him an amazing catalog of work. Transcendence has excellent musicianship, stellar vocals, and angelic layers of background vocals and rifts that make it another fantastic release. While some may say his low budget Ziltoid is his best, Transcendence can hang with any other Devin Townsend album. If you like Devin Townsend while he is having fun with Ziltoid, or just putting his perfectionist sound engineer qualities to work, Transcendence is a must have for your collection. It is highly recommended to buy the deluxe version since it has some excellent tracks for progressive metal fans. 4.5 stars
 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.71 | 80 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by keriboi

5 stars Wow. This is good. Real good. Devin is back to his best. The dynamic range and wall of sounds that we all love. This by far the best drumming on any album. It is epic. The guitars are back with some sneaky solos.

1. Truth - Great remake. Its wider. The angelic vocals. It is beautiful. 2. StormBending - Could be a score to a movie! 3. Failure - That Solo! 4. Secret Science - Ok song 5. Higher - Little bit toolish at times. Proggy - Could easy be on Ziltiod 3 6. Stars- Great song. I prefer the Toon Tracks version of vocals. These ones are a little soft. 7. Transcendence - That Drumming!!!!! 10/10 - Reminds me a bit of Ayreon Day 20 8. Offer your light - Upbeat 9. From your heart - Nice Balad 10. Transdermal Celebration - Some great 12 string by Dave. Very poppy with some hummer to finish.

Please Devin, Next album please do a remake of Ocean Machines of Ass Sordid Demos

 Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover DVD/Video, 2015
4.02 | 23 ratings

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Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars It took one year and a half of preparation for this project to see the light in Royal Albert Hall. The previous shows on smaller venues were modified versions of what he did on this Blu-Ray. The first set is the whole Ziltoid 2 album with the Ziltoid character, which begins to take shape when Devin saw the movie "Dark Crystal" at 8 years old. Don't try to understand how this character of a space alien had an influence on Devin over the years and what is the meaning behind that story. The music is what it counts and this musician succeeds to create some intense atmosphere with his unique Progressive Metal, where the melody find his way out of a dense and chaotic wall of sound. I wish we could hear more the keyboards sound and the bass that seems to be overshadowed by the guitars and the vocals. The second set is songs request by fans on Facebook. Yes, I think we're going to have more of this kind of thing in the future. If you want to have success on your tour, ask the fans what songs they want and we'll give them! It's not a surprise that the second set has some inconsistency in the quality of the songs for my personal taste. Some songs are a bit too raw if we compare the set list of the previous DVD "Retinal Circus". But this one has a better picture quality and better visuals with a lot of projections on the big screens. The song "The Death of Music" was a nice discovery for me with his slow pace and the nice ending when the vocals are getting louder. It sounds a lot like "Biko" of Petre Gabriel in the Devin Towsend style.
 Z▓ by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.82 | 123 ratings

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Z▓
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Devin Townsend returns with another face-smashing collection of modern metal that is uplifting, melancholic, poetic, schlocky, and scatological; a combination of adjectives that could only apply to Townsend, yet you'll probably agree that this is a pretty apt description. As always, Townsend has produced a musical package with production values that are off the charts, engaging songs, thoughtful and fun lyrics, and instrumental fireworks. Z2 has a huge sound and tons of variety; it'll appeal immediately to those of us who are on board with Devin's musical projects lately, though this album has the difficult duty of following a string of 5-star releases from Townsend, including the "original" Ziltoid the Omniscient, and well... you know that they say about sequels.

The first disc is crammed with twelve songs, played in a tone and style similar to Townsend's more approachable sound heard in Addicted and especially Epicloud. If you've never heard Townsend's music, you'll probably be struck at once by the density of guitar and effects that come cascading out of your speakers. The guy's a wizard in the studio, and it shows in the complexity and layers of sounds we hear through this first half. Highlights include the fine opener, the insanely empowering "Fallout" (one of the best pump-up songs ever?), "Sky Blue," which features an interesting combination of delicate textures and metal roar, and the musical suite of "Forever" and "Before We Go." These latter songs bring a satisfying end to the first half. I'm especially impressed by the lyrics of these songs, which demonstrate a brilliant level of simplicity and understated class. Yes, class, a word which Devin would probably chortle at if he were to read this. It's a great example of how evocative lyrics that paint images of sensations and emotions are often more effective than narrative and explicitness in music.

Speaking of narrative and explicitness...

The star of the show, the mega-cheese space opera of the second disc, is a different beast. It's sort of a reboot of the Ziltoid story, and is filled with noisy metal bombast and numerous "dramatic" interludes. The story is a deliberately weird and stupid musical satire, complete with characters, narrator, and a beginning, middle, and end to the story (sort of). The story is much more coherent than our first Ziltoid experience, and the music may be even more dense. While it's all good, when comparing it to Ziltoid, it doesn't make as much of an impact. This isn't just because it isn't as fresh, or because the joke is old (the narrative is pretty funny), it's that the music and lyrics feel much more locked in to telling the story that reaching out to us with those moments that stick with you and that you can walk away with.

This leads me to my only real criticism with Z2: it's a finely polished record that may not make an emotional impression on you. Townsend's production, writing, and playing are pretty much bullet-proof, but this release doesn't have the spark to place it among his best. That being said, it's still a tremendously epic and successful collection of artistic metal that should be explored by anyone interested in discovering one of the most creative, prolific, and dependably excellent artists on this site (though, maybe after you've listened to his best). Townsend's brand of metal is highly artistic while also refreshingly honest and without pretense; a genuine collection of heavy duty metal and emotion. Recommended.

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

 Devin Townsend Project: Addicted by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.86 | 302 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Addicted
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by RainingStigmata

3 stars This album is the one that got me into Devin in the first place. There is really not a lot to it though. In fact, this would probably be his most accessible album to date.

Short songs, fun grooves and a general feeling he is paying out popular music, Devin and Anneke nevertheless take us on a journey of great musicianship and vocal skill. Though I wouldn't necessarily call any song here "prog" and hence the rating, it is still a great release from the modern master.

Highlights include the title track, Bend It Like Bender, Hyperdrive and In-Ah. In usual Devin Townsend vein, listen to the music, vocal and composition ability, stay for the cheesey smiles and fun that this album will no doubt bring.

3 and a half stars, rounded down due to the "prog" parameter.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Rune2000 for the last updates

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