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Devin Townsend - Devin Townsend Project: Epicloud CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.92 | 388 ratings

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4 stars In 2009, Devin Townsend started his series of albums released under the Devin Townsend Project. This project still rotated through a changing list of personnel, not really being a project with a regular line up. The 5th album in this series was released in 2012 and entitled "Epicloud". It all came about as Townsend was attempting to write a follow up to the "Ziltoid" album, but everytime he attempted to, he would end up writing what he called a poppy-metal track instead, and realized he still had to get some of these songs out of his system. Soon enough, he had plenty of tracks to fill an album that would come across as a sequel to "Addicted" with many tracks left over to fill up another disc. Townsend is just an amazing song writing phenomenon. You would think that his well would be running dry, but once again, he proves he is a master at music and making every single song an epic sounding track.

This is also what he proves with Epicloud, another bunch of excellent tracks that feature his signature thick and stirring songs that always manage to lift my spirits and rejuvenate my spirits especially during times of being "shut-in" for whatever reason. The album starts off with the first group of tracks definitely sounding a bit more "accessible" than his usual signature sound, but it is still obvious you are getting a dose of the usual "heavy Devy" sound as layers of glorious sound turn what would normally be a pleasant rock song into a work with so many pieces that it sounds like a mega-work. As the album moves on, we also get a few songs that are "ballad-like" and pensive, but they always seem to build into a climax of epic proportions. Things also seem to get more progressive and heavier as the album continues until, by the end of it all, you have no doubt that you are experiencing another major production from Townsend. The use of Anneke Van Giersbergen's vocals by this time has become an expected staple to Townsend's music, giving the songs their needed softer side, though she also holds her own quite well in the heavier tracks also.

Epicloud is not Townsend's best, but it is still an album that most bands would be very proud of if it was done by someone else. In this album, Townsend also utilizes the Marcus Mosely Chorale and The Delisle Vocal Project to also help bring the usual level of exaltation to his music, giving even more personality to certain songs and to the album in general. It's hard to single out any tracks as being highlights as every one of them is something amazing and special.

Once again, not only does Townsend treat us to an amazing album, but he also offers a double disc option that contains a full bonus CD of over 47 minutes of additional tracks that were written and left off of the main album. These all are notated as demo songs, but most of them still sound completely finished and fleshed out. They also add more variety to the overall picture with some of them taking on their own personalities like "Heatwave" with its country-tinged sound (that sounds like it should have been saved for the "Casualties of Cool" album) and the extreme, djent style "Woah No!" As usual, Townsend is just full of surprises in both the regular album and the bonus disc.

The main problem with this album is that it basically seems like a lot of songs that are packed with sound and emotion, and while each one of them taken by itself is an epic track, when put together into an album, it almost seems overbearing that when so much is packed into each song, it is almost too much, and this album also lacks a bit of focus. Townsend's best albums seem to be the ones that have some subject or style to center around, while the slightly weaker ones have tracks that are not necessarily connected as much. Thus this album ends up with a 4 star rating, even though it is an album worthy of consideration among his many of amazing albums. It's not very often that you can buy a Townsend album and be completely disappointed (except in a few cases when he tries to be more ambient and experimental as on the albums "Devlab" and "The Hummer"). If you see this album, it is one you should not pass on in any event. Townsend continues to amaze as usual.

TCat | 4/5 |


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